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Survey of the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of dermatological conditions in small animals in general practice
  1. P. B. Hill, BVSc, PhD, DVD, DipACVD, MRCVS1,
  2. A. Lo, BSc, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  3. C. A. N. Eden, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  4. S. Huntley, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  5. V. Morey, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  6. S. Ramsey, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  7. C. Richardson, BSc, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  8. D. J. Smith, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  9. C. Sutton, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  10. M. D. Taylor, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  11. E. Thorpe, BVM&S, MRCVS1,
  12. R. Tidmarsh, BVM&S, MRCVS1 and
  13. V. Williams, BVM&S, MRCVS1
  1. 1Division of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG


A survey was made of the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of dermatological conditions in small animals in general practice in the UK. Out of 3707 small animal consultations in general practice that were observed and recorded, 795 (21·4 per cent) involved animals that had a dermatological problem. In dogs and exotic species, pruritus was the most common presenting sign, accounting for 30 to 40 per cent of the dermatological consultations. In cats, cutaneous swellings were the most common presentation (36 per cent). A diagnosis or recommendation for treatment was made on the basis of the presenting clinical signs and physical examination alone in 576 (72 per cent) of the cases, and various diagnostic tests were performed in the other cases. In dogs, parasitic infestations, bacterial infections and neoplasia accounted for the majority of the diagnoses. In cats, parasites and bacterial infections were the most common. In exotic species, parasites accounted for over 80 per cent of the dermatological diagnoses. In dogs, the most common final diagnoses were otitis, pyoderma, anal sac impaction, flea infestation and atopic dermatitis. In cats, abscesses, flea infestation, and otitis were the most common diagnoses. In exotic species, the most common diagnosis was an unspecified mite infestation. Systemic antibiotics were prescribed in 196 cases (25 per cent), systemic glucocorticoids were prescribed in 162 cases (20 per cent) and treatment with an ectoparasiticide was prescribed in 167 cases (21 per cent).

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  • Dr Hill’s present address is Division of Companion Animal Studies, Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS30 5DU

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