2023/06/15 - Products

Virbac reverses canine acute otitis externa treatment habits

Vignette_Corpo_Cortotic_1.jpgOtitis externa is one of the main reasons why dogs visit the vet. Highly uncomfortable and painful for the animal, their treatment has until now involved the use of antibiotics in most of the cases. Starting this June, our teams are changing the way the disease is managed, by offering a Europe-wide antimicrobial-free solution, recommended as a first-line treatment in acute canine otitis externa where microbial overgrowth.

In the vast majority of cases, canine otitis externa is allergy-related. They begin with a primary inflammation of the dog's ear canal and/or eardrum, which rapidly evolves into secondary microbial proliferation. Causing itching, pain and unpleasant odors, ear infections are extremely uncomfortable for both pet and owner, and almost always recur. They can also degenerate into a purulent infectious form, leading to perforation of the eardrum, with extension to the middle ear (resulting in nervous disorders, loss of hearing, loss of balance...). Traditionally, most of the treatments have been based on a combination of three active ingredients: a corticosteroid to reduce primary inflammation, combined with an antibiotic and an antifungal to combat secondary infections. Until now, veterinarians had no choice but to use an antibiotic in acute erythemato-ceruminous otitis externa associated with microbial overgrowth.  

Acting only on the origin

In recent decades, innovations in the treatment of canine otitis have focused on facilitating the use of products and thus promoting compliance. In 2008, we contributed to this by developing an innovative administration system that delivers the product regardless of the animal's position. This concern for practicality is still at the heart of our preoccupations, but this time we're going one step further, by associating it with a major therapeutic innovation in acute erythemato-ceruminous otitis externa associated with microbial overgrowth, enabling a new approach to treatment in those cases. 

At Virbac, we support the use of antibiotics as little as possible, but as much as necessary, to combat the emergence of resistance in both humans and animals. With this in mind, we gambled on the fact that, since inflammation is the triggering factor in most of the cases of canine otitis externa and where there are very frequently secondary microbial overgrowths, it would be possible to control both inflammation and microbial overgrowth using an anti-inflammatory alone. Our gamble paid off: we were able to scientifically demonstrate a comparable efficacy to a COMBO product (also containing an antibiotic and an antifungal agent). Veterinarians now have an effective first-line treatment of acute erythemato-ceruminous otitis externa associated with microbial overgrowth, without antimicrobials, thus limiting the risk of antibiotic resistance.

"Studies on corticosteroids suggest that adding antimicrobials to first-line treatments may not be necessary in most cases. This is a positive and welcome observation in light of the increasing frequency of antibiotic resistance in animal and human patients." explained Pierre Jasmin, Dr. in veterinary medicine, Virbac's Global Medical and Marketing Manager for Companion Animal Dermatology.

Building tomorrow's veterinary practices together

By treating inflammation alone as a first-line treatment of acute erythemato-ceruminous otitis externa associated with microbial overgrowth, we are offering veterinarians an innovative solution that challenges current practices. To support this paradigm shift, we organized a symposium on "advances in otology" on June 8 and 9 in Nice. Around a hundred European veterinarians gathered around the most eminent researchers and clinicians specializing in veterinary dermatology, including Steve Shaw, Tim Nuttall, Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Sébastien Viaud, Domenico Santoro and Lynette K. Cole (videoconferencing from the USA).    

Our desire to help veterinarians in their day-to-day practice is also expressed over the long term. Our DailyDerma program is a perfect illustration of this. This innovative approach brings veterinarians and owners together to better manage skin diseases, in particular canine atopic dermatitis, a very common allergy in dogs. With DailyDerma, we offer them a new, effective routine for their dermatological practice. In addition to a wide range of products and services to help with prevention, diagnosis and long-term treatment follow-up, the program also includes a mobile application for exchanging information between owners and veterinarians on the evolution of the disease in real time.