This dog was presented with an acute purpura.
After ruling out bleeding disorders a biopsy was taken and indicated vasculitis. 
Cutaneous vasculitis is an uncommon immune-mediated
inflammatory disease of the blood vessels. Aberrant immune
response leads to inflammation and necrosis of blood vessels.

 Possible causes in veterinary patients are an underlying
infection caused by a virus, bacteria (e.g. Bartonella species),
fungus, protozoa (e.g. Leishmania species2), or rickettsial
disease; food hypersensitivity; malignancy; drug reaction (e.g.
meloxicam, human albumin); rabies vaccination; metabolic
disease; systemic lupus erythematosus; and cold agglutinin
disease. The disease may also be idiopathic.

2/19/2012 11:54:03 am

Hi. My dogs belly looks exactly like this. The vet cannot figure out what it is. I think that this is it. Could you please tell me what the treatment for vasculitis is? We do not know what to do. She is like our baby. She has been lethargic. She eats and drinks a little, but feels really bad. She also doesn't scratch. Thanks so much for any response.

2/19/2012 10:32:39 pm

Hi Greg,
The appearance of vasculitis in dogs can be similar to other disorders that need to be ruled out before starting any treatment. The best way for diagnosis is a skin biopsy. Once the diagnosis is confirmed the treatment is immunosuppressive, which at the acute phase usually involves steroids.
Good luck with your dog and please keep me updated

Audrey Bath
6/3/2012 06:11:45 am

Following a skin biopsy, my min pin was diagnosed with this disease. He is currently taking Pentoxifylline 3x/day. It is a generic drug and seems to be making a difference. My pin has a very bad case of cutaneous vasculitis ~ it is heartbreaking to see, but he feels better than he looks, thankfully.

6/5/2012 09:13:33 pm

I hope things will get better for your doggie

10/6/2013 04:32:01 am

My chichuachus was diagnosed with vasculitis. Waiting for biopsy to come in but Vet gave him pentoxifyllina also and it made him sick to his stomach. How many mgs are you giving ou pup.

6/23/2012 10:50:02 am

Great information and site

10/2/2012 07:43:01 am

Hi Audrey, my dog recently had a severe reaction to a d-limonene shampoo used on her. Her skin became severely red and inflamed then started scaling off. Her hair fell out also. Her skin biopsy results said contact/drug reaction to topical shampoo. cutaneous reaction, skin is pruritic, severe heutrophilic and spongiotic edematous dermatitis. She is still on pentoxyfilli almost 3 months later, she also needed lasix, prednisone and a bunch of other treatments. She is improving, thank God. She went through so much, we almost lost her.

Audrey Bath
10/2/2012 08:39:32 am

Milo continues to improve with Pentoxifylline and he is also taking Prednisone. It is a long road ahead of us. I hope your dog improves completely and returns to good health!

Laura Hughes
10/4/2012 10:34:20 pm

Thank you Audrey, I am sorry your dog went through this too and I hope your dog will recover very soon. Do you know how this happened to your dog?

Audrey Bath
10/5/2012 01:58:26 am

Milo contracted cutaneous vasculitis from his rabies injection! He was turned over to a shelter before I found him, and the shelter gave him the rabies injection ... 3 weeks later, the symptoms began. It has been definitively determined that his illness is a direct result of that rabies shot; obviously, he will never get another vaccine as long as he lives.

5/28/2013 10:19:58 am

when your dog has the rabies shot, did he got into shock at all? Our Izzy had her rabies shot and then was allergic to it and had to be given an anti-inflammatory drug to get her back to normal. She now has been itching the spot and caused the hair to come out. I would like to know what happened to your dog and if the case is similar, thanks.

Beverly Dishman
12/3/2012 08:01:23 am

Is this contagious between canine & owner?

12/3/2012 09:04:29 am

No. It is an autoimmune disease, not and infectious disease

1/19/2013 12:50:51 am

My poodle-terrier had a severe vasculitis, his ears swelled, belly and neck too, and his skin was bright red everywhere...eyes blood shot and gums red. He had steroids and antibiotics for a week and a half, and in the last few days developed red bumps after the other symptoms went away. Pentoxyfilene is making him feel worse (upset tummy, shivering even though the house is warm, chewing his feet tho no obvious cause, some loss of appetite). He's also been taking the active ingredient in benedryl, which is the only thing that doesn't seem to make him feel worse. I want to stop the pentoxyfilene, any specific reason not to?

