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Dermatologic disorders in dogs with diabetes mellitus: 45 cases (1986–2000)

Heather PeikesDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104- 6010.
Present address is Veterinary Internal Medicine and Allergy Specialists, 207 E 84th St, New York, NY 10028.

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Daniel O. MorrisDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104- 6010.

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Rebecka S. HessDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104- 6010.

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Abstract

Objective—To characterize skin lesions and causative infections in diabetic dogs and evaluate other potential causes of dermatologic disorders, including concurrent endocrinopathies, allergic skin disease, and long-term corticosteroid administration.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—45 dogs with diabetes mellitus (DM) that were examined by dermatologists.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment; allergic conditions prior to development of DM; prior corticosteroid administration; and results of dermatologic examinations, ear and skin cytologic examinations, skin scrapings for parasites, bacteriologic and fungal culturing of ear and skin specimens, histologic examinations, and endocrine testing.

Results—Bacterial skin infection was the most common dermatologic disorder (n = 38 [84%]), followed by otitis (26 [58%]) and Malassezia-induced dermatitis (19 [42%]). Twenty-two (49%) dogs had pruritic skin disease consistent with allergic dermatitis, which preceded diagnosis of DM. Prior corticosteroid administration was reported in 21 (47%) dogs. Concurrent hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed in 13 (29%) dogs, and concurrent hypothyroidism was diagnosed in 5 (11%) dogs. Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed in 1 additional dog. Only 10 (22%) dogs did not have a documented concurrent endocrinopathy or allergic disease that could have caused the dermatitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacterial and yeast-induced dermatitis and otitis develop in dogs with DM. Many diabetic dogs with dermatologic problems have a preexisting allergic condition, history of prior corticosteroid administration, or concurrent endocrinopathy that may be a more likely cause of dermatologic problems than DM alone. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001:219: 203–208)

Abstract

Objective—To characterize skin lesions and causative infections in diabetic dogs and evaluate other potential causes of dermatologic disorders, including concurrent endocrinopathies, allergic skin disease, and long-term corticosteroid administration.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—45 dogs with diabetes mellitus (DM) that were examined by dermatologists.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment; allergic conditions prior to development of DM; prior corticosteroid administration; and results of dermatologic examinations, ear and skin cytologic examinations, skin scrapings for parasites, bacteriologic and fungal culturing of ear and skin specimens, histologic examinations, and endocrine testing.

Results—Bacterial skin infection was the most common dermatologic disorder (n = 38 [84%]), followed by otitis (26 [58%]) and Malassezia-induced dermatitis (19 [42%]). Twenty-two (49%) dogs had pruritic skin disease consistent with allergic dermatitis, which preceded diagnosis of DM. Prior corticosteroid administration was reported in 21 (47%) dogs. Concurrent hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed in 13 (29%) dogs, and concurrent hypothyroidism was diagnosed in 5 (11%) dogs. Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed in 1 additional dog. Only 10 (22%) dogs did not have a documented concurrent endocrinopathy or allergic disease that could have caused the dermatitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacterial and yeast-induced dermatitis and otitis develop in dogs with DM. Many diabetic dogs with dermatologic problems have a preexisting allergic condition, history of prior corticosteroid administration, or concurrent endocrinopathy that may be a more likely cause of dermatologic problems than DM alone. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001:219: 203–208)