Paraneoplastic syndrome

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Paraneoplastic syndromes are a group of noncancerous diseases associated with internal [[cancer|neoplasia[1].

Paraneoplastic syndrome commonly presents as dermatological manifestations but can also be evident as hematological aberrations, hormonal changes, or neuromuscular changes (e.g. paraneoplastic myasthenia gravis[2]).

A significant number of these conditions involve skin pathology, hematological changes such as leukocytosis, hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, regenerative anemia and hypercalcemia[3] as well as general clinical signs of weight loss and anorexia.

A number of paraneoplastic skin disorders have been recognized in dogs, including:

Differentiating these paraneoplastic skin changes from other skin diseases can be challenging and often requires skin biopsies and blood tests to elucidate the underlying pathology[6].


  1. Turek MM (2003) Cutaneous paraneoplastic syndromes in dogs and cats: a review of the literature. Vet Dermatol 14(6):279-296
  2. Stepaniuk K et al (2011) Acquired myasthenia gravis associated with oral sarcoma in a dog. J Vet Dent 28(4):242-249
  3. Bergman PJ (2012) Paraneoplastic hypercalcemia. Top Companion Anim Med 27(4):156-158
  4. Soare T et al (2012) Paraneoplastic syndrome in haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma in a dog. J Comp Pathol 146(2-3):168-174
  5. Petterino C et al (2011) Paraneoplastic leukocytosis in a dog with a renal carcinoma. Vet Clin Pathol 40(1):89-94
  6. Outerbridge CA et al' (2013) Cutaneous manifestations of internal diseases. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 43(1):135-152