Incidence of Ulcerative Dermatitis: Insights from the 2023 UD Survey

ClearH2O conducted a comprehensive survey of 160+ experienced animal care professionals on the topic of ulcerative dermatitis (UD) in research vivaria. The survey aimed to explore their first-hand experiences with UD, ranging from incidence rates to potential causes, treatment methods, and the pivotal role that nutrition may play in prevention and intervention. The insights contained will aid in understanding and addressing this critical issue to uncover solutions and improve the welfare of laboratory animals. In this post, we explore the incidence rate of ulcerative dermatitis in rodents as reported by laboratory animal science professionals.

Incidence of Ulcerative Dermatitis

Understanding the frequency of new ulcerative dermatitis occurrences helps illustrate how prominent this issue is among laboratory animals science facilities. Before asking respondents to share some of the factors they felt could contribute to a higher incidence rate of UD, we first wanted to get a sense of how frequently a new case of UD is presented in their vivarium. We asked survey respondents, “How often do you see a new case of ulcerative dermatitis at your vivarium?” 26.4% of respondents indicated seeing less than one case per month, 35.6% of respondents selected one case per week, and 38.0% of participants said that they see multiple new cases of UD per week. These data are outlined in the chart below:

How often do you see a new case of ulcerative dermatitis at your vivarium?

In summary, 73.6% of respondents reported seeing a new case of ulcerative dermatitis once per week or more. This demonstrates that UD is a regularly occurring condition in vivaria across the globe. The remainder of our survey was focused on understanding what factors contribute to an increased incidence of ulcerative dermatitis and how laboratory animal professionals are treating the condition. 

Seasonality and Ulcerative Dermatitis

Although many animal care facilities are equipped with climate control technology which limit variables such as temperature and humidity, we were curious to what degree different seasons could play a role in increasing the incidence of UD. We asked survey participants, “Is UD more prevalent during specific times of the year?” 57.7% of respondents said there is no difference based on season, 14.7% said it is more prevalent in winter, 13.5% said it is more prevalent in spring, 12.3% selected summer, and 1.8% picked fall. These data are outlined in the chart below:

Is UD more prevalent during specific times of the year?

Ultimately, the majority of participants agree that the time of year does not have an effect on the animals’ susceptibility to ulcerative dermatitis. For those that do think there is a correlation, the data is relatively mixed. The full survey report explores many of the other factors that may have a greater impact on the incidence rate of ulcerative dermatitis.

Unlock More Insights and Download the Report

The full 2023 Ulcerative Dermatitis Survey Report is available now! 160+ research laboratory animal professionals shared their insights about the incidence of ulcerative dermatitis, the factors that contribute to its progression and development, the treatment methods available, and more.

Click below to download your copy of the report today:



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