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Potassium Bromide & Panniculitis

Clinician's Brief (Capsule)


March 2014

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Panniculitis (ie, inflammation of subcutaneous fat) is characterized by nodules that develop into craterous draining lesions and signs of systemic illness (eg, fever, anorexia, lameness, vomiting, lymphadenopathy). For 2 dogs presented with probable panniculitis confirmed via histopathology, signs of panniculitis developed shortly after a potassium bromide (KBr) dose increase (for seizures). They were transitioned to an alternate seizure medication, and the KBr was withdrawn; within days, fever, lethargy, and nodules resolved and did not recur.


Panniculitis, a reaction pattern and not a definitive diagnosis, may be caused by infectious agents; drug reactions; or vascular, hepatic, pancreatic, or immune-mediated diseases. It can also present as focal areas of blunt trauma or from foreign bodies; sterile nodular panniculitis refers to cases with no identified cause. Panniculitis associated with KBr has been reported in humans; this is the first known report of suspected KBr-associated panniculitis in dogs. The lack of any other plausible cause for the panniculitis and the temporal association of lesion worsening associated with a drug increase raised suspicion in this case.—Karen A. Moriello, DVM, DACVD


Potassium bromide-associated panniculitis. Boynosky NA, Stokking LB. J SMALL ANIM PRACT DOI:10.1111/jsap.12129, 2013.

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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