Deep pemphigus (pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus vegetans and paraneoplastic pemphigus) in dogs, cats and horses: a comprehensive review

BMC Vet Res. 2020 Nov 23;16(1):457. doi: 10.1186/s12917-020-02677-w.

Abstract

Pemphigus is the term used to describe a group of rare mucocutaneous autoimmune bullous diseases characterized by flaccid blisters and erosions of the mucous membranes and/or skin. When the autoantibodies target desmosomes in the deep layers of the epidermis, deep pemphigus variants such as pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus vegetans and paraneoplastic pemphigus develop. In this article, we will review the signalment, clinical signs, histopathology and treatment outcome of pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus vegetans and paraneoplastic pemphigus in dogs, cats and horses; where pertinent, we compare the animal diseases to their human homologue. Canine, feline and equine pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus vegetans and paraneoplastic pemphigus have many features similar to the human counterpart. These chronic and often relapsing autoimmune dermatoses require aggressive immunosuppressive therapy. In animals, the partial-to-complete remission of pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus vegetans has been achieved with high dose glucocorticoid therapy, with or without adjunct immunosuppressants; the prognosis is grave for paraneoplastic pemphigus.

Keywords: Acantholysis; Canine; Desmoglein; Equine; Feline; Paraneoplastic; Pemphigus; Suprabasal; Vegetans; Vulgaris.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Animal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Animal Diseases / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Pemphigus / diagnosis
  • Pemphigus / drug therapy
  • Pemphigus / pathology
  • Pemphigus / veterinary*

Substances

  • Immunosuppressive Agents