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Canine Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis

  • Sarah Colombini
    Correspondence
    Gulf Coast Veterinary, Dermatology and Allergy, 1111 West Loop South, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77027
    Affiliations
    From the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Clinics, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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      Zinc is important in a multitude of biologic functions, including regulation of the immune response, modulation of keratogenesis and wound healing, maintenance of normal reproductive function, and acuity of taste and smell. Zinc-responsive dermatosis is an uncommon disease of dogs which results from either an absolute or relative deficiency in zinc. Dermatologic lesions are characterized by erythema, alopecia, scales and crusts, primarily affecting the head. Two forms of the disease exist, a familial form affecting Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, and a form that affects growing puppies fed zinc-deficient or oversupplemented diets. History, clinical signs, and skin biopsy are typically diagnostic. Life-long zinc supplementation is usually necessary in the familial form, while dietary correction alone may be curative in the second form. Lethal acrodermatitiis is a rare, inherited disorder of Bull Terriers that does not respond to zinc supplementation and is invariably fatal.
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