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Dermatomyositis in five Shetland sheepdogs in the United Kingdom
  1. E. A. Ferguson, BVM&S,DVD, MRCVS1,
  2. R. Cerundolo, DVM,DipWfCVD, MRCVS1,
  3. D. H. Lloyd, BVetMed,PhD, DipECVD, MRCVS1,
  4. R. Cappello, DVM,DipECVN, MRCVS1 and
  5. J. Rest, BVSc, PhD,MRCPath, DipECVP,MRCVS2
  1. 1 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield AL9 7TA
  2. 2 Rest Associates, Swaffham Prior, Cambridge CB5 OJT


Five cases of dermatomyositis in four Shetland sheepdog puppies and one adult bitch are described. The dogs all had well-defined patches of scaling, crusting and alopecia over the muzzle, periorbital skin and distal limbs, and the tail, perineum and pinnae were affected in some of them. The affected puppies were all sired by the same stud dog. The affected adult bitch was unrelated to the puppies. Three of the four dogs tested had high serum creatine kinase concentrations and electromyographic abnormalities were detected in three of the four dogs tested. The histological changes observed in the skin of four of the dogs strongly supported the diagnosis of dermatomyositis, and in the fifth dog they were compatible with this diagnosis. Two of the puppies were euthanased shortly after being diagnosed. In the other two puppies and the adult the disease remains stable and non-progressive 15 to 18 months after diagnosis. The sire of the four affected puppies has been used extensively because it was considered to be genetically clear of collie eye anomaly.

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