Does Your Dog Get Itchy Ears? (all breeds)
Does Your Doggy (no matter what breed ) Get Itchy Ears ?

Cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFRs) in dogs are common but poorly understood and include food allergy (food hypersensitivity; immunologically mediated) and food intolerances (non-immunologically mediated). A variety of dermatological signs can be seen, including pruritus, papules, erythema, scaling, excoriations and erosions, pyotraumatic dermatitis, epidermal collarettes, pododermatitis, seborrhea and OE, and so the clinician should put CAFRs on their list of differential diagnoses in every case of OE. In a recent retrospective study in Italy the prevalence of CAFRs was assessed in 130 dogs. The prevalence of CAFRs in all dogs with dermatological signs was 12% and in 26% of dogs that only had signs for allergic disease (atopy, flea allergic dermatitis and CAFRs). Bilateral OE was present in 63% of CAFRs cases and was often found alongside the main clinical sign of generalised pruritus.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex multifactorial disease in which both genetic and environmental factors play an important role. In a recent Italian study atopy’s prevalence accounted for 14% of all dogs with dermatological signs and 30% of allergic cases (which included concurrent atopy in 19% of dogs with CAFR). In healthy dogs an intact skin barrier is critical to prevent desiccation from excessive water loss and penetration of exogenous substances detrimental to the body.

Diet is an important component of any treatment regimen and was evaluated in a multi-centered, double-blinded, randomised study that evaluated the clinical response to an 8 week period of feeding one of three veterinary diets marketed for dogs with atopic dermatitis and one supermarket diet. Fifty dogs were included and the three veterinary diets evaluated were a selected protein diet based on salmon & rice (diet A), a selected protein diet based on fish & potato (diet B) and a hydrolysed soy diet (diet C). The supermarket control diet was diet D. The results showed that after 8 weeks on the veterinary diets, both the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index (CADESI-30) and pruritus scores of dogs assigned to the fish & potato diet were significantly decreased and it was the only diet to significantly improve both scores, whereas dogs assigned to the selected salmon & rice diet (diet A) only showed significantly less pruritus. Interestingly the supermarket diet (diet D) signifi- cantly reduced the CADESI score but had no effect on pruritus. Surprisingly, no significant changes were detected with the hydrolysed diet C for the CADESI or pruritus scores. This led the authors to summarise “Based on the results of this study, changing the diet of dogs with atopic dermatitis may be a useful adjunctive therapeutic measure in addition to conventional therapies.” The clinical benefit of the fish & potato diet is thought to be linked to being an omega-3 fatty acid enriched diet. These fatty acids are metabolised to less inflammatory tissue mediators. Additionally, protein quality, lipid content and digestibility may also play a role in helping improve the skin’s integrity and repair. Nutrition’s role in skin health has been established  and oral supplementation with essential fatty acids increase skin essential fatty acids, reduces Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and improves skin barrier function

Canine otitis externa (OE) is a common and multifactorial cutaneous disorder that accounts for up to 20% of consultations in small animal practice2 and was second only to dental disease in prevalence in over 31,000 dogs. Histological changes in the external ear canal of dogs with OE include epidermal and follicular hyperplasia, dermal infiltration, less active sebaceous glands and grossly dilated ceruminous glands. Atopic dermatitis and, less often, cutaneous adverse food reactions, are generally recognized as the most common primary cause of canine OE with both ears commonly being affected, however unilateral OE can occur in cutaneous adverse food reactions and atopy. And, cutaneous adverse food reactions, and less commonly, atopic dermatitis (~3% of cases), may be manifested by OE only

As with any allergy intolerance we have always and shall continue to advise elimination diets , then we add omegas to prevent itching , they work, fish in the diet of any dog is always a good starting point and we recommend oily fish only, many will recommend removal of inner ear hair, well it is there for a damn good reason , like nasal hair, it’s a filter, so unless your dog has an extreme case of matted waxy gunky ears that you have tried to bathe and its been ineffective please ignore the idiots that are new to this breed or the daft old bag that thinks they know it all and leave the hairs alone !

Piriton or Benadryl only stop itching they DO NOT and CANNOT stop the root cause, boric acid cleaners CLEAN they do not stop infections its just an adjunctive to good maintenance finding WHY is the only way forwards.

SEEK advice should you need it ! from a qualified person not just a forum queen !

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