Canine Acanthosis Nigricans is a condition where the skin becomes darkened and thickened. There are 2 types of acanthosis nigricans: primary and secondary.
Primary Canine Acanthosis Nigricans
The initial sign of primary canine acanthosis nigricans is hyperpigmentation in the armpits. Eventually, the skin thickens and turns greasy with a nasty odor, with loss of hair. It may spread to the neck, chest, groin, abdomen, paw and ear. The itching is exacerbated by seborrhea, secondary bacterial and yeast infection. This condition usually affects dogs at around 6 months of age and is common in certain breeds, particularly the Daschund. This type of acanthosis nigricans is hereditary, so dogs with this condition should not be bred. Primary canine acanthosis nigricans can only be controlled, not cured. Anti-serborrheic bath and regular application of talc to intertrigo may provide temporary relief. Topical corticosteroids reduce inflammation, pain and itchiness while antibiotics is used to treat skin infection. Other treatments include vitamin E and injectable melatonin.
Primary canine acanthosis nigricans commonly affects the Daschund breed.
Secondary Canine Acanthosis Nigricans
Secondary canine acanthosis nigricans occurs in underlying disorders such as:
- dysfunction of endocrine gland (Cushing’s syndrome, canine hypothyroidism),
- excessive chafing or rubbing (in overweight dogs), and
- hypersensitivity to certain foods, and direct or indirect contact with allergens.
Any breed can develop secondary canine acanthosis nigricans and is determined by the dog’s susceptibility to the underlying disorders.
If the underlying disorder is identifiable and curable, then secondary canine acanthosis nigricans does not require treatment. It is cured once the underlying disorder is treated.
Should you notice any of the above signs canine acanthosis nigricans, consult your vet for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.