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InFocus

A look through the latest literature

The latest academic publications providing further insight into this month's In Focus topic: dermatology

Transverse sectioning in the evaluation of skin biopsies from dogs with alopecia

Ross Bond and others, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead

Histopathological examination of skin biopsy specimens is an important tool in the diagnosis of alopecia in dogs. Normally, veterinary diagnostic laboratories take vertical sections to reveal changes in the full thickness of the skin. However, transverse sections are widely used in the examination of human skin samples. The authors of this paper compared the information provided by vertical and transverse sections from 31 alopecic dogs. Their findings suggest that the two approaches are complementary, as transverse sectioning has the potential to change the histopathological diagnosis. It is particularly valuable in evaluating the phase of hair growth in the specimen and the number, size and arrangement of follicles within compound follicles and follicular units.

Journal of Small Animal Practice, 62, 244-252

Evaluation of skin erythema severity by dermatoscopy in dogs with atopic dermatitis

Blaz Cugmas and Thierry Olivry, University of Latvia, Riga

When evaluating the severity of atopic dermatitis lesions, researchers use subjective methods such as the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index. The authors describe a study examining the potential value of an optical system involving a smart phone and a dermatoscope for the objective estimation of lesion severity. They conclude that the technology can appropriately estimate the severity of erythema in dogs and could lead to more standardised and reliable atopic dermatitis severity scales.

Veterinary Dermatology, 32, 183-e46

Effect of infrared and monochromatic red light on equine wound healing

Peter Michanek and others, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala

Light emitting diodes are commonly used to treat a range of disorders in horses, including skin wounds. It has been suggested that this treatment may accelerate healing although there is no substantial evidence to support this claim. The authors assessed the effects of pulsating visible red light and near infrared light on experimental skin wounds. They conclude that there were no clinically relevant positive effects on wound healing from either treatment under these conditions.

Equine Veterinary Journal, 53, 143-148

Plasma cell pododermatitis associated with FeLV and FIV infection in a cat

Giovana Biezus and others, University of Santa Catarina State, Brazil

Feline plasma cell pododermatitis is a rare disease characterised by softening and swelling of the paw pads, resulting in pain and lameness due to ulceration and bacterial infection. The aetiology and pathogenesis of the condition are still unclear. The authors describe a two-year-old intact male cat which presented with alopecia, skin peeling and erythematous swelling of the left metacarpal paw pad. The cat was seropositive to both feline leukaemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. Their findings indicate a possible role for retrovirus infection in the development of plasma cell pododermatitis.

Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 41, 100475

Evaluation of fish skin as a biological dressing for metacarpal wounds in donkeys

Ahmed Ibrahim and others, Assiut University, Egypt

Wounds affecting the distal limbs of equids are common and are both slow to heal and prone to bacterial contamination. Biological materials have attracted interest as potential tools for improving healing. The authors used fish-skin dressings from the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) sterilised by immersion in silver nanoparticles on experimental wounds to the metacarpal skin of donkeys. Their evidence suggests that fish-skin dressings did accelerate the wound healing process, inhibited local microbial activity and prevented exuberant granulation tissue formation.

BMC Veterinary Research, 16, 472

Single session versus staged procedures for skin grafts in canine oncology patients

Nicole Bonaventura and Justin Ganjei, Veterinary Surgical Centers, Vienna, Virginia

The management of skin defects resulting from surgery for tumours on the distal extremities can be difficult due to the lack of tissue available for primary closure. The authors compared the outcomes of full-thickness, meshed skin grafts in single-session versus staged procedures after tumour excision from the distal limbs of dogs. Their results suggest that both procedure types are appropriate for skin graft placement. However, the shorter healing time and fewer bandage changes associated with a single-session procedure may be beneficial.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 258, 387-394

Epidemiology of dermatophytosis in residents of animal welfare shelters

Emilia Gordon and others, British Columbia SPCA, Vancouver

Dermatophytosis is normally a mild and self-limiting infection in healthy companion animals but managing the condition can be challenging in a shelter or cattery setting. The authors investigated the frequency of false positive dermatophyte cultures, dermatophyte prevalence and dermatophytosis risk factors in animal shelters in western Canada. They found a high prevalence (28 percent) of false positive cultures and that Microsporum canis was found on cats and rabbits but not on dogs. Animals seized in cruelty investigations were significantly more likely to test positive for dermatophytosis.

Canadian Veterinary Journal, 61, 763-770

Practitioners’ views on allergen-specific immunotherapy in atopic dermatitis cases

Sarah Flanagan and others, Dermatology for Animals, Gilbert, Arizona

An earlier study revealed some reluctance among US first opinion veterinarians to refer cases of atopic dermatitis for allergen-specific immunotherapy, together with a widespread belief that the method was ineffective. The authors conducted an online survey of the attitudes of first opinion practitioners towards this treatment modality for atopic cats and dogs. They identified timely communication, sharing long-term management of the cases and the local provision of CPD materials as factors associated with an increased willingness to refer cases to dermatology specialists.

Veterinary Dermatology, 32, 106-e21

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