Panniculitis is inflammation of fat under the skin. It results in small inflamed nodules appearing on the surface of the skin.
What is the Cause?
There are many possible causes including :
* Local impairment of blood supply (ischaemia)
* Immune disorders
* Bacterial or fungal infections - may be secondary invaders
* Idiopathic - sterile panniculitis
What Breeds does it commonly affect?
Dachshunds are more often affected than other breeds. Sterile pedal panniculitis is reported to occur in German Shepherd Dogs. There is no age or sex predisposition.
What are the signs?
Reddened (erythematous), firm, painful nodules in the skin. Usually they are solitary, but there can be several, especially in cases of sterile panniculitis. They can occur anywhere on the body - but are most often seen on the abdomen, chest, neck and footpads. 30-40% of nodules have discharging sinuses associated with them.
What are the complications?
Secondary bacterial or fungal infections can become a problem and need to be treated based upon isolation in culture and sensitivity testing.
What is the diagnosis?
Excision biopsy for solitary lesions with histopathological examination, microbiological culture and sensitivity testing.
What is the treatment?
Surgical removal of solitary nodules. Antibiotic or antifungal medication as appropriate.
In some cases of recurrence corticosteroids have been reported to have been used successfully, but long term treatment should be avoided if possible.
What is the prognosis?
Most animals will recover uneventfully if the underlying cause is corrected.
What are the long term causes?
Some cases will get recurrences.