Familial canine dermatomyositis: clinical, electrodiagnostic, and genetic studies

Am J Vet Res. 1985 Sep;46(9):1861-9.


Three Collies with a skin disorder, 6 progeny from a breeding of 2 of the Collies (incross litter), and the 4 progeny from the breeding of an affected Collie male and a normal Labrador Retriever female (outcross litter) were examined. By 7 to 11 weeks of age, all 6 dogs in the incross litter developed a qualitatively similar, but variably severe, dermatitis of the ears, face, lips, tip of the tail, and over bony prominences of limbs. Later, myopathic signs characterized by bilaterally symmetrical skeletal muscle atrophy of the head, neck, trunk, and extremities; facial palsy; decreased jaw tone; stiff gait; and hyperreflexia were observed in the dogs more severely affected by the dermatitis. Of the 4 dogs in the outcross litter, 3 had similar, but milder, clinical manifestations of the dermatitis and myopathy. Cutaneous lesions consisted of intraepidermal and subepidermal vesicles or pustules with intradermal infiltration by leukocytes. Muscle lesions included myositis; myofiber degeneration, regeneration, and atrophy; and fibrosis. A generalized myopathy in the severely affected dogs was indicated by abnormal readings on needle electromyograms and normal motor nerve conduction velocities. Spontaneous needle electromyogram abnormalities were fibrillation potentials, positive sharp waves, and bizarre high-frequency discharges. Retrospective and prospective genetic analyses disclosed a definite familial tendency and indicated the condition has an autosomal dominant component.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrophy / veterinary
  • Dermatomyositis / genetics
  • Dermatomyositis / physiopathology
  • Dermatomyositis / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / physiopathology
  • Dogs
  • Electromyography / veterinary
  • Female
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Male
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Pedigree
  • Skin / pathology