Cutaneous Vasculitis in a Dog

Rottweilers experience cutaneous vasculitis more frequently than individuals of most other breeds.
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Cutaneous vasculitis is a blood vessel disorder that can affect canines. The disease focuses on the walls of the blood cells and their inflammation. While it's rare, cutaneous vasculitis can show up in any dogs, regardless of type, sex and age, although more commonly in certain breeds.

Cutaneous Vasculitis Basics

The inflammatory effects of cutaneous vasculitis can constrict blood vessels, limiting blood supply with a condition called ischemia. The inflammation of cutaneous vasculitis comes about due to the speedy growth of various white blood cells, specifically eosinophils, lymphocytes and neutrophils. All of these cells are integral to the immune system's proper functioning. The earliest confirmed case of canine cutaneous vasculitis appeared in 1980.


A handful of factors are linked to the development of cutaneous vasculitis in dogs. The cause of the disease is uncertain in many situations -- roughly half of all instances. However, it is often found to be related to food allergies, unpleasant effects of vaccinations or medications, infections, tumors and ticks. An understanding of the root cause of the condition is beneficial for successfully managing it.

As indicated, idiopathic instances of cutaneous vasculitis are extremely common and are possibly inherited. The condition is especially prevalent in certain breeds, including German shepherds, Scottish terriers, Rottweilers, collies, greyhounds and dachshunds.


If your pooch has cutaneous vasculitis, it might be apparent to you that something is amiss just by observing his appearance and behavior. Signs to look out for are crusting of skin, appetite loss, weight loss, fatigue, depression, emergence of reddish-purple skin blots, ulceration, swollen limbs, fever, raised body temperature, excessive itchiness, and aching of certain body parts -- namely the tail, lips, ears, paws and interior of the mouth.

Veterinary Attention

If you notice symptoms of cutaneous vasculitis in your pooch, veterinary assistance is a must. If your pet indeed has the condition, the approach your veterinarian selects is going to be based on the specific situation and root cause. Immunomodulatory medications are commonly used to handle this vasculitis. If infection brought upon your pet's cutaneous vasculitis, your vet might recommend use of antibiotics, for example. If the main cause of the disease can be handled efficiently, dogs usually have strong chances of getting through it.