Dermatomyositis - DMS 

Dermatomyositis (DMS) is an autoimmune disease that causes lesions on the bony prominences (face, tail tip, and feet). Lesions are characterized by crusting, scaling, redness, and hair loss. In severe cases, the lesions may progress to muscles and affect a dog's gait and ability to eat and drink. Steroids, Pentoxifylline (Trental), and vitamin E may help manage lesions; however, even after lesions heal there may be long term changes to the skin, such as darkened or mottled pigmentation, and permanent hair loss. Onset of DMS may occur at any age, and lesions can come and go throughout a dog's lifetime.

DMS results from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The initial outbreak of lesions often occurs after exposure to a stressor, such as a virus, vaccinations, or a traumatic experience. The fact that DMS occurs primarily in Collies and Shetland sheepdogs and not equally across all breeds indicates an underlying genetic component.


DMs can be tested through a pathologist veterinarian through a punch biopsy (histopathology) if you suspect your dog has DMs.


DMs can be tested through DNA at Clemson Caninie Genetics though this is a risk assessment not a definitive answer on if your dog may have DMs -  Please view them through our links page 

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