Dermatomyositis (DM) is a canine and human inflammatory disease of the skin and muscle that is thought to be autoimmune in nature. In dogs, DM occurs most often in the rough collie and Shetland sheepdog. Characteristic skin lesions typically develop on the face, ears, tail, and distal extremities. The severity of lesions varies and is thought to increase with stressful stimuli. Previous studies in the collie suggest that DM is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with incomplete penetrance. The work presented here concerns gene transcripts profiling and immunobiology of DM in the Shetland sheepdog. Gene transcript profiles were generated for affected and normal skin using a canine-specific oligonucleotide array having 49,929 probe sets. Two-hundred and eight-five gene transcripts, many of which are involved in immune function, were found to be differentially regulated in these tissues. Also reported are Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence analyses which showed that staining patterns with sera from normal and affected dogs are quite similar. While our work suggests that canine DM is a disease that may be immune mediated, it did not detect the production of specific disease-associated autoantibodies.