What is Acanthosis Nigricans?
Some dogs develop areas of abnormally darkened skin, beginning in the arm pit area. It may spread to the abdomen, groin, chest, forelimbs, hocks, ear flaps and around the eyes. Seborrhea may subsequently develop, along with secondary bacterial or yeast infections. The condition may be primary (which occurs with no know reason) or secondary (which occurs because of other problems such as skin rubbing, endocrine problems, or allergies).
How does my dog get Acanthosis Nigricans?
Primary acanthosis nigricans is probably hereditary and usually shows up by a year of age. Secondary acanthosis nigricans, which is more common, may come from skin friction (especially in obese dogs), endocrine disorders (such as Cushing's disease or imbalances of sex hormones), or skin allergies.
How do I know if my dog has Acanthosis Nigricans?
Areas of darkened skin, especially appearing in the armpits or groin, are cause for suspicion. Your veterinarian will perform a visual examination, probably followed by skin scrapings to rule out demodicosis (due to mites). Samples may be taken to identify any infections, and endocrine function tests may be performed to detect any endocrine involvement. Allergy testing may also be warranted.
What can I do about Acanthosis Nigricans?
The primary form is not curable, but may be initially controlled with therapeutic shampoos and topical glucocorticoid ointments. Treatment for the secondary form consists of removing or correcting the cause as well as treating for any bacterial or yeast infections. Antiseborrheic shampoos are also helpful.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting Acanthosis Nigricans?
Prevent your dog from becoming obese. Monitor for other signs of endocrine disorders or allergies and correct any such conditions.
Are there certain breeds that get Acanthosis Nigricans more often?
The primary form is seen almost exclusively in Dachshunds.