Vitamin A-Responsive Dermatosis

Vitamin A-responsive dermatosis is not a systemic vitamin A deficiency, but a local deficiency in the skin, a disorder of skin utilization, or a pharmacological effect of high doses on the skin. Anything that interferes with the absorption with vitamin A or enhances its excretion can result in a relative deficiency. However, since oversupplementation can result in toxicity, the levels of vitamin A administered should be carefully monitored.3 Vitamin A-responsive dermatosis is most frequently seen in the Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Schnauzer, and Shar-pei.

Clinical signs are usually present by 2 to 3 years of age and are very similar to those seen in idiopathic seborrhea. Affected dogs have recurrent scaling, dry hair coat with easy epilation, and prominent comedones. Plaques are most prominent on the chest and abdomen. Ear infections and itchiness are common. A preliminary diagnosis is made from skin biopsy findings. However, even with the classic clinical findings, a definitive diagnosis can be confirmed only by the response to supplementation with vitamin A alcohol, which is prescribed for the life of the patient. Improvement is seen within 4 to 6 weeks. Complete remission is obtained by 10 weeks of treatment and is well-tolerated. Medicated shampoos containing benzoyl peroxide (oxyDex, Sulf OxyDex, Pyoben) have excellent follicular flushing activity. Twice to three times weekly usage helps remove keratinous debris from follicles and hastens recovery.


  1. Scott, Miller, Griffin. Small Animal Dermatology, 5th ed., Philadelphia, WB Saunder
  2. >
  3. Nesbitt & Ackerman. Canine & Feline Dermatology, 1st ed., New Jersey, Veterinary Learning Systems
  4. Lowell Ackerman. Nutritional Supplements in Canine Dermatoses


Related Conditions

Acanthosis Nigricans

Allergic Dermatitis (Atopy)



Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia

Bullous Pemphigoid

Color Dilution Alopecia

Comedo syndrome

Cornification Disorder

Cutaneous Asthenia

Dermoid Sinus


Erythema multiforme

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)


Growth Hormone-Responsive Dermatosis

Hookworm Dermatitis

Hormonal Skin Diseases

Juvenile Cellulitis

Lethal Acrodermatitis (LAD)

Lipomatosis, multiple

Nodular Dermatofibrosis


Pelodera Dermatitis

Pemphigus foliaceuos

Primary Idiopathic Seborrhea

Skin Problems In West Highland White Terriers

Sebaceous Adenitis

Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)

Vitamin A-Responsive Dermatosis


Zinc-responsive Dermatosis


HomeDogsCats Birds Fish Horses Reptiles Small Pets Jobs Animals Biology Garden Pics Video Search Contacts

©2015 Go Pets America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.