Monday, January 27, 2020



Also Known As: pyotraumatic dermatitis 

Transmission or cause: Potential underlying causes for hot spots include parasites (especially fleas or scabies mites), allergies (flea, pollen, food), skin infections by bacteria or fungus, or trauma. 

Affected Animals: Hot spots can affect dogs of any age, breed, or gender, but they occur most commonly in thickcoated/longhaired breeds, and in dogs with underlying causes such as parasites or allergies. Hot, humid weather can contribute to the development of hotspots. Hot spots occur rarely in cats. 

Clinical signs: Hot spots start when a dog incessantly licks, chews or scratches a focal area of the body in response to a painful or itchy sensation. The result is a rapidly developing area of redness, hairloss, oozing and eroded skin that is often painful and infected with bacteria. Hot spots occur most frequently on the trunk, base of the tail, outer thigh, neck or face. 

Diagnosis: The diagnosis of hot spot is by clinical presentation and history, and by ruling out other causes of hairloss and red skin such as skin parasites or fungal infection. Diagnostics may include close examination for fleas, skin scrapes for microscopic analysis, or fungal cultures. Additionally, it is important to identify and address the underlying cause of the hot spot, and in recurrent cases diagnostics may also include trial therapy for fleas or scabies, allergy testing, or a hypoallergenic diet trial. 

Prognosis: The prognosis for cure of hot spots is good, although they will tend to recur if the underlying cause is not addressed. 

Treatment: The treatment for hot spots often includes clipping and gently cleaning the affected area (this may necessitate sedation), then application of topical antibacterial and/or steroid-containing products to the area (products that contain alcohol should be avoided). Additionally, many cases need 2-3 weeks of systemic antibiotics for secondary bacterial infection, and/or a short course of oral steroids to stop self-trauma. Some dogs will need an Elizabethan collar to restrict contact with the area for several days. Treatment of the underlying cause is also important, and may include trial therapy for fleas or scabies, a hypoallergenic diet trial, or allergy hyposensitization injections based on allergy testing. 

Prevention: Prevention of hotspots is done by keeping the dog clean and parasite free, and the hair coat brushed and free of mats. It is often helpful to clip long coated dogs down in the warm months. Animals with underlying allergies must have these allergies addressed to avoid hot spot recurrence. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Sebaceous Adenitis

Sebaceous Adenitis 

Transmission or cause: The cause of sebaceous adenitis is unknown but the end result is inflammation of the sebaceous or oil gland associated with the hair follicles. Loss of the sebaceous gland leads to dysfunction of normal hair growth which results in hair loss. The underlying cause is probably a combination of genetic predisposition and immune-mediated sebaceous gland inflammation.

Affected animals: Sebaceous adenitis is an inflammatory disease that mostly affects young adult to middle aged dogs. Cats are rarely affected. Some breeds of dogs that are prone to sebaceous adenitis include Standard Poodles, Akitas, Vizslas, Samoyeds, and Belgian Sheepdogs. It is believed to be a recessive inherited trait in Standard Poodles.

Clinical signs: Most dogs will show a bilaterally symmetrical hair loss and excessive scaling especially around face, head, ears and trunk. Some dogs may develop a bald “rat-tail”. Many dogs may have a secondary bacterial infection of the skin with pimples, crusting and possible odor. Belgian Shepdogs may have a severe draining ear infection. Vizslas and Dachshunds often have circular areas crusting of hair loss that can spread and eventually merge together. The hairs of affected animals often have adherent surface debris surrounding the base of the hair called ‘hair casts’. Akitas often have more severe disease with red inflamed skin and greasy crusting and matting. Sebaceous adenitis is usually not itchy but can be if there is secondary infection.

Diagnosis: Sebaceous adenitis is suspected when the history and clinical signs are consistent. Microscopic examination of hairs from dogs with sebaceous adenitis often shows obvious hair casting. The definitive diagnosis of sebaceous adenitis is made by taking a skin biopsy which involves removing small pieces of skin after numbing the area with anesthetic and submitting the skin samples to a pathologist.

Prognosis: Some dogs can spontaneously improve but most dogs need lifelong control of their sebaceous adenitis. It is mostly a cosmetic disorder with no internal manifestations of disease.

