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Outcome and complications associated with treatment of pemphigus foliaceus in dogs: 43 cases (1994–2000)

Sheila M. GomezDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Present address is Veterinary Surgical and Diagnostic Specialists, 34 Trenton-Lakewood Rd, Clarksburg, NJ 08510.

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

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Michele R. RosenbaumDepartment of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Present address is Veterinary Specialists of Rochester, 825 White Spruce Blvd, Rochester, NY 14623.

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Michael H. GoldschmidtDepartment of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Abstract

Objective—To identify factors affecting prognosis, outcome, and complications associated with pemphigus foliaceus in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—43 dogs with pemphigus foliaceus.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, age at diagnosis, duration to diagnosis, body area affected, initial immunosuppressive regimens and concurrent use of antimicrobials and sucralfate or histamine receptor 2 blocking agent, adverse effects of treatment, duration of treatment, number of visits for follow-up care, cause of death, and credentials of the veterinarians responsible for continued care.

Results—The case fatality rate was 60.5%. Factors significantly correlated with survival time included concurrent use of antimicrobials during initiation of immunosuppressive treatment and a lower number of adverse effects to treatment. Treatment times lasting more than 10 months from diagnosis correlated significantly with survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with or prophylactic use of antimicrobials may be warranted during initial immunosuppressive treatment. The inverse correlation between survival time and number of adverse treatment effects was not unexpected because it was reflective of the owners' decision to euthanatize their dogs and of corticosteroid-related secondary diseases. Survival beyond the tenth month of treatment predicted long-term survival, which suggests that dogs require careful management during the early months of treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1312–1316)

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors affecting prognosis, outcome, and complications associated with pemphigus foliaceus in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—43 dogs with pemphigus foliaceus.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, age at diagnosis, duration to diagnosis, body area affected, initial immunosuppressive regimens and concurrent use of antimicrobials and sucralfate or histamine receptor 2 blocking agent, adverse effects of treatment, duration of treatment, number of visits for follow-up care, cause of death, and credentials of the veterinarians responsible for continued care.

Results—The case fatality rate was 60.5%. Factors significantly correlated with survival time included concurrent use of antimicrobials during initiation of immunosuppressive treatment and a lower number of adverse effects to treatment. Treatment times lasting more than 10 months from diagnosis correlated significantly with survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with or prophylactic use of antimicrobials may be warranted during initial immunosuppressive treatment. The inverse correlation between survival time and number of adverse treatment effects was not unexpected because it was reflective of the owners' decision to euthanatize their dogs and of corticosteroid-related secondary diseases. Survival beyond the tenth month of treatment predicted long-term survival, which suggests that dogs require careful management during the early months of treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1312–1316)