MiDOG Testing dermatology microbiome diagnosis infections skin health dog

The MiDOG Test can help your vet to understand your puppy’s skin health

If you would have to guess, how many different bacteria and fungi live on our dogs’ healthy skin, what would you say?

The answer is hundreds [1]. There is a huge diversity of microbes, which you could imagine almost like a jungle. Many of these bacteria and fungi are commensals on the dogs’ skin, even forming a protective barrier against pathogens [2]. If there is an infection, however, such as atopic dermatitis or a wound, this number can be drastically smaller. There may even be only 2 or 3 different bacteria or fungi taking over 1. This has huge implications for the health of our dogs and unfortunately, we did not know very much about these organisms until very recently. Why? Because the vast majority of them don’t grow in the laboratory, so we couldn’t study them very well or didn’t even know that they were there [3].

Only if we know exactly which microbes are there and how many of them, we can understand how changes in the microbial composition, the microbiome, affect the dog’s skin and health [4].

For human skin, scientists have been studying for years what’s there, what are they doing and how can we use this knowledge to our advantage to effectively treat infections, acne, heal wounds, or even make us look younger [5]. This research was enabled by high throughput DNA sequencing, a technology that can discover all microbes in any type of sample. But for dogs and their skin? Not quite as much. Yet.

With the development of high throughput DNA sequencing as used by the MiDOG Test ®, we can know also better understand man’s best friend and his infections. The utility of DNA sequencing as a diagnostics test was recently shown in a publication in Veterinary Microbiology [1]. Never before was such a large cohort of dogs from all over the US tested for their skin microbiome, a total of 332. About half of these dogs were healthy, while the other half was suffering from a skin condition.

“We were able to show, that there was a distinct microbial profile separating clinically healthy dogs from those that were affected by the disease. We analyzed both the bacterial and fungal profiles and quantified the number of cells we found.” Said Dr. Janina Krumbeck, senior author of the study. “Fungal species play an important role in the characterization of the canine skin microbiota but fungal species are often overlooked based on inefficient culture and detection methods.”

Through their research, the group was able to discover the vast difference in microbial ecology between the skin of healthy and clinically affected dogs.

“We discovered many anaerobe bacterial species on the affected skin and even organisms that were traditionally not considered potential pathogens for dogs. Using a diagnostic approach as described herein veterinary medicine, could improve our understanding of the formation of polymicrobial infections or biofilms in canine clinical samples and their implications in disease” said Krumbeck.

Although there is still more to be done in characterizing the canine microbiome in health and disease, the results found this study signifies the potential of DNA sequencing methods for the accurate quantification and identification of bacterial and fungal populations in diagnosing canine skin infections, and highlight the limitations of traditional culture-based testing.

Read the full paper here.

Talk to your vet about MiDOG today.

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Canine skin microbiome poster


The Canine Skin Microbiome

1. Tang S, Prem A, Tjokrosurjo J, Sary M, Van Bel MA, Rodrigues-Hoffmann A, et al. The Canine Skin and Ear Microbiome: A Comprehensive Survey of Pathogens Implicated in Canine Skin and Ear Infections Using a Novel Next-Generation-Sequencing-Based Assay. Vet Microbiol [Internet]. 2020;108764. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2020.108764

2. Rodrigues Hoffmann A. The cutaneous ecosystem: the roles of the skin microbiome in health and its association with inflammatory skin conditions in humans and animals. Vet Dermatol. 2017;28(1):60-e15.

3. Barcina I, Arana, Ines. The viable but nonculturable phenotype: a crossroads in the life-cycle of non-differentiating bacteria? Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol. 2009;8(3):254–5.

4. Rodrigues Hoffmann A, Patterson AP, Diesel A, Lawhon SD, Ly HJ, Stephenson CE, et al. The skin microbiome in healthy and allergic dogs. PLoS One. 2014;9(1).

5. Grice EA. The skin microbiome: potential for novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to cutaneous disease. Semin Cutan Med Surg [Internet]. 2014;33(2):98–103. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085669%5Cnhttp://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=PMC4425451

Categories: Dogs, Ear Health, Pet Parents, Skin Health, Veterinary Dermatology

animal diagnostics

Validated by Veterinarians

“Clients expect their veterinarians to stay up to date on all matters that affect the health and well being of their non-human family members. The current technique that we have used to determine the presence and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms causing disease in our pets is over a century old.

With the emergence of dangerous antibacterial resistance, it is critical that veterinarians are able to offer laser focused diagnostics and treatment. MiDog enables us to offer care that exceeds the typical standard of care.”

Bernadine Cruz, DVM, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital Laguna Woods, CA

“I love the absolute abundance and comparing the fungal with bacterial infection. I do not worry as much about getting a false negative urinary infection reading as I do with traditional urine cultures. Several times the same urine would culture negative but MiDOG would detect pathogens.”

