Pet Case Study: Rocky’s Pemphigus

Rocky first visit

Rocky first presented to Dr. Ho as a 4-year-old, male terrier mix in January of 2019 for an evaluation of non-resolving skin lesions that started 4-5 months ago. Additionally, Rocky’s owners reported that he was lethargic and developed a fever. He had symmetrical crust lesions on his nose, ears, around his eyes, and on his back in addition to thickened paw pads.

Dr. Ho suspected that Rocky had an auto-immune disease that affects the skin called pemphigus foliaceus. A skin biopsy was performed to confirm this diagnosis. In addition, Rocky had a secondary bacterial infection, which was treated with an antibiotic. Since Rocky had an autoimmune skin disease where his immune system is attacking his own skin, he had to start medications to suppress his immune system. The goal is to use the lowest dose of medications that will keep his skin lesions under control.

By February, Rocky’s owners reported that his activity level improved and the crust lesions were resolving. By May 2019, Rocky was in clinical remission (skin lesions completely resolved). He is doing great on his medications currently. This skin disease requires life-long medications, but dogs generally do well.

Rocky in Remission

Rocky in Remission

“The care and treatment we received from Dr. Ho, Kacey and the staff at ADRC has been phenomenal. I am convinced that our litter terrier’s life was saved as a result. Their precise diagnosis and prescribed treatment got Rocky back to being happy, healthy and energetic dog that we know and love.”

—Regards, Jeff Kirkland

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