Comparison of clinical history and dermatologic findings in 29 dogs with severe eosinophilic dermatitis: a retrospective analysis


  • This study was supported by the Laboratory of Pathology and Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Elizabeth A. Mauldin, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Laboratory of Pathobiology and Toxicology, 3800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6051, USA. E-mail:


The medical records and histopathological sections of 29 dogs diagnosed with a unique eosinophilic dermatitis resembling Wells’ syndrome were reviewed in an attempt to elucidate the pathogenesis of this syndrome. The medical records were reviewed for information on dermatological lesion appearance, systemic signs in other organ systems, clinical analyte abnormalities, and drug therapy. Histological sections of dogs with moderate to severe eosinophilic dermatitis without folliculitis and furunculosis were reviewed and evaluated for the presence of collagen flame figures. Three categories of patients were found. Category 1 consisted of 17 dogs treated for vomiting and/or diarrhoea (often haematochezia or haematemesis) prior (mean: 4.6 days) to the onset of skin lesions. Fourteen category 1 dogs had erythematous lesions (macules, papules or plaques) that were most pronounced on the abdomen. Sixteen of the 17 dogs received multiple classes of drugs, and 59% were hypoalbuminemic. Category 2 consisted of five dogs that had skin lesions and gastrointestinal signs at presentation and four of these dogs were hypoalbuminemic. Category 3 included seven dogs without enteric illness. A positive drug score was found in six category 1 dogs and one each from categories 2 and 3. Eighteen cases had eosinophilic dermatitis without flame figures, seven cases had early flame figures and four had well-developed flame figures. These changes did not correlate with the categories of clinical presentation. More than 50% of the dogs developed eosinophilic dermatitis following treatment for severe gastrointestinal disease. The authors propose that this represents a unique syndrome that may have causal drug association.