Canine zinc-responsive dermatosis

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1999 Nov;29(6):1373-83. doi: 10.1016/s0195-5616(99)50133-2.


Zinc is important in a multitude of biological functions, including regulation of the immune response, modulation of keratogenesis and wound healing, maintenance of normal reproductive function, and acuity of taste and smell. Zinc-responsive dermatosis is an uncommon disease of dogs resulting from either an absolute or relative deficiency in zinc. Dermatological lesions are characterized by erythema, alopecia, scales, and crusts that primarily affect the head. Two forms of the disease exist: a familial form affecting Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies and a form that affects growing puppies fed zinc-deficient or oversupplemented diets. The history, clinical signs, and skin biopsy results are typically diagnostic. Life-long zinc supplementation is usually necessary in the familial form of the disease, although dietary correction alone may be curative in the second form. Lethal acrodermatitis is a rare inherited disorder of Bull Terriers that does not respond to zinc supplementation and is invariably fatal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / therapy
  • Skin Diseases / veterinary*
  • Syndrome
  • Zinc / deficiency*


  • Zinc