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 factors that contribute to the development of ulcerative dermatitis in rodents as reported by laboratory animal science professionals.
Factors that Contribute to Ulcerative Dermatitis
There are many factors that may contribute to the incidence of ulcerative dermatitis in laboratory rodents. Through the survey, we sought to gather insights on the associations between age, strain, sex, and diet with the development of UD. Understanding these contributing factors can help researchers and animal care professionals devise effective preventive and intervention strategies to minimize the incidence of ulcerative dermatitis in laboratory animals. By addressing these factors and prioritizing the nutritional needs of rodents, we can contribute to the improved welfare and overall well-being of these animals in research vivaria.
First, we wanted to uncover whether or not ulcerative dermatitis could appear more often in specific strains of mice. Most laboratory animal professionals that participated in the survey (65.0%) agree that UD is more prevalent in specific strains of mice. These participants were then asked to share which strains they believe are more susceptible to UD, and the majority (70.3%) identified the C57BL/6. Later in the survey, we asked respondents what they believed to be the leading cause of ulcerative dermatitis and strain was the number one answer (outlined in the chart below).
Strain certainly seems to be one of the more influential factors, but age might be worth considering as well. To better understand the role age may play in the incidence of ulcerative dermatitis, we asked survey respondents about the age range that they notice the most occurrences of UD. These results are displayed in the chart below; birth to six weeks (6.1%), six weeks to six months (31.9%), six months to one year (49.1%), and older than one year (12.9%). According to survey respondents, the age range where UD occurs the most is six months to one year, implying that mice may become more susceptible to UD as they age. This is potentially an area that warrants further research.
Another area we focused on in the survey is nutrition and its potential impact on ulcerative dermatitis. We specifically asked participants whether or not a high-fat diet could lead to a higher incidence of UD in rodents. The responses were mixed, with 54.6% indicating a high-fat diet does not increase an animal’s susceptibility to UD and 45.4% agreeing it does. Nutrition can certainly play a role, although the basis for its impact might be more complicated than just the absence or presence of certain macronutrients. Stay tuned as ClearH2O explores the potential role of nutrition in preventing and treating ulcerative dermatitis in rodents.
Unlock More Insights and Download the Free 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.
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