Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Cutaneous Asthenia) in Dogs Identifying and Treating Cutaneous Asthenia In Dogs

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Cutaneous Asthenia) in Dogs

In dogs, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder. It can present in a variety of ways, including skin fragility and organ rupture, resulting in substantial discomfort and a worse quality of life. Learn more about this genetic disorder in this article.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), also known as cutaneous asthenia or stretchy skin disease, is a rare genetic disorder that affects the connective tissues in humans. Although it is unusual, EDS can also affect dogs and is a disorder that goes undiagnosed in the veterinary sector. Dogs with EDS may exhibit a variety of symptoms, such as skin brittleness, joint hypermobility, and organ rupture, which can cause excruciating pain and worse quality of life.

The various forms of EDS that can afflict dogs, their symptoms, and the potential treatments will all be covered in this article.

Forms of EDS In Dogs

Dogs are susceptible to numerous distinct types of EDS. Some of the most prevalent kinds of EDS in dogs include the following:

  • Dermatosparaxis Ehlers-danlos Syndrome: This is the most common form of collagen type I EDS in dogs. Joint hypermobility, brittle skin that is readily torn or damaged, and a significant risk of organ rupture are its defining characteristics.

  • Kyphoscoliotic EDS: This kind of EDS affects collagen type I and causes aberrant spine curvature, muscular weakness, and joint hypermobility.

  • Arthrochalasia EDS: This uncommon EDS affects collagen type I and causes repeated joint dislocations and joint hypermobility.

  • Classical EDS: This kind of EDS, which mostly affects collagen types I and V, is characterized by skin brittleness, joint slackness, and a propensity to bruise readily.

  • Vascular EDS: Collagen type III is affected by this uncommon, severe variant of EDS. It may result in potentially fatal consequences such as organ, artery, and intestine rupture, as well as a significant chance of spontaneous pneumothorax.


There are several known causes of cutaneous asthenia in dogs; some are:

  • Inheritance: Cutaneous asthenia can be inherited genetically from parent dogs to their children. It is an autosomal recessive trait, which means that for a puppy to acquire the ailment, both parents must have the gene mutation.

  • Collagen deficiency: Collagen is the primary component of connective tissue in the body. Dogs with cutaneous asthenia have a deficiency in collagen which in turn makes their skin and other connective tissues weak and fragile.

  • Deficit of enzymes: Certain types of cutaneous asthenia are brought on by a lack of enzymes necessary for the correct production of collagen. A lack of these enzymes prevents the body from creating robust connective tissue.

  • Trauma: Canines that have cutaneous asthenia are more prone to skin abrasions and rips, which can exacerbate the condition and cause problems.


Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in dogs can manifest in various ways. The following are some prevalent symptoms of cutaneous asthenia in dogs:

  • Skin fragility: Dogs with cutaneous asthenia have skin that is thin and easily damaged, leading to frequent cuts and tears.

  • Delayed wound healing: Due to their weakened skin and connective tissues, dogs with loose skin may experience delayed wound healing, which can increase their risk of infection.

  • Joint hypermobility: Some forms of cutaneous asthenia can cause joint hypermobility, which means that the joints can move beyond their normal degree of motion.

  • Loose skin folds: Some dogs with cutaneous asthenia may have loose skin folds around their neck, face, or legs.

  • Organ rupture: In some extreme cases, dogs with cutaneous asthenia may experience organ rupture, which can be life-threatening.

  • Gum bleeding: Dogs with cutaneous asthenia can experience bleeding in their gums, which can lead to tooth loss if not treated.

Treatment Options

While there is no cure for ehlers-danlos syndrome in dogs, there are various treatment options available to manage the condition and improve the dog's quality of life. The following are some commonly used treatment options for ehlers-danlos in dogs:

  • Wound management: Due to their increased susceptibility to skin tears and injuries, dogs with cutaneous asthenia require special attention when it comes to wound care. To encourage healing and prevent infection, your veterinarian may advise routine wound cleaning and bandaging.

  • Nutritional supplements: Some dogs with cutaneous asthenia may benefit from nutritional supplements that support the formation of collagen and connective tissues. Your vet may recommend supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glucosamine.

  • Pain management: Dogs with cutaneous asthenia may experience pain and discomfort due to weakened connective tissues. Your veterinarian may recommend pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs to manage their symptoms.

  • Surgery: In severe cases, dogs with cutaneous asthenia may require surgery to repair ruptured organs or to address joint instability properly.

  • Lifestyle modifications: Controlling your dog's activity levels is crucial to avoiding further harm to its fragile connective tissues.

Prevention Tips

There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of your dog developing the condition:

  • Genetic Testing: Consider genetic testing if you intend to breed your dog to check for any potential genetic mutations that could cause EDS. Breeding canines with recognized genetic mutations can raise the likelihood that progeny will acquire EDS.

  • Select a Breeder: Choose a reputable breeder that tests its breeding stock for genetic mutations and has a track record of delivering healthy puppies if you plan to buy a dog from a breeder.

  • Proper nutrition: Providing your dog with a balanced diet. It also helps to avoid dermatosparaxis ehlers danlos syndrome.

  • Exercise management: Avoid excessive jumping or strenuous exercise that can put excessive strain on your dog's joints and connective tissues. Instead, let your dog play with toys indoors so you can keep an eye on it.

  • Regular veterinary checkups: Frequent veterinarian examinations can aid in the early detection of any possible health concerns, including EDS, enabling quick treatment and action.

While it may not be able to completely avoid EDS, by following these recommendations, you can lessen the likelihood that your dog will contract the illness and enhance its general health and well-being. See your veterinarian for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan if you think your dog could have EDS. Remember that early treatment can help manage the disease and enhance the quality of life for your dog.

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