Canine Idiopathic Sterile Nodular Panniculitis.

One of our Holidays4Dogs carers came across this condition affecting one of her doggy guests and thought it would be a good subject for an article.  Charlie the dog had been quite poorly with this condition but the vet was baffled as to what the problem might be and samples were sent away for analysis.

Poor Charlie had a lot of abscesses that would not heal, resulting in a very long course of antibiotics and his owners were very worried about him.  Thankfully, Charlie recovered but Holidays4Dogs were intrigued to learn more about this un-common canine disease.

Although the disease is considered to be rare and generally given little attention in veterinary literature, some academics believe it could be more common than first thought.  In addition, it is a known fact that miniature dachshunds, poodles and corgis are all predisposed to the condition which suggests a genetic root in the development of this disease.

Panniculitis is a condition which affects the layer of fat beneath the skin causing it to become inflamed but the exact cause is not completely understood; however, it is not thought to be related to bacterial infection or fungus.  It can affect cats as well as dogs. The inflammation results in spots and nodules on the surface of the skin that can be soft or firm and are often painful.  These spots can readily burst and release an oily discharge that can be clear, brown or blood coloured.

Lesions commonly occur on the head, neck, chest and abdomen of the affected animal and can vary in size and spread.

There is some speculation that the condition is caused by vaccines or autoimmune diseases as well as potentially being the result of Vitamin E deficiency.

Diagnosing this condition can only be done by taking skin scrapings to rule out infections and because the cause is unknown it is impossible to prevent.  Treatment usually consists of immunosuppressive drugs like steroids, but some experts suggest Vitamin E may be helpful.

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