Sterile nodular panniculitis

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Sterile nodular panniculitis in a Maltese dog[1]

Sterile nodular panniculitis is an immune-mediated disease of dogs which manifests both locally and systemically[2].

The disease is characterized by fever and multiple subcutaneous nodules[3], but in more rare cases systemic signs have been observed such as sterile neutrophilic-macrophagic lymphadenitis with vasculitis associated with gastrointestinal and pulmonary signs[4].

Pansteatitis is commonly associated with this disease, presenting as inflammation of subcutaneous, mesenteric and falciform fat[5].

Microbiological examination of tissues is usually negative.

Diagnosis is based on histological analysis of biopsied tissue samples. A definitive diagnosis requires multiple skin biopsies.

Other ancillary tests may be indicated, such as measurement of serum alpha1 antitrypsin, which can help establish an association with serum alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency[6].

Treatment involves use of immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisolone or cyclosporine.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. DeManuelle TC & Stannard AA (1998) Difficult dermatologic diagnosis. Sterile nodular panniculitis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213(3):356-357
  3. German AJ et al (2003) Sterile nodular panniculitis and pansteatitis in three weimaraners. J Small Anim Pract 44(10):449-455
  4. Dandrieux JR et al (2011) Unusual systemic signs in a dog with sterile neutrophilic-macrophagic lymphadenitis and nodular panniculitis. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 47(2):117-121
  5. Moreau PM (1982) Disseminated necrotizing panniculitis and pancreatic nodular hyperplasia in a dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 180(4):422-425
  6. Torres SM (1999) Sterile nodular dermatitis in dogs. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 29(6):1311-1323