Michael Morgan, DVMQuail Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“The MiDOG All-in-One Test is amazing, I would use it instead of culture and sensitivity.  Such rapid and detailed results, I will reach for MiDOG before culture next time!

Thank you very much MiDOG, for sharing the opportunity to try your technology.”

Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, President of Forensic Veterinary Investigations, LLC – Boston, MA

The MiDOG All-in-One Microbial Test is our new gold standard of pathogen identification. The results are so accurate and valuable – especially with assessing both bacterial and fungal infections with the same sample.

Thank you MiDOG!”

Kathy Wentworth, DVM, Diplomate ABVP Canine and Feline Practice – PetPoint Medical Center, Irvine, CA

“The MiDOG staff was extremely helpful and supportive.”

Cathy Curtis, DVM – London, UK

“I have had great results using the MiDOG® Test. Compared to traditional culture tests, I am better able to target the treatment for dogs because the MiDOG® Test is so sensitive that it identifies all pathogens including bacteria and fungi, as well as antibiotic sensitivity.

The cost and turnaround time are about the same as a culture test, but I get much more data. The test has great performance and I believe the NGS technology will be a game changer for veterinarians treating dogs with lesions or other infections.”

Michael Kavanagh, DVM, Practice owner – Saddleback Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“It’s helpful to have an NGS spectrum because it gives you a broader insight of what’s happening and what might be going on.”

Richard Harvey BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS – European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology – Head of Dermatology, Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service – Solihull, England UK

“I have been using MiDog for over 4 years now and exclusively as my test of choice for all cultures for 3 years.  It is so great to submit a culture and feel confident there will be a result when it comes back, especially for urine cultures.  The reports were intimidating at first because they contain so much information.  After the first few, I am now quickly able to glance over it and pick out the highlights.  I can then come back later and pour over all the details.  I have been extremely pleased with my patients’ results using the test as well.  I don’t envision ever going back to traditional culture and susceptibilities again.”

Brian M. Urmson, DVM, Columbiana Veterinary Associates

“As an exotic veterinarian, there are numerous tests we have to consider to check specific bacterial and fungal organisms based on the species. MiDOG eliminates the need for many of these separate samples and provides definitive results quickly to help us treat our patients more efficiently and effectively. The lab is wonderful to work with and has never rejected our samples- they even processed a lizard toe we amputated and determined the cause of skin infection.”

Dr. Melissa Giese, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

“MiDOG’s diagnostic approach offers the unique ability to identify pathogens that evade traditional culture and sensitivity testing. I have found that adding a molecular based testing approach in the form of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) from MiDOG to my routine diagnostic cultures can be extremely helpful in the identification and diagnosis of uncommon pathogens in veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Wayne Rosenkrantz, Animal Dermatology Clinic – Tustin

“She [Dr. Krumbeck] really did a great job of making complicated concepts accessible and demonstrating the value of your services. I’m really looking forward to working with MiDOG on my research project!”

Dr. Yaicha Peters, Animal Dermatology Clinic – San Diego

“As a proud collaborator with MiDOG, I deeply appreciate their dedication to fostering partnerships between industry and veterinary experts. Their commitment to enhancing diagnostic quality for veterinarians is commendable. In my experience, their support has been invaluable, earning them a ‘Double A+, Triple Star’ rating. Their assistance has been faultless, contributing significantly to the success of my projects and studies. I eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration.”

Dr. Richard Harvey, BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS; European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

“We’re seeing that, if we prescribe too many antibiotics or they’re taken too frequently, animals are developing inappropriate or pathogenic strains of bacteria. We’re also seeing that our antibiotics are just not working against them anymore… It’s a good example of why we need better diagnostic testing, like MiDOG, so that we’re selecting the correct antibiotic every time our patients have an infection.”

Dr. Alissa Rexo, DVM, CVA, DACVD, Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Dermatology

“The NGS technique as offered by MiDOG is wonderful because pathogens like Melissococcus plutonius, for example, are difficult to grow and keep alive in the laboratory. A standard laboratory cannot truly examine or even properly diagnose this pathogen in bee hives at this time. But with NGS, we can reliably diagnose it.”

Dr. Joerg Mayer, Entomologist and Microbiologist at the University of Georgia

“For me, as a clinician and as a researcher, I see the immense value in the product [the All-in-One Test]. I have had great success using MiDOG clinically, including identifying Mycoplasma in a 24 year old pigeon, a Nannizziopsis spp in a ball python from a large pet distributor, Mycoplasma and Fusobacterium necrophorum co-infection in a peacock, and to identify an abnormal gut GI in a technician’s dog that tested negative for everything else (but we were able to establish what was abnormal, and work toward fixing it).”

Dr. Jeremy Rayl – Veterinarian, Block House Creek Animal Hospital, Cedar Park, Texas