What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?
Affected dogs have skin and mucosal fragility resulting in blisters, deep erosions, and ulcers. Ulcers may occur in/on the mouth, lips, tongue, soft palate, throat, ears, digits, foot pads, elbows, ankles, knees, abdomen, groin, vulva/labia, penis/prepuce, and anus. The ulcers may ooze or be covered by crusts that can be bloody. Nails may be missing or misshapen. Affected dogs also have tooth enamel defects. Puppies may be underweight and display frequent choking while eating and drinking.
When do signs and symptoms develop?
Clinical signs begin at or soon after birth.
How do vets diagnose this condition?
Genetic testing, skin biopsy, and clinical signs can be used in conjunction with one another to diagnose Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa. Clinical signs alone cannot reliably allow a veterinarian to differentiate between the three main subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa. For a more precise diagnosis, a microscopic evaluation of the tissue may be required.
How is this condition treated?
Frank discussions about the quality of life are likely warranted. Owners typically request euthanasia by a few months of age due to the severity of the disease.
What actions should I take if my dog is affected?
- Monitor the dog closely and have them treated promptly for any injuries. Ulcerations of the skin and mucous membranes are painful and can become infected, so pain management and antibiotics may be needed.