Foster A, Morandi F, May E.
Previous reports describing the prevalence of ear diseases in dogs have primarily been based on dogs presenting with clinical signs of disease. The prevalence of subclinical ear disease remains unknown. The purpose of this cross-sectional retrospective study was to describe the prevalence of lesions consistent with middle and external ear disease in dogs presented for multidetector computed tomography (CT) of the head and/or cranial cervical spine at our hospital during the period of July 2011 and August 2013. For each included dog, data recorded were signalment, CT findings, diagnosis, and treatment. A total of 199 dogs met inclusion criteria. Nineteen dogs (9.5%) were referred for evaluation of suspected ear disease and 27 dogs (13.5%) had histories or physical examination findings consistent with otitis externa. A total of 163 dogs (81.9%) had CT lesions consistent with external ear disease (i.e. ear canal mineralization, external canal thickening, and/or narrowing of the external canal). Thirty-nine dogs (19.5%) had CT lesions consistent with middle ear disease (i.e. soft tissue attenuating/fluid material in the tympanic bullae, bulla wall thickening or lysis, and/or periosteal proliferation of the temporal bone). Findings from this study indicated that the prevalence of external and middle ear disease in dogs could be higher than that previously reported.