One of a group of similar diseases (including pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus vegetans, and pemphigus erythematosus) known collectively as the pemphigus complex, pemphigus foliaceus is a disease in which the body mistakenly produces antibodies that attack the outermost layer of skin. Though all breeds of dog are susceptible to this disease, the most common victims include Akitas, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, Spitz breeds, and Bearded Collies.
Because pemphigus foliaceus affects the most superficial skin layer, it is fortunately very easy to spot and diagnose. It usually manifests at first as a scaly texture to the skin, which then results in blisters that quickly rupture and cause scabs and other pus-filled sores. The blisters tend to come to a head and drain rapidly so they may be hard to find, but in general the disease has a very distinctive look and feel that makes it hard to misidentify. [...]
As with any purebred breed of dogs there are some genetic health problems associated with the Akita breed. They are not typically unhealthy dogs and virtually all of the health issues within the breed can be tested for prior to breeding, ensuring that reputable breeders are not producing genetically inferior litters. With this breeds surge in popularity in the early 1970s through the 1980 many puppy mills and backyard breeders produced genetically unhealthy dogs, leading to health issues with the breed. For this reason it is highly recommended to only purchase an Akita from a reputable breeder that completes all health and genetic checks prior to breeding programs. [...]