Dalmatian bronzing syndrome

What is ... ?: 

Affected dogs have a patchy haircoat and their skin has a bronze hue. There is inflammation of the hair follicles. This appears to be related to the excessive uric acid excretion that occurs in the Dalmatian, and the associated tendency to develop urinary stones (urate urolithiasis). However not all Dalmatians are affected with bronzing syndrome even though all have excessive uric acid excretion.

How is ... inherited?: 

unknown. Urate urolithiasis is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

What does ... mean to your dog & you?: 

As mentioned, affected dogs have a patchy hair coat and a bronze hue to the skin. Hair follicles are inflamed and readily become infected.

How is ... diagnosed?: 

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and the results of a skin biopsy. This is a simple procedure done with local anesthetic, in which your veterinarian removes a small sample of your dog's skin for examination by a veterinary pathologist. Your veterinarian will also measure your dog's blood uric acid levels.

How is ... treated?: 

The periodic skin infections in these dogs are treated with antibiotics and antiseptic shampoos. Your veterinarian may also suggest dietary modification and medication to reduce uric acid levels.
For the veterinarian: The therapeutic value of reducing purines (through dietary modification and allopurinol) as a treatment for this skin condition has not been fully explored.

For the veterinarian: 

The elevation of blood uric acid levels may not correlate with the bacterial folliculitis.

Breeding advice: 

Affected dogs should not be used for breeding.


Ackerman, L. 1999. The Genetic Connection. A Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs. p. 49-50.AAHA Press. Lakewood, Colorado.

Ling, G.V., Sorenson, J.L. 1995. CVT update: Management and prevention of urate urolithiasis. In J.D. Bonagura and R.W. Kirk (eds.) Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XII Small Animal Practice. p985-989. W.B. Saunders Co., Troronto.

What breeds are affected by ... ?