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Concurrent oral and topical management of mycotic dermatitis--a report of 18 canines.


Canine dermatitis is a widespread problem throughout the world and fungal skin diseases are usually encountered in small animal practice under hot and humid climatic condition of North Eastern India. Such clinical cases of canine dermatitis may constitute up to 20% of clinical cases (Sischo et al., 1989; Subramanian et al., 1989).

Many fungi can cause non-specific, pruritic dermatitis which is diagnosed as dermatomycosis on inadequate evidences (Muller and Kirk, 1976). About 100 fungal species out of 70,000 recognized fungal species are human pathogens and about 50 of these species are pathogenic for animals. However, high incidence of clinical cases in winter and their spontaneous recovery in spring is common, but outbreaks may also occur during the summer months (Odds, 1996).

Fungal infection of skin can be classified as deep, intermediate and superficial mycoses. Most of deep mycoses are infections of other system with secondary cutaneous lesion which includes maduromycosis, histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, sporotrichosis, phaeohypomycosis and coccidiomycosis. Intermediate mycoses include Candidiasis and Aspergillosis. Mycotic dermatitis is superficial infection of keratinized layers of skin caused by fungi including dermatophytes (Muller et al., 1983). Cutaneous mycoses are most common fungal skin disease seen in dogs. The most commonly involved fungi are dermatophytes Microsporum spp. and Trichophyton spp. and yeast Malassezia pachydermatitis and Candida albicans (Machado et al., 2004).

Most common non dermatophytes isolated in mycotic dermatitis includes Aspergillus flavus, Alternaria spp., Penicillium spp., A. fumigatus (Muller et al., 1983 and Caretta et al., 1989). Yeast of genera Candida and Malassezia are usually isolated from skin and mucosa of healthy cats and dogs but may become pathogens whenever there are alteration to host's defence or skin surface microenvironment (Brito et al., 2007 and Guillot and Bond, 1999).

Material and Methods

A study on canine fungal dermatitis was conducted from January to December' 2010 on clinical cases. A total of 643 clinically affected dogs were examined for presence of parasitic and fungal skin infections. Out of 643 cases screened, 91 cases were found positive for parasitic and fungal skin infection.

On the other hand, 18 cases out of 91 were found to be affected with fungal infections showing an overall incidence of 19.78% (Fig. 1-5). Collection of samples and identification of fungi was done from skin scraping as per procedure described by AL-Doory (1980).

Collected skin scrapings and hairs were inoculated directly onto Sabouraud's dextrose agar (SDA) as per Scott (1988). The inoculated plates were incubated at 30[degrees]C with 30% humidity for 30 days to develop on SDA. The plates were checked every 2-3 days for growth of fungi.

Gross appearance of colonial growth was one of the criteria for identification of fungi. It included observation of growth rate and nature of growth e.g. size, shape, colour, under surface and texture. The fungal colonies were examined for morphological characteristics after staining with lactophenol cotton blue.

A small tuft of fungal growth on SDA plate was picked up with help of a sterile platinum loop and placed into a drop of lactophenol cotton blue on clean grease free microscopic slide. The material on the slide was then teased by sterile teasing needle and a coverslip was placed on it. The wet mount thus prepared was observed under microscope to study morphology and identification of macroconidia and microconidia as described by Emmons et al. (1964). The presence of hyphae and spores were recorded.

The different fungi isolated from 91 skin infected dogs were as follow--6 cases of Microsporum canis (6.59%), 7 cases of Aspergillus spp. (7.69%) and 5 cases of Candida spp. (5.49%).


Prior to commencement of treatment, preliminary preparations like deworming, clipping of hair, bath in luke warm water with bland soap were done in each of affected dogs taken for this study. Treatment was given to animals with Fluconazole (Zocon tablet (a)) @ 2.5-5mg/kg b.wt. orally twice daily for 20 days and Ketoconazole shampoo (Ketochlor (b)) topically twice weekly simultaneously for 20 days.

Result and Discussion

Treatment against fungal dermatitis was given with Fluconazole tablet @ 2.5-5 mg/kg b.wt. orally twice daily and Ketoconazole shampoo, topically twice weekly for period of 20 days and clinical-recovery was observed from day 21 onwards and complete recovery (100%) was observed in 42 days. The skin lesions disappeared and body coat of dogs appeared completely with growth of hair by end of treatment. The present study corroborates with studies made by Sharp et al. (1991) that antifungal drug fluconazole was found to be highly effective at oral doses of 2.5-5 mg/kg against canine aspergillosis.

Similarly, efficacy of Ketoconazole against mycotic dermatitis was also reported to be highly effective as per studies of Mihaylov et al. (2008), De Keyser and Vanden Brande (1983) as well as Angarano and Scott (1987). Besides, treatment with shampoo formulation of ketoconazole was found to be highly effective against dermatophytosis and yeast infections by Carlotti (2001). The present study reveals that simultaneous use of Fluconazole orally and Ketoconazole topically can cure clinical cases of dogs with fungal dermatitis when used for a period of 3 weeks.


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Brito, E.H.S., Fontenele, R.O.S. and Brilhante, R.S.N. (2007). Phenotypic characterization and in vitro antifungal sensitivity of Candida spp. and Malassezia pachydermatitis strains from dogs. Vet. J. 174:147-53.

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Machado, M.L.S., Appelt, C.E. and Ferririeo, L. (2004). Dermatophytes and yeast isolated from the skin of dogs with diverse dermatopathies. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae 32: 582-600.

Mihaylov, G., Petrov, V. and Zhelev, G. (2008). Comparativ e inv es tigation of several protocols for treatment of dermatophytes in pets. Tarkia-J. Sci. 6:102-05.

Muller, G.H. and Kirk, R.W. (1976). Small Animal Dermatology, 2nd Edn., W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, London, Toronto.

Muller, G.H., Kirk, R.W. and Scott, D.W. (1983). Small Animal Dermatology, 3rd Edn., W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.

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Scott, W.D. (1988). Large Animal dermatology. W.B. Saunders Company Philadelphia, West Washington. Square.

Sischo, W.M., Jhrke, P.J. and Franti, S.E. (1989). J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 195:752 (cited by Vargese et al., 1994).

Subramanian, M.; Nagarjan, V.V. and Gnanaprakashan, V. (1989). A note on histological changes of skin in dermatitis. Indian Vet. J. 66:1082-83.

(a)--Brand of FDC Ltd., Mumbai

(b)--Brand of Virbac Animal Health, Mumbai

Chandana Kalita, T.C. Dutta, A. Phukan, S. Goswami and G.K. Saikia

Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Ethics and Jurisprudence

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry

Assam Agricultral University

Guwahati Khanapara--781022 (Assam)

[1.] Corresponding author:

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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Kalita, Chandana; Dutta, T.C.; Phukan, A.; Goswami, S.; Saikia, G.K.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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