Coreen Reece
1/22/2013 03:49:35 am

My dog, Scout, has been dealing with this horrifying disease since he was 4 months old. I, too, believe he contracted the disease from his rabies vaccine. No other litter mates have the disease and we started seeing problems shortly after his rabies vaccine. Over the course of four and a half years, he has been on various treatment plans, because we weren't sure what he actually had. In September, my daughter contacted Cornell Veterinary School, where they recommended we take our dog to a dermatologist. The vet determined he has vasculitis and we've been treating it with a bunch of different meds, as he is very sensitive and seems to get every side effect listed. I have recently taken him off all meds, to try to get his system somewhat cleared (he'd been on Pred for over a year and a half, not good) before I start his treatment again. I honestly don't know how much longer he can hang on. He's had so much muscle displaysia and secondary infections from the pred. It makes me wonder what his internal organs look like. He is one of our family members, so it's very sad to see him not feel well. It's been so long. Maybe one day the Veteranarian community will find a way to prevent this disease. All I know is my dog won't survive long enough to take advantage of it.

2/13/2013 01:50:25 am

My 8 year old Doberman (Sauka) was diagnosed with vasculitis last year. Both of her front legs swelled right up. She ended up at MSU vet school in East Lansing MI. After about a year of Steriod, countless Vet visits, she is now in remission. I have to measure her legs daily to make sure it does not come back. I dont know if this will happen again and either does her MSU Vet.

3/28/2013 02:13:32 pm

My almost five year old Yorkie/Chihuahua cross female suddenly contracted some kind of food allergy earlier this month that turned into vasculitis, the symptoms of which are very like those already listed. She is allergic to most medications, cannot take steroids and gets all the worst side effects like Otamay's dog and is also on Pentoxifylline and has just been put on a vegetarian kibble, but her appetite is poor. Like Coreen, I am not certain she will survive to the end of this disease and I am not certain I want her to go on too long like this as it's tearing me up to see her suffer. Her vet says it could take weeks to months to recover. Seeing that some people don't achieve remission for their dogs is very discouraging. We are not sure what started this but fear that dog treats may have pushed an already compromised immune system over the edge. Can anyone help us or is my wee baby doomed? :(

3/29/2013 05:44:06 am

Hi Mary I am so sorry to hear about your baby. I am praying for you all and I wish you the best of luck. No One deserves this disease. Good luck and you all are in my prayers!!!

3/29/2013 03:23:55 pm

Thank you very much. After a few doses treatment with the pentoxifylline Jenna seems a bit more comfortable, but is having gagging episodes that I am not sure what is causing it. It is far too early to tell if the medicine is affecting a change, but I have hope.

4/5/2013 10:23:28 pm

Hang in there Mary. My baby boy also has been suffering with vasculitis for months despite not knowing what it was and countless amounts of tests. We now at least havea diagnosis and he is on a long rd to recovery but I have faith that he will recoup. Stay strong and hope that ur dog recovers well.

4/6/2013 06:51:13 am

Thank you Karina. :) Actually we have had miraculous results with the pentoxifylline, as soon as we took it to the maximum dose of .8 ml. Within a week she has cleared to having better looking skin than she had when she came to us. It's early days yet, but so far so good.
She is also doing much better as far as eating and eliminating. She currently eats Natural Balance (Dick Van Patten's) Vegetarian formula kibble, 1/4 cup twice a day. She is back to drinking well again and her energy level is improved. Her vet is happy enough with her progress to wait to see her until the end of the month.
The only drawback is that she obviously doesn't like the meds and it can be a struggle to get them in, the almond oil base takes a toll on syringes too-very sticky stuff... but she's been a pretty good patient nonetheless.
Thank you for your well wishes for my girl's recovery. :)

9/27/2013 04:01:26 pm

Take your dogs to a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. They have very good luck with immune disorders.

3/28/2013 02:25:31 pm

Where are you located?

