Scaling Skin (Exfoliative Dermatoses)
What are exfoliative dermatoses?
Exfoliative dermatoses are a group of skin disorders characterized by excessive or abnormal shedding of cells from the surface of the skin. This condition results from an increase in skin cell production, an increase in the shedding rate, or a decrease in the ability of skin cells to stick to each other. These skin cells, shed individually or in sheets, can be found throughout the animal's hair coat. The skin of an affected animal often becomes scaly in appearance. Exfoliative dermatoses may be seen in dogs or cats. Certain breeds of dogs tend to be at higher risk for developing exfoliative dermatoses than other breeds.
What causes exfoliative dermatoses?
Exfoliative dermatoses are a group of skin disorders with many causes. The term, exfoliative dermatoses, describes the scaling skin that is common to these disorders; it is not a diagnosis. Some primary causes of exfoliative dermatoses include oily skin (seborrhea), vitamin or nutritional deficiency, and inherited (genetically acquired) skin defects. Exfoliative dermatoses can be a sign of bacterial, fungal or parasitic skin infection; allergic skin disease; or hormonal imbalances.
What are the signs of exfoliative dermatoses?
Exfoliative dermatoses have the clinical sign of scaling skin in common. The animal often has a history of itchiness, excessive dandruff, and foul-smelling skin. Upon physical examination, the animal's coat may appear dry or greasy with abnormal amounts of scale found throughout the hair coat or on the skin. Debris may be stuck around the hair shafts and areas of hair loss may be seen. The animal may have additional signs depending on the underlying cause. The animal may have a secondary bacterial skin infection if the skin is damaged severely.
How are exfoliative dermatoses diagnosed?
Exfoliative dermatoses are diagnosed by medical history and physical examination. The veterinarian wants to diagnose the underlying cause to prescribe appropriate treatment. The animal's breed, age, and history are important in determining the underlying cause of exfoliative dermatoses. Laboratory tests (such as complete blood counts [CBCs], blood chemistries, and urinalysis) may be performed to evaluate the pet's general health status and to identify possible underlying causes of the scaling skin. A diagnostic skin work up may be performed. Tests may include skin scrapings, bacterial or fungal cultures, or skin biopsy (surgical removal and microscopic examination of skin). Specific hormonal tests may be performed if thyroid gland or adrenal gland problems are suspected. If allergies are likely, the veterinarian may perform intradermal skin tests or blood tests to identify likely substances (allergens) to which the animal is allergic.
How are exfoliative dermatoses treated?
The treatment for exfoliative dermatoses is directed at the scaling skin itself as well as the underlying cause. Exfoliative dermatoses can be treated with medications applied directly to the skin (topical). The animal is bathed with specialized shampoos and moisturizers, according to your veterinarian's directions. Whereas shampoos remove scales, they also potentially can cause excessive dryness and discomfort. Therefore, moisturizers are used to restore moisture or re-hydrate the skin. Antibiotics are required if bacterial skin infection is present. Additional treatment may be needed to treat the underlying cause of exfoliative dermatoses. Recheck examinations should be scheduled at regular intervals to monitor the response to treatment.
What is the prognosis for animals with exfoliative dermatoses?
The prognosis (outcome) for animals with exfoliative dermatoses can range from guarded to good, depending on the underlying cause. Treatment of exfoliative dermatoses often is required for the animal's entire life, since these conditions can recur or worsen.
Vet Med Center
Windsor Dog Show Results 201103/07/2011 08:53
Windsor Dog Show Results 2011
Crufts Results14/03/2011 09:48
Swedish Vallhund Results Crufts 2011
Finiish Winner Show 201022/12/2010 09:59
Helsinki Winner Show 201022/12/2010 09:55
Helsinki Winner Show 2010
Swedish Dog Show December 201021/12/2010 02:33