This is a recently recognized disorder in young German shorthaired pointers. Inflammation in the skin results in scaling and crusting on the head, the lower legs, and on the scrotum. The areas affected gradually spread and are commonly painful or itchy. There may be an immune component to this condition.
Skin changes are usually noticed at about 6 months of age. The skin on the head, lower legs, and scrotum is affected first, becoming thickened and crusty. The lesions are painful or itchy, and commonly spread, or may wax and wane. The nails may fall out and some dogs develop a fever and swollen lymph nodes.
The diagnosis is made through a skin biopsy. This is a simple procedure done with local anesthetic, in which your veterinarian removes a small sample of your dog's skin for examination by a veterinary pathologist. The biopsy will show inflammatory changes in the skin, consistent with this condition.
No consistently effective treatment has been found as yet.
For the veterinarian: Some treatments that have been tried with varying success are anti-seborrheic baths, retinoids, immunosuppressive corticosteroids, and fatty acid supplements.
Occasional dogs with this disorder show proteinuria and a positive antinuclear antibody titer.
Affected dogs, their siblings, and parents should not be bred. In this way, this new condition may be eliminated before it becomes established in the breed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DISORDER, PLEASE SEE YOUR VETERINARIAN.
Scott, D.W., Miller, W.H., Griffin, C.E. 1995. Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology. p. 765 W.B. Saunders Co., Toronto.
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