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EACH day in small animal practice, dogs are presented for diagnosis and management of their ear disease. Animals may be affected acutely or suffer from chronic disease and in both situations chronic skin disease often underlies these episodes. As ear disease is painful and can quickly lead to a worsening prognosis if left untreated, an accurate diagnosis and informed choice of treatment is required. In addition, dogs may be uncooperative both in the practice and at home adding a further complication.
The four articles in this supplement to In Practice provide a clear approach to the treatment of otitis externa starting with the first-opinion consultation and then discussing the individual components of disease, ie, primary, secondary, predisposing and perpetuating (PSPP). Considering each of these in turn and not just focusing on bacteria and yeast infections is key to successful treatment.
In the last two articles, treatment of bacterial and yeast infections identified by cytology and culture are described. Selection of the most appropriate therapeutic agents will not only be most likely to lead to a successful outcome, but also prevents the use of unnecessary antimicrobials.
With a clear knowledge of the PSPP system, the clinician can better communicate the process of diagnosis and treatment to the client maximising the chance of a good outcome.
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