What are Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels?
Health problems with your dog can actually be determined from his skin, which is a sort of reflection of his well-being. Itching, redness, and swelling are a few signals there may be an underlying illness waiting to be discovered.
There are many causes and determining factors with vasculitis, so it is essential to bring your dog to see the veterinarian rather than treat it at home. Some home remedies can cause the situation to get worse or mask a more serious illness.
Inflammation of the skin blood vessels (cutaneous vasculitis) is presented as swelling, redness, rash, and possibly itching. When the blood vessels in the skin are inflamed, they become weak, stretched out, and enlarged. This causes redness, swelling, rash, itching, and sometimes pain. This is most common in the skin of the tips of the ears, nose, tail, paws, scrotum, and genital area.
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Symptoms of Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels in Dogs
- Flaky skin
- Hair loss
- Decreased appetite
- Raised purpura (purple blotches)
Causes of Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels in Dogs
Older dogs and those with compromised immune systems due to another illness are more susceptible to Inflammation of the skin blood vessels. It is also more common in German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dachshunds, Jack Russell & Scottish Terriers, and Greyhounds. This may be of a genetic nature. Vasculitis caused by vaccines more commonly affects silky-haired small dogs, such as Maltese, Bichon Frise, Pekingese, Poodles, and Yorkshire & Silky Terriers. This is also suspected to be genetic. There are many other causes of cutaneous vasculitis such as:
- Viral (Coronavirus, Parvovirus)
- Protozoan (Sarcocystis, Leishmania)
- Rickettsia (Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Babesia, Anaplasma)
- Allergy (food or insect bites)
- Insect bites (fleas, mites)
- Immune system disorder (Discoid lupus)
Diagnosis of Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels in Dogs
Your veterinarian will do a thorough examination of the affected part of your dog’s skin as well as a complete overall examination. He will look for any redness, scratches, rashes, or bald spots that will give him an idea of what lab tests to run. It is important that you have all of the details of your dog’s condition leading up to this visit to the clinic, such as when it started, if it has spread or gotten worse, any medicines or home remedies you have used, if you started a new food, and how your dog’s behavior has changed. Some of the lab tests the doctor will run are:
- CBC with differential
- Rickettsial screening
- Skin scraping
- Fungal culture
- Bacterial culture
The veterinarian may also decide to do an intradermal skin test for allergies. Your vet will inject tiny amounts of certain allergens in the surface of your dog’s skin to see if there is any reaction. If this does not turn up any positive results, he will have to do a skin biopsy, which can show thinning or ulcerated skin, abnormal or cancerous cells. These tests are all virtually painless for your pooch, but if he is uncomfortable or anxious, your veterinarian may decide to sedate him.
Treatment of Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels in Dogs
If the cause of the inflammation of the skin blood vessels is determined to be fungal, bacterial, or microbial, the veterinarian can treat him with an ointment, antibiotic, or an injection. He will also send you home with medicine (oral or topical) to continue treating until your follow-up examination.
If the vasculitis is caused by allergies, whether it is from an insect bite, vaccination, food, or of unknown origin; your veterinarian will treat your dog with prednisolone, or another form of steroid medication and skin ointment.
An autoimmune disease, such as lupus, could also be the reason for your dog’s skin condition. Discoid lupus is a disease that usually only affects the skin around the nose, eyes, ears, and genitals. The plaques and lesions caused by discoid lupus can turn into ulcers, which can destroy the tissues of the skin. With proper care, the outlook of discoid lupus is excellent. Treatment includes steroids, vitamin E, and omega-3 acids as well as staying out of the sun and using proper sunscreen.
Recovery of Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels in Dogs
Regardless of the cause of the inflammation of the skin blood vessels, the most important thing is to follow the veterinarian’s instructions. If he prescribed any medication, be certain to continue to use them until they are gone unless otherwise directed. Even if it seems like the vasculitis is gone and your dog is better, you should still continue to use the medication as directed.
Your veterinarian may want a follow-up examination in seven to ten days to be sure the inflammation is gone. The prognosis for vasculitis is good as long as you finish the medication and follow the veterinarian’s instructions.
Inflammation of the Skin Blood Vessels Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog has vasculitis we have tried prednisone, doxcyciclyne and another one that startsw with p, I forgot the name, it is helping bur not working.... I don't know what to do anymore... is there any other solution ?
Vasculitis in dogs may be caused by a reaction to medication, symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus, allergies, tumours or in the majority of case idiopathic. Diagnosis is based on biopsy of lesions. In cases of drug reaction, the removal of treatment usually resolves the condition; for other causes of vasculitis, glucocorticoids (prednisone) along with immunosuppressant’s (azathioprine or cyclophosphamide) may be used separately or in combination, you would need to discuss Arthur’s suitability for treatment with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
My dog has been diagnosed with vasculitis! We have had him to our regular vet and to a dermatologist specialist. He has stayed at the vet for two weeks and has been on various medications. He seems to be getting no relief! Can't stand seeing him like this! HELP!
Jack Russell recently diagnosed. treatment is prednisone doxycycline and cyclosporin. he is improving steadily 2 weeks into treatment.
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Our 6 yr old hound mix has just experienced skin inflammation (red bumps, scabing, itchy) and it's spreading all over his back, groin area, and belly. We received a medicated shampoo from our vet but it's not changing the symptoms we're seeing (and using it for 2 weeks.) We need a second opinion! (He has the same energy level, eating normally and no other symptoms we can see.)
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My dog has been recently diagnosed with vasculitis and it has manifested on the tip of her ears. The tips of her ears were replaced with scabs. It started perhaps in May and has been continuing. The vet put her on pentoxifylline almost a month ago but not much has improved. She has recently been having a sort of "cough". I wouldn't call this dry heaving but it is like when you have the flu and when you cough, there is mucus in your throat. That is what is sounds like; a wet cough. And she coughs every few minutes or so. I want to know if this is simply a side effect of the condition or the medicine or if this something worse.
Cough isn’t a noted side effect of pentoxifylline in dogs (but that doesn’t mean that it is not); side effects are usually gastrointestinal (vomiting and loss of appetite) and may also cause dizziness, increased heart rate and restlessness. Cough may be caused by a variety of different causes including allergies, chemical irritation (any new cleaning products in the home?), infection, laryngeal disorders etc… It would be best to have your Veterinarian take a look to be on the safe side and to catch anything before it becomes more serious. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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My sheepadoodle has vasculitis. He's 6 months old and weights 38 pounds. He comes from bad breeding which we didn't know until after we bought him. We found another dog from a previous litter with the same problem. My vet isn't too familiar with this problem but put him on 400mg of pentoxifylline which he been on for 2 weeks and his feet have got worse. The other dog with this has been on 600mg of the same medicine and it's not worked. My dogs feet are a bloody mess. What are we doing wrong to treat this. I am at my wits end. This poor dog doesn't deserve this. I need help!
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