Canine Lupus Treatment

Lupus is a rare autoimmune disease that can occur in dogs as well. The disease will manifest through different symptoms such as skin lesions, apathy, lack of appetite and fever. The immune system of the dog will start attacking its own cells. The causes of the disease are not known and a complete lupus treatment is not yet available. However, the disease can be managed with medication. Lupus may be in remission if the dog gets the necessary medication treatment and is well taken care of.

Corticosteroid Treatment

Lupus in dogs is caused by a hyperactive immune system, which needs to be controlled to avoid outbreaks of lupus. Corticosteroids are most often prescribed to dogs with lupus. The corticosteroids will focus on limiting the immune system functions and handling inflammation, which can be a common symptom of canine lupus. Prednisone or prednisolone should be administered in suitable doses and the treatment is for life. The vet may decide to take a medication break if the dog's condition is stable, but the dog needs to be monitored. The side effects of corticosteroid treatment will include water retention, increased appetite, mood swings and irritability. The steroids may also cause liver or kidney damage.

Avoiding Triggers

There are a few triggers that will cause adverse reactions from the immune system. These may include:

  • Sun
  • Chemicals
  • Toxins
  • Smoke
  • Excessive heat
  • Hormonal activity
  • Certain drugs, including hormone therapy

All these triggers must be avoided as much as possible, to keep the dog's condition stable.


Sun is one of the most dangerous triggers that will activate the antibodies produced by the immune system. Dogs with lupus should be kept away from sun if possible and a sunscreen should always be worn while in the sun.

Lesion Management

Lupus is a disease that will manifest through skin lesions. These lesions should be taken care of, so that the dog won't scratch them and cause infections or other complications. There are numerous ointments that can take care of the skin lesions caused by canine lupus.

Managing Secondary Diseases

While under treatment with corticosteroids, the dog's immune system is dormant and will not respond to infections or other possible dangers, so the dog will be more likely to develop secondary diseases. These should be managed to keep the dog in good health. If not managed, these secondary diseases may be fatal. Meanwhile, it is advisable to keep the dog indoors and avoid contact with other dog communities or kennels, where there is a high risk of infection with different diseases.

Lupus Prognosis

Dogs with lupus can live a normal life provided they are under medication and constant surveillance. The secondary infections should be tackled in a timely manner. In some cases, the secondary diseases can be fatal.

The disease may develop if medication is not administered. It attacks internal organs such as the kidneys or the heart. Lupus can be deadly.