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  • Kaimio, Mirja; Malkamäki, Sanna; Kaukonen, Maria; Ahonen, Saija; Hytönen, Marjo K.; Rantala, Merja; Lohi, Hannes; Saijonmaa-Koulumies, Leena; Laitinen-Vapaavuori, Outi (2021)
    American Cocker Spaniels (ACSs) develop aural ceruminous gland hyperplasia and ectasia more often than dogs of other breeds. Data on the cause and development of these breed characteristic histopathological changes are lacking. We performed video-otoscopic examinations and dermatological work-up on 28 ACSs, obtained aural biopsies from each dog and assessed the statistical associations between the presence of ceruminous gland hyperplasia and ectasia and disease history, clinical or microbiological findings and underlying cause of otitis externa (OE). Histological lesions of ceruminous gland hyperplasia and ectasia were observed in aural biopsies from 6/13 clinically healthy ears and 13/15 ears with OE from 19/28 examined dogs. Nine of 28 dogs had histologically normal ceruminous glands (odds ratio [OR] 6.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-36.6). Bacterial growth in microbiological culture of aural exudate (OR 14.1, 95% CI 2.1-95.3) was associated with ceruminous glandular changes, whereas previous history of OE, cutaneous findings or underlying allergies were not. Pedigree analysis and a genome-wide association study (GWAS) were performed on 18 affected and eight unaffected dogs based on histopathological diagnosis. While the GWAS indicated a tentative, but not statistically significant, association of ceruminous gland hyperplasia and ectasia with chromosome 31, a larger cohort is needed to confirm this preliminary result. Based on our results, ceruminous gland hyperplasia and ectasia may also precede clinical signs of OE in ACSs and a genetic aetiological component is likely Further studies with larger cohorts are warranted to verify our preliminary results. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Kaimio, Mirja; Saijonmaa-Koulumies, Leena; Laitinen-Vapaavuori, Outi (2017)
    Background: American Cocker Spaniels are overrepresented among breeds that require surgery as a treatment of end-stage otitis externa. However, the prevalence of otitis externa (OE) in this breed remains unknown. We reviewed the year 2010 medical records of 55 private veterinary clinics in Finland to determine the prevalence of OE in American Cocker Spaniels compared with English Cocker and English and Welsh Springer Spaniels. An American Cocker Spaniel owner questionnaire was designed to identify potential risk factors for end-stage OE. Results: From the medical records of 98,736 dogs, the prevalence of OE was highest in Welsh Springer Spaniels (149 out of 468, 31.8%, [95% confidence interval 27.6-36.0]), followed by American Cocker (89/329, 27.0%, [22.2-31.7]), English Springer (96/491, 19.6%, [16.1-23.1]) and English Cocker Spaniels (231/1467, 15.7%, [13.8-17.6]). The mean number of OE episodes in ear-diseased dogs and the number of ear surgeries were highest in American Cocker Spaniels. Owner questionnaires were received for 151 American Cocker Spaniels, 85 (56%) of which had suffered from OE. In 47% (40/85) of these dogs, OE occurred without concurrent skin lesions, 46% (33/72) displayed the first signs of OE before 1 year of age. In 24% (20/85) of the dogs, the signs of OE recurred within 1 month or continued despite treatment, 16% (14/85) required surgery (n = 11) or were euthanized (n = 5; 2 of the operated dogs and 3 others) due to severe OE. The onset of OE before the age of 1 year significantly increased the risk (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.1-13.6) of end-stage OE. Conclusions: The prevalence of OE in American Cocker Spaniels in Finland was higher than previously reported in Cocker Spaniels, but the highest prevalence of OE was found in Welsh Springer Spaniels. Compared to the other Spaniels, OE was more often recurrent and more frequently surgically managed in American Cocker Spaniels. Based on the questionnaire, early onset (<1 year) of OE increased the risk of end-stage OE. In American Cocker Spaniels, OE requires an intensive approach from the first treatment, and prevention of recurrence should be emphasised. The causes and treatment of OE in this breed warrant further study.
  • Anturaniemi, Johanna; Zaldívar-López, Sara; Moore, Robin; Kosola, Mikko; Sankari, Satu; Barrouin-Melo, Stella M.; Hielm-Björkman, Anna (2020)
    Background To date, very few studies have compared the effects of different types of feeding practices on canine physiology, such as feeding exclusively dry, raw, or homemade foods. Objectives We aimed to report the changes in hematologic, serum biochemical, plasma folate, B-12, and whole blood iron levels in dogs fed two different diets. Methods A pilot study was developed to compare the effects of a heat-processed high carbohydrate (HPHC) and nonprocessed high-fat (NPHF) diet. A total of 33 client-owned Staffordshire Bull Terriers were used; 18 had canine atopic dermatitis, seven were healthy, and eight were grouped as "borderline" dogs since they did not fulfill at least six of Favrot's criteria. The comparisons were made between the diet groups at the end visit of the diet intervention, as well as within the diet groups during the study. Results Significant differences between and within the diet groups were observed, although the majority of outcomes remained within the RIs. The median time of diet intervention was 140 days. Red blood cell counts, mean cell hemoglobin concentrations, and platelet counts were significantly higher, and mean cell hemoglobin, mean cell volume, alkaline phosphatase, inorganic phosphorus, and cholesterol were significantly lower in the dogs fed the NPHF diet compared with those fed the HPHC diet after the diet trial was completed. In addition, folate, B-12, and iron decreased significantly in the NPHF diet group. Conclusions This pilot study indicated that diet had an impact on blood values, although most remained within RIs, pointing out the need for further studies.
  • Hakanen, Emma; Lehtimäki, Jenni; Salmela, Elina; Tiira, Katriina; Anturaniemi, Johanna; Hielm-Björkman, Anna; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Lohi, Hannes (2018)
    Our companion-animals, dogs, suffer increasingly from non-communicable diseases, analogous to those common in humans, such as allergic manifestations. In humans, living in rural environments is associated with lower risk of allergic diseases. Our aim was to explore whether a similar pattern can be found in dogs, using a nation-wide survey in Finland (n = 5722). We characterised the land-use around dog's home at the time of birth as well as around its current home, and described several lifestyle factors. The severity of owner-reported allergic symptoms in dogs was estimated with a comprehensive set of questions, developed by experts of canine dermatology. Also, the prevalence of diagnosed allergies in dog owners was recorded. The results indicate that allergic symptoms are more prevalent in urban environments both in dog owners and in dogs (accounting the effect of dog breed). Several factors related to rural living, such as bigger family size and regular contact with farm animals and other pets, were also protective against allergic symptoms in dogs. Interestingly, allergic dogs were more likely to have allergic owners than healthy dogs were. Therefore, we suggest that the mutual presence of allergic symptoms in both species indicates common underlying causal factors of allergic diseases.