Canine Vasculopathy

Inherited disorders of blood vessels are rare in veterinary medicine. However, some canine breeds - Scottish Terrier, German Shepherd Dog, Jack Russell Terrier, Beagle and Greyhound - may develop idiopathic or inherited vasculopathy.

Familial vasculopathy of the German Shepherd Dog is a rare disease of blood vessels that affects primarily the paws of puppies. Pedigree analysis indicates the autosomal recessive inheritance. The characteristic feature is swollen depigmented paw pads with erosions and ulcerations. The pads may lose pigment before ulcerating. Although the paw pads are predominantly affected tissues, similar lesions may develop on the ears, tail tip, and nose area. Hair loss is often noted around the pad margins. Other signs include lethargy, fever and pain. The majority of cases have been reported in the German Shepherd Dog and Jack Russell Terrier breeds. More recent cases have been observed in the Fox Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer.



Vasculopathy of Greyhounds is different from the disease seen on other breeds. Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) in Greyhounds is a form of thrombotic disease characterized by initial damage to blood vessel walls, swelling, detachment, and microthrombosis. In this breed, vasculopathy is a highly characteristic skin and kidney disease that is observed almost exclusively in young adult racing Greyhounds. Skin lesions consist of well-defined deep ulcers which start as dark red skin patches. Most dogs exhibit seven to more ulcers from 1 to 5 cm in diameter. Usually new lesions do not develop after the initial lesions begin to heal. Other signs of the disease include lethargy, excessive thirst, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and acute kidney failure. Kidney disease accounts for approximately 8% of deaths in retired racing Greyhounds, with proteinuria and hypertension being common.3

Damage to blood vessels, vasculopathy and thrombosis of blood vessels are features of several infectious diseases. Sepsis can lead to vasculopathy as a result to infection of the skin, such as deep pyoderma when it complicates demodicosis, or as a result of internal infections such as bacterial endocarditis. Other less common infections include Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infection and some rickettsial diseases.4

References

  1. Thelma Lee Gross. Skin Diseases of the Dog and Cat
  2. Bernard F. Feldman, Joseph G. Zinkl, Nemi Chand Jain. Schalm's Veterinary Hematolog
  3. Plasma Vasoprotective Eicosanoid Concentrations in Healthy Greyhounds and Non‐Greyhound Dogs. J.T. Martinez, L.K. Rogers, C. Kellogg, M.C. Iazbik, C.G. Couto, B.M. Pressler, T.M. Hoepf, M.J. Radin. 2016

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