Treatment: The treatment for sebaceous adenitis may involve anti-inflammatory therapy, retinoid drugs or vitamin A along with anti-scaling shampoos and emollient rinses. Treatment of secondary infections, if present, is also important. Some dogs respond better to some treatments than others, and trying different therapies may be necessary. The goal of therapy is to alleviate and slow progression of symptoms, but only partial improvement may be seen.

Prevention: Prevention of sebaceous adenitis involves not breeding affected animals.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Zinc Responsive Dermatosis

Zinc Responsive Dermatosis

Transmission or Cause: Two distinct syndromes have been recognized: 

Syndrome I zinc-responsive dermatosis: is associated with a defective intestinal absorption of zinc despite being fed a nutritionally well-balanced diet. 

Syndrome II zinc-responsive dermatosis: occurs in rapidly growing puppies / young dogs being fed zinc deficient diets or diets which have high phytates (plant proteins), diets high in minerals, such as calcium, which can interfere with zinc absorption, and/or are fed cereal or soy based diets. Prolonged gastrointestinal disease resulting in chronic enteritis and diarrhea can also interfere with zinc absorption. 

Affected Animals: Syndrome I zinc-responsive dermatosis – This syndrome has been recognized primarily in Alaskan malamutes and Siberian Huskies. Skin lesions typically develop in young adults but onset of disease has been described in older pets. Syndrome II zinc-responsive dermatosis – This syndrome has been described in a plethora of breeds, including the Great Dane, Doberman pinscher, beagle, Boston terrier, German shepherd, and standard Poodle, amongst others. 

Clinical Signs: 

Syndrome I – Skin lesions tend to first occur in September through January and can worsen during estrus or times of stress. Lesions present as red skin with hair loss and crusting around the mouth, chin, eyes and ears. The scrotum, vulva, prepuce and pressure points, such as the elbows and footpads, can also be affected. Lesions are typically itchy.

Syndrome II – Skin lesions typically form on pressure points, nasal planum and footpads and present as thickened, crusted plaques. Fissures can form in thickened, crusted areas. Affected dogs can also have enlarged lymph nodes and develop secondary skin infections. 

Diagnosis: Diagnosis in both syndromes is made through physical examination, a thorough history and biopsy. Hair and serum levels of zinc may also be abnormal; however, analysis of zinc can be difficult and unreliable and so this test is not typically performed.


Syndrome I – Oral zinc supplementation typically brings rapid resolution of the clinical signs. Some dogs do not achieve clinical resolution with oral zinc supplementation alone; in those cases, low doses of corticosteroids are beneficial. Some dogs also benefit with the addition of fatty acids in addition to zinc. Intact female dogs should be spayed. Treatment is generally lifelong. 

Syndrome II – Treatment is focused on dietary correction and treatment of secondary bacterial and yeast skin infections. Generally lesions should resolve within 2-6 weeks with dietary manipulation, but concurrent zinc supplementation can hasten the resolution. Unlike Syndrome I, zinc supplementation can be discontinued after a few weeks. 

Prognosis: Prognosis is good with response to therapy. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Pemphigus foliaceus (PF)

Pemphigus foliaceus (PF)

Transmission or Cause: Pemphigus foliaceus is an autoimmune disease whereby antibodies produced by an animal’s own immune system attack the bridges that hold skin cells together. It is the most common autoimmune disease diagnosed in dogs and cats. Affected Animals: Dogs and cats of any age or gender can be affected. In dogs, Akitas, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, Dachshunds, and Newfoundlands may be predisposed. No breed predilections exist with cats. Three forms of Pemphigus foliaceus exist in the dog. The first and most common is the spontaneous form which develops in dogs with no history of skin disease or drug history. The second form of Pemphigus foliaceus is initiated via a drug reaction. The third form occurs in dogs with a history of chronic skin disease (e.g. allergies). 

