FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

A. Muller
Clinique Saint-Bernard, 598 avenue de Dunkerque 59160 Lomme, France

1. HISTORY

A female, 8-year-old Weimaraner was presented at the clinic in a state of shock, associated with severe hypothermia. She had escaped the previous evening and spent all night outdoors in temperatures ranging from -15°C to -5°C (this occurred mid-winter in Northern France).

2. CLINICAL EXAMINATION

  • General examination findings were severe depression and frank hypothermia (34°C). Following treatment consisting of intravenous fluid administration and rewarming (survival blanket, warm intravenous fluids), the dog’s condition improved dramatically by the next day and she was sent home.
  • Thorough dermatological examination at the time of admission revealed no abnormalities. However, the owners brought the dog back 10 days later as several similar-looking lesions had appeared on its limbs. These lesions were raised, circular areas measuring 2 to 5 cm; they had a soft texture, were slightly hyperpigmented and some were alopecic (Photos 1 to 5). Another larger lesion (bean-shaped, 8×4 cm) was found in the lumbar area, consisting of an ulcerated centre with peripheral hypopigmentation (an appearance more typical of vasculitis lesions).
FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 1: Lesion on the outer aspect of the left hind leg, below the knee.
Note also the raised lesion above the knee

FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 2: Close-up of the lesion on photo 1.
Note its raised appearance, alopecia and its darker colour.

FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 3: Close-up after clipping the raised lesion seen on photo 1.
Note the hyperpigmentation.

FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 4: Raised and moderately alopecic lesion above the right knee.

FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 5: Close-up of the lesion on photo 4.

FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 6: Another larger lesion (bean-shaped, 8×4 cm) was found in the lumbar areae.

FROSTBITE-INDUCED SKIN LESIONS IN A WEIMERANER

Photo 7: An ulcerated centre with peripheral hypopigmentation
(an appearance more typical of vasculitis lesions)

3. FURTHER EXAMINATIONS

The dog was hospitalised for intensive care (its general condition improved very rapidly).

  • Blood tests (chemistry and haematology) revealed no particular abnormalities.
  • Histopathological examination would have been beneficial but was declined by the owners.

4. DIAGNOSIS

Suspected frostbite-induced skin lesions (cryopathy)

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