3/29/2013 03:24:21 pm

I am in Alaska.

4/14/2013 02:08:09 am

I have a Chihuahua/Shihtzu mix which had a severe reaction to her rabies vacination. Months of treatments after a proper diagnoisis with everything including ointments,steroids,antibiotics/Simlicef, etc and she still has lesions at the point of injection. The antibiotics almost had her completely healed. Then two days after the Similicef ran out the scabs are back as if they were never treated. From what I have learned this is an autoimmune disease. My guess is the next try will be Pentoxifylline/Prednisone. I also wonder how effective Sulfone might be alone or in combination with Prednisone. In addition to the lesions she also has developed drop paw in her hind legs. Nerve damage is the most likely cause.
She is not the happy heathly dog from last year.

Comments and suggestions welcomed. .


Mrs J M Dry
5/24/2013 07:48:27 pm

Our lovely bitch recently had 6 healthy pups. The pups have gone to good homes and are approx 3 months old. We've just had a call from one of the owners to say that one of the pups has Vasculisus and has had to have part of his ear removed. Are we bound to inform the other pup families? Has this disease come down the line from the parents? We are so upset for the pup, who is lovely, but feel obligated but, at the same time, do not want to scare-monger the owners of the remaining pups who tell us that their individual pups are all well. What are the implications please?

5/24/2013 09:33:28 pm

This is not genetic disease so you are not obligated to report to the other owners. Some breeds can be more sensitive than others , but the causes are infections, environmental etc. (see above)

6/16/2013 03:26:20 am

Our ANGEL 4 1/2yr black lab/pep bull is in recovery, Was diagnosed a few days ago. At first we thought it was "hot spots" we were trying to treat her for that at home. It got worse over night., it seemed to have spread very quickly. Vet thought it was a burn. Sent us to a dermatologist. Its all over her back. When she shakes chunks of blood do get everywhere. It does appear as a burn. Was confirmed as Vasculitis, She's on 5 different type of pills including the silver sulfadine cream. It seems to be working. It will take a few weeks to heal and a couple months to completely recover.

7/1/2013 12:35:28 am

My 9 month pitbull mix Bella has Vasculitis. It has gotten worse and we can't pinpoint what's causing it to get worse. He follow the medication strictly and watch her so closely. She's on a steroid and we had to stop the other meds because I she was vomiting :/ she's covered in hive looking spots, not as bad as the pictures shown on websites though.

10/2/2013 12:49:35 pm

Our 4 yr. old beagle, Tyke, has been diagnosed with cutaneous vasvulitis. Thank goodness his groomer noticed the swelling in his hind leg. The swelling rapidly traveled up his leg to his belly, penis and testicles were also coveres in sores and huge!. First vet gave him a shot of steroid and a chewable antibiotic. A gut feeling led us to change vets where he was first treated with augmentin and pain med. He continued to worsen and back he went to the vet. This time he also presented with fur loss around the ear edges. His vet said this was a hallmark for vasculitis. Now he takes 5 mg of prednisone two times daily. He is on the third day and we see no improvement as yet. It is devastating to see him lose strength and act confused. The vet had us look back in his records and he had a 3 yr rabies vaccination on May 4th. The assumption is this is the culprit. As he had only had yearly rabies before I am devastated the choice was made to give him a 3 yr this time. What are the chances for a full recovery?

10/6/2013 10:12:25 am

We have a 1 year old pit mix with vasculitis. We've been battling this disease for months now and hasn't found a solution. We tryed the home cooked diet for 3 months. Goat meat, pinto beans, and potatoes. Now were on 1.5 mg of dexamethasone, imuran, and flagel. So far it's under control but not cured. Once we lower the steroids she's flairs back up. It's been so tough between finances and blood work every two weeks making sure the imuran doesn't affect her kindneys and liver. Any suggestions would be greatly appreactied!

