Exfoliative Cutaneous Lupus Eythematosus (ECLE) in German Shorthaired Pointer

Hund mit Schmetterlingsflechte

Lupoid dermatosis (LD), also known as cutaneous exfoliative cutaneous lupus erythematosus (ECLE) or “German Crud” has been reported in the German Shorthaired Pointer, Braque de Bourbonnais, and other pointing dogs.  The genetic cause of this disorder has not yet been identified. Affected dogs typically develop clinical signs by eight months of age. ECLE affected dogs have excessive scaling that may first occur on the face, ears and back and then may progress to all over the body. In the further course of the disease, the hair begins to fall out and the skin loses its pigmentation, most notably around the lips and on the upper portion of the muzzle. The lesions then worsen, and dogs develop severe scaling over most of the body.  Some dogs develop large painful ulcers on the trunk and legs. Because of the many skin lesions and the “overworked” immune system, these dogs are prone to bacterial skin infections. The lymph nodes can become quite large, often larger than a golf ball.  Most affected dogs show lameness on one leg one day and lameness the next day on another leg. The diagnosis is made by examining skin biopsies under the microscope. Sue to the severity of the disease, most ECLE affected dogs have to be euthanized eventually.

In the framework of a large international collaboration we identified the causative genetic defect and developed a genetic test. Genetic testing for LAD is available from several laboratories offering diagnostic services.