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Dog with lupus - February 23rd 2018, 07:52 PM

Okay, so I have a German shepherd, he's about two years old, and was diagnosed as a pup. He's always been sickly though, my parents bought him from some shady breeders on Craigslist (they didn't know any better) but I'm so grateful to have him cause I don't know too many people who would take care of a dog like that.
Anyway, he had a rare sickness called puppy strangles when he was really little (look it up) and it did scar him, but with treatment he recovered. A little bit later he was flaring up again and was diagnosed with lupus, and has been on steroids on and off ever since. They're the only thing available that truly helps him, bit they've had some really bad effects, since they've stunted a lot of his growth and development and are hurting his kidneys and liver. And before you ask, we've been to several vets/ experts and none of them have any idea what to do with him.
I've been cutting back on the steroids, to try to find some middle ground between the two, and its sort of working, but he's still occasionally peeing blood and gnawing at his paws (both from his kidneys/ bladder and the lupus). Despite all of this, he's still really happy, and is able to act and play like a normal dog. I just hate seeing things like that.
So, does anyone have experience with lupus, know anything about this, or have any other tips? I'm not sure what else to do for him. I might put up a pic of him later... anyway anything helps, and thanks.
   
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Re: Dog with lupus - February 26th 2018, 10:56 PM

I'm sorry you haven't received a response to this yet! I was hoping somebody who had personal experience with the issue would reply, as I personally haven't had or met a dog that has lupus before.

It sounds like you're doing all the right things - taking him to the vet when necessary, and managing the symptoms as best you can. I think in cases like this it comes down to finding a way to have as good a baseline as you can, and ways to deal with the times when it gets worse. It's up to you, as the dog's owner, to make calls about which treatments are best and which side-effects are worth those treatments.

If cutting back on the steroids seems to be working, then stick with that and just figure out how to deal with the side-effects (e.g. if he's chewing his paws, you could maybe try bandaging them or having him wear an Elizabethan collar until it settles down a bit). If his quality of life seems good, then just keep doing what you're doing, and making adjustments as you go if his condition changes or if you find something else that might help.

Once again I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help; as I said I have no personal experience with this, and most of the research I did just suggested things like steroids, antibiotics in case of infection, and limiting exposure to sunlight, which it sounds like you already know. I'm glad that your dog is relatively happy despite all this, and I'd love to see a picture if you feel like sharing one.


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