The phenotype is similar to that for acrodermatitis enteropathica in humans, but is currently without treatment.
Clinical signs usually present in puppies, with growth retardation, acrodermatitis, purulent dermatitis and paronychia. Affected pups can also exhibit abnormal behavior and diarrhea, though not all of these symptoms are present in all afflicted pups.
Skin lesions begin as areas of moderate hyperkeratosis and progress to severe hyperkeratosis with secondary bacterial and Malassezia spp yeast infections. The rostral dorsal muzzle, lips and periocular areas had thick adherent scale with brown yellow crusts
Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs. Although these clinical symptoms appear similar to dogs with severe zinc deficiency, levels of alkaline phosphatase (a zinc-dependant enzyme) are usually normal in LAD-affected dogs. However, defects in the zinc and/or copper metabolic pathways are suspected, since liver samples from affected pups contained less copper than normal dogs.
There is no known treatment for this disease, and use of copper or zinc supplementation is unrewarding.
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