Pemphigus is a reactive auto-antibody response to desmocollin-1 (DSC1), a group of molecules responsible for intercellular adhesions within the desmosomes of epidermal keratinocytes. In dogs, auto-antibodies attack intercellular matrices, resulting in cell lysis, release of inflammatory cytokines and disruption of organ function.
Three subgroups have been defined in dogs:
- pemphigus vulgaris
- pemphigus foliaceus
- paraneoplastic pemphigus
Clinically affected dogs present with primary pustule which eventually rupture, leaving crusts which can be secondary infected.
Dogs show a typical distribution of the lesions on bridge of nose, periocular area, pinnae, nail beds and perimammal areas, areas rich in desmocollin-1.
An iatrogenic pemphigus foliaceous has been reported following topical drug reactions.
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