Morphologic measurements of the external horizontal ear canal of dogs

Michele Stout-Graham From the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (Stout-Graham, Kainer, Whalen) and Department of Clinical Sciences (Macy), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Robert A. Kainer From the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (Stout-Graham, Kainer, Whalen) and Department of Clinical Sciences (Macy), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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L. Ray Whalen From the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (Stout-Graham, Kainer, Whalen) and Department of Clinical Sciences (Macy), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Dennis W. Macy From the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (Stout-Graham, Kainer, Whalen) and Department of Clinical Sciences (Macy), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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SUMMARY

Microscopic anatomy of the horizontal part of the external ear canal was evaluated in 24 dogs. Sixteen dogs were from breeds known to have a predisposition to otitis externa. The remaining 8 dogs were from breeds that do not have a predisposition to otitis externa. Dogs were separated into groups according to predisposition to otitis externa: group 1—predisposed dogs without otic inflammation, group 2—predisposed dogs with otic inflammation, and group 3—nonpredisposed dogs without otic inflammation.

Qualitative microscopic evaluation of distribution of hair follicles revealed hair within proximal, middle, and distal regions of the horizontal ear canal in all breeds. The degree of keratinization was directly proportional to the presence of otic inflammation and was excessive in group-2 dogs.

Quality of sebaceous glands within the horizontal ear canal was similar among dogs with and without otitis externa, whereas the quantity of apocrine tubular glands was significantly increased (P < 0.05) in dogs with otitis. Quantity of apocrine tubular glands was also greater in group-1 dogs than in group-3 dogs.

Thickness of the soft tissue in the external ear canal increased in direct proportion to the progression of disease and was greatest in the proximal region of the affected ear canal. Soft tissue located caudally between nonopposing ends of the annular cartilage, within the proximal region of the horizontal ear canal, contained few glands and hair follicles in dogs without otitis externa. In dogs with otitis externa, this region was infiltrated by distended apocrine tubular glands.

SUMMARY

Microscopic anatomy of the horizontal part of the external ear canal was evaluated in 24 dogs. Sixteen dogs were from breeds known to have a predisposition to otitis externa. The remaining 8 dogs were from breeds that do not have a predisposition to otitis externa. Dogs were separated into groups according to predisposition to otitis externa: group 1—predisposed dogs without otic inflammation, group 2—predisposed dogs with otic inflammation, and group 3—nonpredisposed dogs without otic inflammation.

Qualitative microscopic evaluation of distribution of hair follicles revealed hair within proximal, middle, and distal regions of the horizontal ear canal in all breeds. The degree of keratinization was directly proportional to the presence of otic inflammation and was excessive in group-2 dogs.

Quality of sebaceous glands within the horizontal ear canal was similar among dogs with and without otitis externa, whereas the quantity of apocrine tubular glands was significantly increased (P < 0.05) in dogs with otitis. Quantity of apocrine tubular glands was also greater in group-1 dogs than in group-3 dogs.

Thickness of the soft tissue in the external ear canal increased in direct proportion to the progression of disease and was greatest in the proximal region of the affected ear canal. Soft tissue located caudally between nonopposing ends of the annular cartilage, within the proximal region of the horizontal ear canal, contained few glands and hair follicles in dogs without otitis externa. In dogs with otitis externa, this region was infiltrated by distended apocrine tubular glands.

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