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A selection of challenging skin conditions

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01 December 2009, at 12:00am

Tepoxalin reduces pruritus and lesions scores in dogs with atopic dermatitis 

Christa Horvath-Ungerboeck and others, University of Edinburgh

Tepoxalin is a non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug of the pyrazol group which inhibits both the cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2) and the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) enzyme pathways. It therefore has been suggested as having potential value in controlling canine atopic dermatitis. 

This was tested in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 30 dogs which received a daily dose of 10-19.1mg/kg for four weeks before or after a similar period receiving daily placebo. 

There was a significant reduction in pruritus (assessed by the owners according to the Edinburgh pruritus scale) and lesion score (assessed by an investigator according to a modified version of the canine atopic dermatitis extent and severity index – mCADESI-01) in the tepoxalin treatment group but not after placebo administration. At the dosage used, this drug was well tolerated and there was no evidence of any adverse events. 

Veterinary Dermatology 20 (4): 233-242. 

Alternaria species infection in nine domestic cats 

Charlotte Dye and others, University of Bristol 

Alternaria species is a ubiquitous saprophytic fungus that can often be cultured from the skin of healthy animals. Infections have been frequently described in human patients but have been rarely seen in cats. The authors report on the clinical features of nine cases. Middle-aged neutered males were over-represented and all cases had cutaneous lesions affecting the extremities. Surgical excision with medical adjunctive therapy was generally successful although treatment could be protracted and recurrences were common. 

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 11 (4): 332-336. 

Effects of a Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic in dogs with atopic dermatitis 

Rosanna Marsella, University of Florida 

Evidence from studies in children suggests that treatment with probiotics may affect the Th-1 cell mediated immune response with resulting improvements in the symptoms of atopy. A Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG strain was tested in two beagles with severe atopic dermatitis and their 16 puppies from two litters. The second litter had significantly lower serum Ig-E levels and a milder reaction to intradermal testing. So administering this probiotic reduced immunologic indicators of dermatitis although clinical signs were unaffected. 

American Journal of Veterinary Research 70 (6): 735-740. 

Coagulase positive staphylococcal colonisation of humans and their pets 

Beth Hanselman and others, University of Guelph, Canada 

Coagulase positive staphylococci are commensals and opportunist pathogens in both humans and animals. The authors cultured samples from 242 people and their pets with 28% of humans, 14% of their dogs and 4.3% of their cats positive for Staphylococcus aureus. A multi-resistant strain was present in 3.3, 1.5 and 0% of these samples, respectively. In half of the eight households where S. aureus was isolated concurrently in both dog and owner, the strains were genetically indistinguishable. 

Canadian Veterinary Journal 50 (9): 954- 958. 

Rapidly growing mycobacterial infections in 10 cats from the south eastern US 

Katie Horne and Gail Kunkle, University of Florida 

There have been few reports of rapidly growing cutaneous mycobacterial infections in cats and those few cases have shown a variable response to surgical debulking and aggressive antibiotic treatment. The authors describe 10 cases, usually involving multiple lesions with Mycobacterium fortuitum the most frequently isolated cause. In five cases the combined surgical and medical treatment was successful with a mean duration of antibiotic therapy of seven months. Unsuccessful cases were still being treated 20 months after presentation. 

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 11 (8): 627-632. 

Retrospective analysis of 23 cases of sporotrichosis in various species 

Samantha Crothers and others, University of California, Davis 

Sporotrichosis is a cutaneous mycosis caused by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii which infects humans and many different domesticated animals, usually as a consequence of a puncture wound. Records of 23 cases were examined including 14 cats, four dogs, four horses and a donkey. Treatments received included itraconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole and sodium or potassium iodide. The prognosis was good for each species and treatment method with fluconazole was used successfully in one case of disseminated disease. 

Veterinary Dermatology 20 (4): 249-259. 

Topical hydrocortisone aceponate in treating flea-allergy dermatitis in dogs

 Stephane Bonneau and others, Virbac, Carros, France 

Conventional glucocorticoids produce local and systemic effects which restrict their value for long-term treatment of dermatological disorders. But newly developed formulations appear to have high pharmacological activity with reduced side effects. Such a product, a topical hydrocortisone aceponate spray, was tested on 16 beagles with mild to moderate flea bite dermatitis. Used daily for seven days, the spray produced rapid and potent anti-pruritic effects and a significant reduction in allergic dermatitis skin lesions Australian 

Veterinary Journal 87 (7): 287- 291. 

Effects of fascial abrasion, fasciotomy and fascial excision on wound healing 

Akiko Mitsui and others, North Carolina State University 

Large open wounds in which the underlying muscle fascia is exposed may heal slowly in any species but the formation of granulation tissue takes longer in cats than dogs. The authors investigated three different treatments as potential methods for accelerating small experimental wounds in feline skin. Fasciotomy and fascial excision produced more rapid healing than fascial abrasion, or of the control wounds, in which the muscle fascia was undisturbed. These two treatments may have potential in expediting secondary skin closure or skin grafts. 

American Journal of Veterinary Research 70 (4): 532-538. 

Effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on wound healing in horses 

Dean Morgan and others, Iowa State University 

Closure of wounds on the distal portion of the limbs of horses can be problematic because of the relative lack of soft tissue and the immobility of surrounding skin. The authors investigated the effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) on wound healing in six horses with full thickness wounds of the metacarpus. The mean healing time for the treated wounds was 76 days, significantly faster than the control wounds (90 days). Although ESWT appears to stimulate healing, the mechanism of this process remains unclear. 

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234 (9): 1,154-1,161. 

Wart-like lesions on the paw pads of 24 dogs 

Jason Balara and others, Tufts University, Massachusetts 

Lesions similar to plantar warts in humans have often been reported in dogs but appear to occur most commonly in greyhounds. The authors describe the clinical, histological and immunohistochemical findings in 24 dogs, including 18 greyhounds. In these other breeds, these lesions of the paw pads had signs of inflammation and were positive for papillomavirus. But the lesions in greyhounds appear to be a distinct clinical entity with no viral aetiology, and more closely resemble porokeratosis plantaris discreta in human dermatology. 

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234 (12). 

Tacrolimus in the treatment of feline idiopathic facial dermatitis

T-H Chung and others, Seoul National University, South Korea 

A topical formulation of the macrolide antibiotic tacrolimus is claimed to be of value in treating canine atopic dermatitis but there is little information in the veterinary literature on the safety and efficacy of this agent. The authors used a 0.1% tacrolimus ointment in a cat with idiopathic facial dermatitis, following initial treatment with an oral antifungal/antibiotic medication. They note that idiopathic dermatitis is a difficult condition to manage but in this case, the lesions did respond to the topical tacrolimus product. 

Australian Veterinary Journal 87 (10): 417-420.