Pemphigus foliaceus in the horse: A retrospective study of 20 cases

Sophie I J Vandenabeele, Stephen D White, Verena K Affolter, Philip H Kass, Peter J. Ihrke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Twenty horses with pemphigus foliaceus were seen over a period of 15 years in a veterinary medical teaching hospital. Breeds seen were seven quarterhorses, five thoroughbreds, three cross-bred horses, two Arabians and one of each of the following: standardbred, Tennessee walker and warmblood. There was no breed, age or sex predisposition. Nine were mares, ten were geldings and one was a stallion. Ages ranged from 2.5 months to 25 years, with a mean of 8.6 years. Sixteen (80%) of the pemphigus foliaceus horses first exhibited signs between September and February. There was a statistically significant more common occurrence of pemphigus foliaceus during those months. Signs in the four other horses were first noted in March, May or June. Three of those horses were < 13 months of age. Oedema (14/20) and crusts (13/20) were the most common lesions. Pain was present in 9/20 horses, pruritus in 7/20 and pyrexia in 7/20. Follow-up was available for 13 horses. Five of these horses were euthanased. In three horses the reason for euthanasia was laminitis secondary to treatment. Four horses remained lesion-free after medication was discontinued. Two horses required maintenance medication and are doing well at the time of writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Dexamethasone
  • Equine pemphigus foliaceus
  • Horse
  • Laminitis
  • Seasonality
  • September to February

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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