Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs

Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis?

Psoriasiform-lichenoid Dermatosis, or Dermatitis, in dogs is a harmless condition of the skin which affects English Springer Spaniels. Typically this rare disorder only affects the breed when they are 2 or 3 years old. Dogs that develop psoriasiform-lichenoid dermatosis have noticeable bumps, similar to warts, on their abdomen and inner ear.  Psoriasiform is a dermatosis similar to psoriasis, and lichenoid, namely a lichenoid eruption, is a disease of the skin which damages the layer between the dermis and epidermis. 

In English Springer Spaniels, this disorder can develop between 4-18 months of age in both males and females. The dogs typically have no other symptoms in addition to the papules and plaques that develop in the specific areas. The one characteristic of this skin condition is that it is symmetric; if one ear is affected the other one typically is as well. In areas where Psoriasiform-lichenoid Dermatosis occurs, the dog, over time, may develop thickening of the skin and the disorder also spreads to the face and trunk, and possibly the perineal section of the dog.

Psoriasiform-lichenoid Dermatosis in dogs is a condition in which English Springer Spaniels develop noticeable bumps on the skin, typically on the ears and abdomen.

Symptoms of Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs

Symptoms of Psoriasiform-lichenoid Dermatosis are similar for each dog. If your dog exhibits the following symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Symptoms include:

  • Lesions on the pinnae
  • Lesions on the ventral trunk area
  • Genital lesions
  • Oily or “greasy” skin
  • Possible discharge
  • Scaling of the skin


There are many types of skin disorders in many breeds which are genetic. Types of skin disorders that are inherited include:

  • Dermoid cysts
  • Epitheliogenesis imperfecta
  • Alopecia
  • Canine ichthyosiform dermatoses
  • Familial footpad hyperkeratosis
  • Granulomatous sebaceous adenitis
  • Albinism
  • Vitiligo
  • Acquired aurotrichia

Causes of Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs

Causes of this disorder are due to breeding dogs which are carriers of this skin condition. Causes include:

  • Breed prediction of English Springer Spaniel
  • Possible Staphylococcus infection
  • Allergic reaction to the long-term usage of oral cyclosporine

Diagnosis of Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs

If your dog is showing symptoms of this skin disorder, and once you visit the veterinarian, he will closely observe the skin of your dog. He will do a complete physical examination of your dog, including blood work, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile to rule out any other possible conditions.

Your veterinarian may notice round pustules which may contain pus or fluid. He may choose to test these pustules for other diagnoses, such as lichenoid keratosis, ringworm, color dilution alopecia, or pinnal alopecia. These skin conditions may be confused with Psoriasiform-lichenoid Dermatosis.

In order to make a definitive diagnosis, your veterinarian will need to take a skin biopsy. This procedure is accomplished using a local anesthetic and then the medical professional will remove a tiny portion of the skin. After that, the skin sample is sent to the laboratory for testing.

Treatment of Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs

Once your dog has been diagnosed with Psoriasiform-lichenoid Dermatosis, your veterinarian will present the following treatment options for your companion. Treatment methods may include:


Cefovecin or similar type of cephalexin drug may be prescribed by your veterinarian to help achieve healing. These medications are used long-term to help manage this skin condition and prevent flare-ups.

Holistic Therapy

There may be types of holistic medications you may be willing to give a try. Ask your veterinarian about any holistic topical ointments or herbal supplements to give your dog. Do not give your dog any supplements without asking your veterinarian.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Anti-inflammatory medications of glucocorticoids, dapsone, or other corticoid drugs may help control the lesions. This depends on your dog’s condition; he may either react successfully with this type of therapy or may not have any results.


There are some shampoos which may work for your dog and may be recommended by your veterinarian for you to use. Antiseborrheic shampoos can be used to help control, and can be used in combination with the medication your veterinarian prescribes.

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Recovery of Psoriasiform-Lichenoid Dermatosis in Dogs

Fortunately, this hereditary disease does not affect your dog’s overall health. Although his affected skin areas may not have a normal appearance, your dog will most likely not be too bothered by it. There are ways to control the flare ups of this skin disorder, which are suggested by your veterinarian. 

Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions on how to care for your companion at home.  While this disease cannot be cured, it can be kept under control with the help of your veterinarian. When applying any medications or using any types of topical ointments or shampoos, be observant of your dog’s skin and check it often to be sure it is not becoming inflamed by the remedies. If you notice that the condition is worsening, you may contact your veterinarian and he may give you even more options on how to control this skin disorder.

Keeping your dog groomed with the hair short around the affected areas and giving him frequent, gentle baths will help him keep this condition under control. You may choose to seek a holistic treatment for your dog if the appearance of the bumps concerns you, but be sure to consult with your medical professional before giving your English Springer Spaniel any supplements. Dogs with this condition should not be bred.

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