We went to the Sandbeck Veterinary practice recently and spoke to our patron: Julian Norton (The Yorkshire Vet) about Dermoid Sinus (DS) so we can provide everyone with more detail on what it is and how to detect it. He was kind enough to talk a little bit about it and demonstrate on Coda (a Ridgeback puppy aged 22 weeks at the time of recording) how you would search for a DS. A big thank you to him for the demonstration and for using one of his consulting rooms to film it!
In terms of what it is, Dermoid Sinus is a potentially very serious problem that, while not EXCLUSIVE to Ridgebacks, is predominantly found in Rhodesian Ridgebacks – hence why we wanted to give you as much information as we can on it. The scientific explanation is “Dermoid Sinus is a tubular skin defect caused by incomplete separation of the skin and the nervous system during embryonic development.” Essentially meaning that there are noodle-like bits of tissue connecting the upper layers of skin to the more important bits below, they form during the development of a pup inside its mother and are there from birth. These noodle structures could be as thin as a thread of cotton in a pair of jeans so it is often very difficult for everyone except those very experienced in looking for them to find (vets included). Any dog that has a Dermoid Sinus (or who had one that has been surgically removed) should never be bred from as the chances are likely that the pups would be genetically likely to also carry DS.
For more information on Dermoid Sinus you can find a post about it on our Owners’ Advice section of the website and you can find an in-depth blog courtesy of Rhodes2Safety about everything you could possibly need to know about DS (Including gory pictures) here: https://rhodes2safety.com/canine-tip-of-the-day-dermoid-sinus/
Without further ado: here is the video demonstration with a little introduction from our chairwoman here at Ridgeback Rescue: Kerry Rhodes