Improving quality of life in dogs with OE*

A recent study1 has found that Osurnia® improved quality of life for dogs and their owners compared to a daily, owner-applied treatment for otitis externa, and was just as effective.

We spoke with veterinary dermatologist Dr Chiara Noli, who led the study.

How was the study conducted?

Twenty-five dogs with otitis externa were treated with Osurnia® on days 0 and day 7 by the vet, compared to a control group of 25 dogs who were given a daily treatment (Posatex, MSD) by their owner at home for one to two weeks in addition to twice weekly cleaning.
Quality of life for both dogs and owners was evaluated at days 0, 7, 14 and 28 by the owner, who also assessed pruritus. Clinical and cytological improvement were assessed by the vet at all time points. Vets and owners were asked to rate global efficacy and tolerability on day 28.
The hypothesis was that Osurnia can provide both equivalent efficacy and a higher quality of life to dogs and their owners vs. a daily at home treatment (Posatex, MSD).

What prompted this research?

I’ve long been interested in quality of life as a crucial measure for dogs with skin disease. You simply do not see the whole picture if you only measure the clinical course and there’s an increasing recognition of the importance of quality of life.

What is the key takeout from the study for vets and nurses?

That using a vet-applied, long acting treatment like Osurnia can give dogs with otitis and their owners a better quality of life without compromising efficacy (vs. daily at home treatment in the study, Posatex MSD).

This significant improvement in quality of life in the Osurnia group was seen early on in the study and continued to improve until day 28, reaching levels seen in healthy dogs and considered ‘normal’ – this didn’t happen with the control group, in which the treatment was administered at home.

Were there any results that particularly surprised you?

I was stunned by just how big the difference between the two treatment groups was in the quality of life for both the dog and owner. It was also interesting that within the study, cytological improvement and a reduction in pruritus were also seen more quickly in the Osurnia group.

,,There's an increasing recognition of the importance of quality of life. ,,
Why do you think there was such a difference in quality of life between the two groups?

I think because in the control group the owner actually has the whole burden of the therapy. And you really see that in those first two weeks, the quality of life for the owner is not improving significantly.

Compliance is an important issue here; in this study we saw that the at home product led to increased stress in owners and applying treatment at home can lead to stress in owners and pets, and degradation of their relationship, which ultimately leads to treatment failure and poorer quality of life for both owner and the dog. We have the ability as vets to help preserve this bond.

A lot of owners and pets find regular application of ear treatments stressful, but do you think this is something vets don’t always appreciate?

I don’t think the majority of vets appreciate this. But I also think there are owners who don’t dare tell the vet “I'm not able to do this”, and so they will take medications home which either won’t be used or won’t be used correctly. I think it’s important that we as vets use that time in consult to find out if people are comfortable using the treatments we recommend.

,, Long-acting products are the future, and not just for otitis but for many other types of diseases. ,,
Do you think that veterinary-applied treatments will replace owner-applied treatments in the future for otitis externa?

Long-acting products are the future, and not just for otitis but for many other types of diseases.

Is there enough recognition in the veterinary community of the importance of quality of life in cases of skin and ear disease?

No, there isn’t, but things are changing. We’ve seen more and more articles on quality of life across different fields, and I think we do need to start including it as a variable that’s always assessed. I think slowly but surely the importance of quality of life is reaching general practitioners and the wider public.

Improving quality of life in dogs with OE

At a glance, see the results of a recent study1 that found Osurnia improved quality of life for dogs with otitis externa and their owners,compared to a daily owner-applied treatment.

Contact us: For more information, please contact ElancoVets on 01256 353131 or your Elanco Territory Manager

*For the treatment of acute otitis externa and acute exacerbation of recurrent otitis externa associated with Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Malassezia pachydermatis. Bacterial and fungal otitis is often secondary to other conditions. Appropriate diagnosis should be used and therapy of causative conditions should be investigated.

**Results based on an online survey with 321 vets in March 2017, conducted by CM Research.

1 Noli, C et al. Vet Derm. 2017 March (online). Osurnia®ear gel for dogs contains terbinafine, florfenicol and betamethasone acetate.

Legal category POM-V UK, POM IE. Information regarding the side effects, precautions, warnings and contraindications can be found in product packaging and leaflets; further information can also be found in the Summary of Product Characteristics. Advice should be sought from the medicine prescriber. For further information call Elanco UK AH Ltd on +44 (0)1256 353131 or write to Elanco UK AH Ltd, Lilly House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG24 9NL, UK. Use medicines responsibly

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