Acanthosis nigricans

From Dog
Generalized acanthosis nigricans on the inguinal and abdominal region of a dog[1]

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin symptom of dogs characterized by axillary and inguinal hyperpigmentation, lichenification, and alopecia.

Primary acanthosis nigricans is rare, occurs almost exclusively in Dachshunds, and has no sex predilection; it is considered a genodermatosis.

This condition is frequently observed secondary to a number of other diseases such as:

Clinical signs typically consist of bilaterally symmetric axillary or inguinal hyperpigmentation and lichenification. The edges of these lesions are often erythematous; this is a sign of secondary bacterial and/or yeast pyoderma. With time, lesions may spread to the ventral neck, groin, abdomen, perineum, hocks, periocular area, and pinnae[4].

Primary acanthosis nigricans is not usually responsive to therapy, although topical glucocorticoids may alleviate symptoms. in more aggressive cases, use of parenteral prednisolone and melatonin maybenefit some dogs[5].

Antiseborrheic shampoos are assist in removing excess oil and odor.


  1. Dog info
  2. Gosselin SJ et al (1980) Biochemical and immunological investigations on hypothyroidism in dogs. Can J Comp Med 44(2):158-168
  3. Bilzer T (1991) Tumors of the hypophysis as the cause of both Cushing's syndrome and diabetes insipidus in dogs. Tierarztl Prax 19(3):276-281
  4. Merck veterinary manual
  5. Kirk RW (1979) Acanthosis nigricans. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 9(1):49-56