How To Diagnose Lupus Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

How To Diagnose Lupus Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

May 12, 2011 | Dog Diseases | Leave a Comment |

Lupus Disease in Dogs

Lupus disease is an ailment wherein the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. The reason for this is that the immune system mistakes the healthy cells as foreign harmful organisms.

  • Because the immune system’s antigens readily travel throughout the body, all systems are in danger: nervous system, circulatory system, and others.
  • The immune system does not discriminate between cells so that major organs can easily be targeted: heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.

Lupus in Dogs Symptoms

  • Because lupus attacks different organs and body systems, the symptoms could be different among patients.
  • Still, the following symptoms may be observed in dogs with lupus:
    • Skin lesions
    • Muscle inflammation
    • Anemia
    • Infections
    • Hair loss or dull hair
    • Inflammation of the heart muscles
    • Anorexia
    • Seizure
    • Fever
    • Increased urination
    • Lethargy

Diagnosing Lupus in Dogs

  • To diagnose lupus, the vet will go through the symptoms, medical history, and make certain clinical tests. These tests include:
    • Complete blood count
    • Immunofluorescence test
    • Antinuclear antibody tests
    • Skin biopsy
    • Urinalysis

Lupus in Dogs Treatment

  • There is no direct treatment for canine lupus. Still, the symptoms can be minimized and the affected organs or systems are treated.
  • Thus, treatment for lupus also varies among individuals.
  • Possible treatments are:
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Antibiotics
    • Topical creams to address skin infections and ailments
    • Vitamin E is often provided to help improve skin and coat conditions
    • It is also very important that the dog is protected from UV radiation from the sun as this is among the main triggers for the ailment.

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