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Veterinary Medicine
Instructions for Veterinary Clients

Pemphigus Foliaceus
From Erlewein & Kuhns: Canine and Feline Medical and Surgical Problems

General Information

Pemphigus foliaceus is a severe skin disease of dogs and cats caused by dysfunction of the immune system. Although the underlying cause is unknown, all cases involve autoantibody production in which the immune system produces antibodies that attack the animal's own body cells.

Skin changes consist of redness, crusts, oozing, hair loss, and erosions of the skin surface that usually begin on the face and ears. These changes spread to the groin and abdomen and become widespread within 6 months. The footpads become thickened, cracked, and hard and shed flakes of pad. In cats, the disease often affects the nails and nipples. Severely affected animals seem depressed, run a fever, and refuse to eat.

Important Points in Treatment

  1. Pemphigus is a very serious condition and is often fatal.
  2. Treatment involves large doses of antiinflammatory and/or anticancer drugs. Side effects are common and various blood tests and regular examinations are necessary to monitor progress.
  3. Many patients require lifelong therapy.
  4. Medication: Medication must be given as directed. Notify the doctor if you cannot carry out any prescribed treatment.
  5. Diet: Follow the instructions checked.

    ____ Feed the normal diet.

    ____ A special diet is required. Feed as follows:

  6. Special Instructions:

Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur

  • Your pet's skin condition worsens or spreads.
  • Your pet does not respond well to the medication.
  • Your pet develops new sores or other signs.
  • Your pet's general health declines.

Your next appointment is:

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