4/11/2014 03:06:27 am

My best friend Boo. 2 1/2 yr old beagle, has small sores on the pads of her feet. These sores open at different times and different paws other words it's pad to pad paw to paw. They hurt Boo so bad that she can't walk. Sometime I know when a bad flare up is coming because she doesn't want to play and then she run a high fever for a few days then a sore opens up. After 4 different vets I finally took Boo to UC Davis California and the doctors know what it could be but they had to run blood work to confirm it. It was Vasculitis and the dr's think she got it from a tick. Boo was put on pentoxifylline and for the most part doing ok. It's been almost 6 months and the sore are back as if the medicine isn't working at all. Boo ran a high fever 2 weeks ago to the point I almost rushed her to the ER. I've contacted the doctor to see if we can change Boo's medicine or up the dosage : ( my poor Boo hasn't had a really chance to be a puppy. I have read want other have wrote about their believed friend and I do remember that when Noo was doing her best she was eatting a very good brand of dog food and as soon as we gave her something different the sores came back. It's worth a shot but I'm going to keep Boo on the good brand of dog food along with the medicine and hope that helps enough that Boo can walk maybe even run

4/12/2014 04:39:11 am

Coleen. Have they done an allergy test? My booboo (Boston Terrier) had the same problem and the doctors did everything you are saying. Finally, I took her to an different doctor and they did a series of allergy tests. Turns out my Boo is allergic to GRASS and wheat products! I was giving her milk bones and other wheat based snacks all the time! Her dog food contains avery small amount too. Well I stopped feeding her the treats and changed her dog food and she has gotten much better, almost entirely healed! The problems have %90 disappeared! I dont know if it will help but get an allergy test and maybe switch your dog to wheat gluten free natural products. Good luck

8/31/2015 12:58:50 pm


My Boston was allergic to CHICKEN! She has come a long way since I took the chicken out of her diet! She is as supple as a little pup again!

Also, I use hydrogen peroxide and betadine on what few sores pop up and they go away quick

5/6/2014 03:07:56 am

Hi it's Coleen and Boo. Boo was eating AvoDerm and going great for 2 1/2 weeks then came the high fever and lack of energy. Then licking of the paw and then the sores. Darn thought we had a handle on her sores. I don't know if she got into cheap dog food and that cause the outbreaks again. Then a couple days later another fever and another sore on another paw. Back to square one waiting for sores to heal keeping a really good watch on what Boo eats, AvoDerm products and hopefully get this beat. Mean time I need to make a follow-up visit with vet and see if we can up Boo's med and more pain meds. : (

9/1/2014 04:45:16 am

Well we have been treating our beagle for a yesr now with azathyaprine and prednisone. Every time he is weaned off of his meds...with a month or two the symptoms come roaring back. Unfortunately it looks as though after his symptoms get under control.again he will be on the lowest doses possible for the rest of his life. He has aged so much in the last few months and he isnt even six yet. :(

8/31/2015 12:17:43 pm

I am leaving this comment for anyone whose dog suddenly looks like the dog in the photo above. I came across this site in a panic trying to help my Chihuahua.
It's been one week, and here's what worked for us:

Vet intervention: Benadryl, steroids, antibiotic for four days
We had no idea what was going on.

Day 5 a very kind Chihuahua breeder responded to my plea for help and suggested a diet:
No wheat, corn, soy, dairy, beef. Probiotics. 1/4 tsp coconut oil (start slow with it as it is antibacterial / antifungal and can cause some upset cleaning them out)
Small amount of raw food diet to start out and increase
The kibble I chose is Limited Ingredient Natural Balance w/ salmon and sweet potato
The raw diet is Northwest Natural w/ chicken and salmon.

It's been two days on this diet and he is almost totally back to normal. It seems he is allergic to beef, which was the mainstay of the food my dogs were getting.

Some dogs may have allergies to other things.

I hope this can help someone down the line, if they read this far down.

Kind regards

9/12/2015 07:16:44 pm

My dog was diagnosed with vasculitis and if any one would like some support and help with this awful disorder please reach out to us!! We can try and help you with your walk with vasculitis!

9/29/2015 09:54:44 am

Your post is very useful for everyone who love dogs. I think it help me care my dog better. Thanks for sharing. Hope you will share more

North Carolina
1/14/2017 07:44:13 am

Is Vasculitis contagious to other dogs, & litters newborn puppies? I've looked it up and read all they have on it, but can't seem to find the answer to that question, is it contagious?


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply.