2001-Sun Jul 23 14:50:02 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Panniculitis is a rare condition in which the layer of fat under the skin, which provides warmth, protection and energy to the body, becomes inflamed. While it may be caused by an infection with bacteria, fungi or other organisms, sterile nodular panniculitis is a descriptive term for an inflammation of the fat cells that does not involve infectious agents. In most cases, the exact cause is not known.
The inflammation results in bumps on the skin surface that can be soft or firm, and are sometimes painful. The bumps can rupture, releasing an oily discharge that may be clear, yellow-brown or bloody. Most pets with sterile nodular panniculitis are treated with drugs designed to modify the immune system, such as steroids, but Vitamin E may also be helpful.
Panniculitis is an uncommon condition in dogs and cats that is characterized by inflammation of the fat-containing tissue just under the skin, which results in nodules, or bumps, on the skin surface. In some cases, the inflammation is brought on by an infection with bacteria, fungi, or other organisms.
Sterile nodular panniculitis is a descriptive term for lesions that do not involve an infectious agent. It may be caused by an injection, such as a vaccine, trauma, systemic illnesses such as pancreatitis or autoimmune diseases, or vitamin E deficiency. Drug reactions have also been implicated in the sterile form of panniculitis. The majority of sterile cases, however, are classified as idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown.
With sterile nodular panniculitis, single or multiple nodules of varying size and consistency will appear just under the skin. The head, neck, chest and abdomen are more commonly affected than other parts of the body. Though unsightly, particularly when they eventually break open (fistulate) and drain an oily, clear, yellow-brown or bloody fluid, they may or may not cause the animal discomfort.
Diagnosis is achieved with skin biopsies along with cultures to rule out infection. It’s important, also, to evaluate the pet for evidence of recent drug administration, vaccination, or predisposing disease like pancreatitits or autoimmune conditions.
Dachshunds appear to be predisposed. German Shepherds have also been reported as affected. The mode of inheritance is unknown.
Treating infection or underlying disease is paramount in non-idiopathic forms of the disease. In idiopathic forms, most pets are treated with immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids, but Vitamin E may also be helpful. With single lesions, surgical excision is considered acceptable.
Because the exact cause of most cases of sterile nodular panniculitis is not known, there are no specific strategies for prevention.
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Thank you for subscribing.