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Prospective study of bacterial overgrowth syndrome in eight dogs
  1. D. Pin, DVM, DipECVD1,
  2. D-N. Carlotti, DVM, DipECVD1,
  3. P. Jasmin, DVM2,
  4. D. J. DeBoer, DVM, DipACVD3 and
  5. P. Prélaud, Céri, DVM, DipECVD4
  1. 1Cabinet de Dermatologie Vétérinaire, Héliopolis B3, Avenue de Magudas, F-33700 Mérignac, France
  2. 2Virbac SA, Medical Department, F-06511 Carros, France
  3. 3School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015 Linden Drive West, Wisconsin-Madison, W53706, USA
  4. 48 rue de Saintonge, F-75003 Paris, France Dr Pin’s present address is Unité de Dermatologie, Service d’Anatomie Pathologique, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, 1 Avenue Bourgelat, 69280 Marcy L’Etoile, France


Eight dogs with cutaneous lesions, clinical signs and cytological findings compatible with bacterial overgrowth syndrome were compared with four healthy dogs. The affected dogs were treated for 28 days with 30 mg/kg/day cephalexin. The results showed that the syndrome was a superficial cutaneous disorder characterised by marked pruritus, greasy seborrhoea, offensive odour, erythema, lichenification, hyperpigmentation, excoriations and alopecia involving principally the ventral aspect of the body, but no papules, pustules, epidermal collarettes or crusts; it was caused by overgrowths of Staphylococcus intermedius all over the body surface. Histopathological findings included a superficial, perivascular, hyperplastic and spongiotic dermatitis with a mixed inflammatory infiltrate, but no lesions suggestive of a true pyoderma. In the affected dogs, anti-staphylococcal immunoglobulin G levels were high, but anti-staphylococcal immunoglobulin E levels were low, suggesting that staphylococcal hypersensitivity is not the underlying pathogenic process. The antibiotic treatment improved the condition of all the dogs, but five of the eight had an underlying allergic skin disease.

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