00998-A: Microbiology and Histopathological Features of Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $8,354
Amy Shumaker, DVM; Dermatology for Animals
July 1, 2007 - March 31, 2008


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Dermatology and Allergic Disease
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Acral lick dermatitis is a common, frustrating disease of dogs, characterized by chronic, obsessive licking to the point of self-trauma. Most past research has focused on behavioral problems, such as boredom and anxiety. However, many other causes can start the process Regardless of initiating cause, nearly all lesions become deeply infected by bacteria, worsening disease and perpetuating stimulus to lick Complete resolution requires both identification of initiating cause and successful treatment of secondary infection. Current literature suggests routine use of common antibiotics, such as Cephalexin, to treat these lesions; however, dermatologists have observed an increase in resistant bacteria, no longer susceptible to suggested antibiotics. No publication describes presence of resistant bacteria or need for culture of acral lick dermatitis. If treatment is based on current literature, then failure is likely. The purpose of the study is to better characterize the histopathological and microbiological features of acral lick dermatitis. The results should aid in the treatment of this frustrating disease. Thirty client-owned dogs with acral lick dermatitis will be enrolled. Tissue biopsies will be collected for histopathology, bacterial, and fungal culture. Surface samples will be submitted to determine if differences exist between superficial and deep cultures. Breed predispositions will also be determined.


None at this time.

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