Canine Allergy Additional Tests 

It is now well recognised that hypersensitivities such as atopic disease, food hypersensitivity and contact hypersensitivity can cause otitis externa.

Allergic diseases are the most common cause of otitis, especially chronic otitis, responsible for 43% of cases13,14. In dermatology referral practice, up to 75% of chronic otitis cases were associated with atopic disease15.

Chronic ear infection may be the only sign of atopic dermatitis in some dogs. This is the reason we include allergy testing, Malassezia IgE/IgG and staphylococcal IgE/IgG as part of our routine ear package in addition to the standard cytology and culture and sensitivity

Dogs with atopic dermatitis have an increased tendency to suffer from secondary skin infections, with Malassezia and staphylococcal infections recognised as two of the major causes of flare factors contributing to pruritus.

The flare-up package is therefore extremely helpful when dogs diagnosed with atopic dermatitis that have been doing well, regress. It helps to rule out some of the common causes that may be responsible.

If an underlying condition, such as allergy, has not been diagnosed and repeated flare-ups are occurring, it may be worth considering further testing. Most cases of relapsing pyoderma or Malassezia dermatitis are secondary to, or associated with, an underlying condition or disease.

Sample requirements: 1-3 tissue biopsies.
This is available as an individual test for complicated cases requiring further investigation beyond the standard work-up.

As a general guideline, biopsies should be performed on; any dermatoses that are not responding to rational therapy, persistent ulcerations, vesicular dermatitis, neoplastic or suspected neoplastic lesions, severe life-threatening conditions, any condition readily diagnosed by histopathology and any dermatoses with an unusual presentation.

13. Saridomichelakis, M.N., Farmaki, R., Leontides, L.S. & Koutinas A.F. (2007). Aetiology of canine otitis externa: a retrospective study of 100 cases. Vet Dermatology, 18(5): 341-347
14. Bensignor, E. & Legeay, D. (2000). A multicentre prospective study of otitis externa in France: 802 cases. Vet Dermatology, 11(1): 22
15. Paterson, S. (2003). A review of 200 cases of otitis externa in the dog. Vet Dermatology, 14(5): 249