What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?
Affected dogs easily develop blisters, deep erosions, and ulcers. Ulcers may occur in or on the mouth and throat, foot pads, elbows, ankles, knees, tail, vulva/labia, penis/prepuce, and abdomen. The ulcers may ooze or be covered by crusts. Nails may be missing or misshapen. Puppies may be underweight and have enlarged lymph nodes.
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 quality of life are likely warranted. While few cases have been reported, affected dogs have had to be euthanized at 4-8 months of age due to the severity of their clinical signs.
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.