Calcinosis Cutis

Calcinosis Cutis Symptoms

The most common symptom of calcinosis cutis is the skin discoloration. Other symptoms include:

Skin ulcerations (papules) or sores on the skin, especially around joints and other areas where there are muscles. These may cause pain when touched.

They usually heal with time but they can become infected if not treated properly.

Hair loss (alopecia).

Swelling of the legs and feet.

Loss of appetite.

Vomiting blood from mouth or nose.


In severe cases, death occurs due to shock or respiratory failure.

Causes of Calcinosis Cutis in Dogs

There are several causes of calcinosis cutis in dogs. Most commonly it results from a genetic mutation which leads to abnormal cell growth and proliferation.

However, some diseases like cancer and tumors can also lead to its development. It is common in small breed dogs.

In addition, a dog can also suffer from calcinosis cutis by being exposed to certain external factors. These include:

Exposure to cold temperatures leading to frostbite.

Exposure to chemicals or poisons that causes cell damage and death.

Tumors which secrete certain substances that irritate the skin. This is especially true in mast cell tumors.

Diagnosing Calcinosis Cutis in Dogs

The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your dog. He may also take some blood samples and urine samples for testing.

Skin biopsy is usually done to get a clear picture of the condition of the skin. You will need to sign a consent form before the procedure is done.

The veterinarian may also request X-rays of the affected area and take a look at the dog’s internal organs. Blood tests are also necessary to rule out other illnesses.

Treating Calcinosis Cutis in Dogs

There is no known cure for calcinosis cutis in dogs, but it can be managed effectively by treating the symptoms and preventing complications. The veterinarian will suggest the best treatment options based on the severity of the condition.

There are certain steps that you can take at home to help relieve your dog from pain and manage the condition. Washing and bandaging the wound is a must to prevent infection.

You can also apply lotion or cream on the blisters to soothe itchiness. Additionally, keep your dog’s area clean and wash his bedding once a week to prevent mites or other skin irritations.

Giving your dog pain medication is also highly recommended. Other medications may also be prescribed to prevent or treat infection.

Surgery is also an option in treating calcinosis cutis. The veterinarian may recommend surgical removal of skin that contains dead tissue and cells.

He may also perform a biopsy to rule out other skin diseases. Skin grafting may also be done.

Living with a Dog with Calcinosis Cutis

Your veterinarian will give you guidelines on how to care for your dog’s condition. He may also set up a schedule of follow-up appointments.

Living with a dog that suffers from calcinosis cutis requires a bit of patience and extra work on your part. You will have to be more observant of the condition of your pet’s skin and carefully follow the veterinarian’s recommendations on treatment and management.

It is also important to closely monitor his behavior for signs of pain.

Caring for a dog with calcinosis cutis requires a lot of patience and extra work on your part. It is important that you closely monitor his behavior for signs of pain.

If the condition worsens, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Sources & references used in this article:

Calcinosis cutis: part I. Diagnostic pathway by N Reiter, L El-Shabrawi, B Leinweber… – Journal of the American …, 2011 – Elsevier

Calcinosis cutis: part II. Treatment options by N Reiter, L El-Shabrawi, B Leinweber… – Journal of the American …, 2011 – Elsevier

Calcinosis cutis in autoimmune connective tissue diseases by A Gutierrez Jr, DA Wetter – Dermatologic therapy, 2012 – Wiley Online Library

Childhood calcinosis cutis by L Rodríguez‐Cano, V García‐Patos… – Pediatric …, 1996 – Wiley Online Library

Calcinosis cutis: its relationship to scleroderma by SA MULLER, LA BRUNSTING… – AMA Archives of …, 1959 –

Calcinosis cutis following extravasation of calcium chloride by D Goldminz, R Barnhill, J McGuire… – Archives of …, 1988 –

Calcinosis cutis universalis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus by AG Tristano, JL Villarroel, MA Rodríguez, A Millan – Clinical rheumatology, 2006 – Springer

Calcinosis cutis in juvenile dermatomyositis responsive to aluminum hydroxide treatment by T Nakagawa, T Takaiwa – The Journal of Dermatology, 1993 – Wiley Online Library

Calcinosis cutis in juvenile dermatomyositis: remarkable response to aluminum hydroxide therapy by WJ Wang, WL Lo, CK Wong – Archives of dermatology, 1988 –