Clinical Signs: The primary lesion of Pemphigus foliaceus is a pustule. These lesions typically begin along the nasal bridge, around the eyes, and ear pinnae. It is typical for the lesions to spread and occur along the trunk, feet, clawbeds, groin, and footpads. In cats, the nail beds and nipples can also be commonly affected. In most cases, the pustules form and rupture very quickly, so that all that there is left to observe are areas of hair loss, yellow-brown dried crusts, redness and scale. Severely affected animals may become anorexic, depressed and have a fever. The disease itself often displays a waxing/waning course. 

Diagnosis: The diagnosis of Pemphigus foliaceus is made by clinical signs, cytology, and biopsy. Other diseases that can appear similar to Pemphigus foliaceus include infection (bacterial, parasitic, fungal), seborrheic skin disease, and varying forms of lupus. Skin scrapes would be performed to rule out external parasites via microscopic analysis. A fungal culture would be done to rule out ringworm (a type of common fungus). Samples of debris from intact pustules or crusts can allow for a diagnosis of Pemphigus foliaceus. In some cases, multiple skin biopsies are required to confirm the diagnosis of Pemphigu foliaceus. 

Treatment: Localized cases of Pemphigus foliaceus can be treated with varying strengths of topical steroids. The mainstay of therapy for more generalized cases in both dogs and cats Pemphigus Foliaceus are oral glucocorticoids (e.g. Prednisone). In order to minimize the potential side effects of glucocorticoids (e.g. weight gain, excessive drinking and urinating, liver enlargement), nonsteroidal immunosuppressive drugs are added to the regimen. In dogs, azathioprine and/or cyclosporine can be utilized, while in cats leukeran and/or cyclosporine are the most popular supportive drugs. Other nonsteroidal immunosuppressive drugs include gold salts (dogs and cats) and tetracycline/niacinamide (dogs). Affected animals are started at higher dosages initially until remission is achieved (4-12 weeks), and then are tapered to the lowest possible dosages that maintain remission. 

Prognosis: The prognosis is fair to good, but lifelong therapy is usually required to maintain remission. Cases of Pemphigus foliaceus that are induced by a drug reaction, are the most likely to be cured. Regular monitoring of clinical signs, hemograms, serum biochemistry profiles, urinalyses, and urine cultures with treatment adjustments as needed are essential.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Sebaceous Adenoma

#terminologytuesday #sebaceous #adenoma #teachingtuesday #techtuesday #tellalltuesday
Have you seen these, on your pet or other pets, before?

Sebaceous Adenoma - A benign tumor of the oil gland (sebaceous) cells of the skin. Although these tumors are commonly called “old dog warts” due to their appearance, they are not true warts as they are not viral-induced.

Our disease info page has more great info.

If your pet has something similar and you are worried - call us for an appointment. 877-604-8366

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Year's pet safety tips πŸ₯‚πŸΎπŸΎ

Celebrating Safely: Ringing In the New Year with Your Pets

While Yuletide treats, gifts and holiday bouquets are probably making their way out of your home, the season isn’t over just yet. There’s still one more holiday we are counting down the days to, so before you break out the noisemakers and champagne, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to help you prepare for a fun and safe New Year’s Eve with your pets with these safety tips.  

Keep an Eye on the Alcohol (and Other Substances)

New Year’s Eve is a unique holiday, and it’s one time of year when a large number of pets get into alcohol. Alcohol ingestion in pets can lead to depression, unsteady walking, vomiting, and in severe cases, a serious drop in blood pressure and body temperature. Just one mixed drink can be fatal for a small dog. What’s more, pets (dogs in particular) love to sniff out seasonal chocolates that may be filled with alcohol—so be sure to keep any and all alcoholic substances safely out of paws’ reach.

In addition, the APCC has received an increasing number of calls about pets ingesting marijuana as it becomes legalized in more and more states. Marijuana in edible form, such as in chocolates or brownies, is also becoming more popular—meaning that the drug can be found by a curious pup seeking off-limits treats. Marijuana can cause your pet to become unsteady, sleepy and sensitive to touch, and can cause a decrease in their heart rate and body temperature. In rare cases, seizures and death may be possible. If you suspect your pet may have ingested marijuana, make sure to contact a veterinarian or the APCC right away, and always be sure to keep any marijuana or marijuana-related products up and away from your pets.

