BACKGROUND: Although zinc responsive dermatosis is typically a disorder of Arctic breed dogs, this study identifies similar cutaneous lesions on the face and pressure points of Boston terrier dogs.
HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: To document the clinical and histological features of localized parakeratotic hyperkeratosis of Boston terrier dogs, to determine if the lesions respond to zinc supplementation and to determine whether tissue zinc levels were decreased in affected versus unaffected dogs.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixteen Boston terrier dogs with similar gross and histological findings were identified retrospectively from two institutions. Follow-up information for nine dogs from one institution was obtained from referring veterinarians using a questionnaire. Tissue zinc levels were measured from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded skin biopsy samples of affected and unaffected dogs using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
RESULTS: Mild to severe parakeratotic hyperkeratosis with follicular involvement was present in all 16 cases. Of the nine dogs for which follow-up information was available, five dogs received oral zinc supplementation and four dogs had documented clinical improvement or resolution of dermatological lesions. The median skin zinc levels were not significantly different between affected and unaffected dogs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: To the best of the authors' knowledge this is the first report of localized parakeratotic hyperkeratosis in Boston terrier dogs, some of which improved with oral zinc supplementation. Prospective studies in Boston terrier dogs are warranted to document potential zinc deficiency (serum and/or tissue levels, pre- and post-treatment) and to objectively assess response to zinc supplementation and other therapies.
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