Too many dogs end up with skin disease in the form of atopic dermatitis (inflammatory skin disease associated with allergies); pemphigus foliaceus (pustules and crusting on the skin surface); or perianal fistulas (which causes straining during defecation and often, a decreased appetite).
But what if there were blood markers to alert veterinarians to which dogs were prone to which skin conditions? That would lead the way to a greater understanding of what causes these skin conditions in the first place — and therefore pave the way for preventive measures as well as better measures for diagnosing these diseases, monitoring their course, and treating them.
That’s why researchers at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine are now in the process of enrolling dogs in a study to see if those with any of these skin problems have markers in their blood that are different from the blood markers of healthy dogs. A finding would be an important step in unraveling the causes and management of these uncomfortable and frequently debilitating conditions. Stay tuned.