Dermoid Sinus is a congenital defect in the tubes from the surface of the skin down to the spinal column (Spina bifida in humans). As the disease progresses, the dog suffers great pain. The sinus is removed in surgery. The recovery can be as traumatic as the operation itself. A recovering dog must be kept away from other dogs so rough play doesn’t cause damage to the site of the surgery.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to Dermoid Sinus. Foods high in Folic Acid may reduce the incidence of Dermoid Sinus. It is possible to detect the presence of the disease in young puppies long before the sinus becomes septic. Unfortunately, most people don’t notice the problem until it requires surgery. If the skin fold is raised with one hand and the skin allowed to slip back and forward between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand the presence of the Sinus can be felt as a thin cord-like structure between the two layers of skin.