Be Wary of Fireworks

While the Fourth of July is biggest holiday for fireworks, the APCC does receive a large number of calls about these potentially frightening noisemakers on New Year’s Eve. Not only will you want to ensure that your pet has a safe, comfortable place to find sanctuary away from the booming sounds of fireworks, but you should also remember that dogs will eat anything—even if does not seem like it would taste good! Be sure to monitor poppers, noisemakers and explosives before, during and after displays, and always keep a close eye on your pet to prevent any potential problems.

Don’t be Taken by Surprise

You may be planning a night out with family and friends to celebrate the oncoming New Year, which means that your pet might be home alone with loud, confusing noises coming from outside. Before you go out, do a quick double check around the house to make sure that all exits are secured, and do what you can to make your pet feel comfortable and safe in your home. As always, remove anything harmful (plantsfoodsmedications, etc.) that your pet could get into, should they decide they need to chew on something.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun! 

While we want you to be prepared for any potential dangers, we also want to make sure you have fun with your favorite furry friends as you wave goodbye to 2017 and say hello to 2018. Below is a list of activities you can try with your pet for a fun celebration:
  • Don your dapper apparel. Dress up with your pet to make for a very Instagram-worthy New Year’s Eve. 
  • Cuddle up for a movie marathon. This is the perfect activity for those looking for a comfortable night in. 
  • Have a baking party. Invite some of your friends and their furry friends over and have fun baking some pet-friendly treats. 
  • Watch the ball drop together! What better way to ring in the New Year than with kisses from your favorite furry friend? 
Stay safe this holiday season, and if you fear that your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous ingredient or object, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435 right away.

Happy  Holidaysand a Happy New Year!


Also Known As: Bacterial skin infection, bacterial folliculitis 

Transmission or cause: Common underlying causes for bacterial skin infections include trauma, allergies (flea, pollen, food), parasitic infestation, hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, autoimmune diseases, or immunosuppressive medications. 

Affected Animals: Bacterial skin infections can affect a dog of any breed, age, or gender, however dogs with underlying conditions such as allergies, parasites, or hormonal diseases are more commonly affected. Cats can also be affected by bacterial skin infections, most commonly abscesses secondary to fighting. 

Clinical signs: Localized, multifocal or generalized areas of hairloss, pimples, red bumps, and crusts are most commonly seen with a superficial bacterial pyoderma. Short-coated dogs may have a moth-eaten appearance, or small tufts of hair standing up. Long-coated dogs may hide the skin lesions and just have a dull coat and scaling, but when the coat is clipped, the underlying crusts or rash are evident. In some dogs, the bacterial infection penetrates deeper, and symptoms such as thickened, inflamed skin with draining tracts or ulcers and pus or bloody discharge can be seen. Dogs with bacterial skin infections may have itching that ranges from mild to severe.

Diagnosis: The diagnosis of bacterial skin infection is based on symptoms, clinical appearance, and by ruling out the other causes of similar skin lesions such as demodex mites or fungal infection. Diagnostic tests such as skin scrapes and microscopic analysis for mites and bacteria are usually performed, and a fungal culture may be also recommended. Occasionally skin biopsies or cultures are obtained in cases which are chronic or unresponsive to medications. Additionally, in recurrent cases of bacterial skin infections, it is important to identify the underlying cause, and diagnostics such as allergy testing, a hypoallergenic diet trial, or blood testing for hormonal diseases may be warranted.

Prognosis: The prognosis for an uncomplicated superficial bacterial skin infection is good, as the infection is cleared by a 2-3 week course or oral antibiotics. The prognosis for deeper infections is good to guarded depending on the underlying cause of the infection, and oral antibiotics may be needed for 1-3 months. The prognosis for recurrent skin Pyoderma infections also varies depending on the underlying cause, and some animals are not cured, but controlled with intermittent antibiotic therapy and/or topical antibacterial medications.

Treatment: Treatment for superficial skin infections is usually a 2-3 week course of oral antibiotics. Deeper skin infections are treated with antibiotics for 1-3 months. Topical antibacterial shampoos, creams, or sprays can also be helpful adjunctive therapy, and sometimes can be used as the only therapy in very mild or localized infections. In animals with recurrent or deep skin infections it is essential to identify and treat the underlying cause.