Corticosteroid Treatment for Lupus in Dogs

Lupus is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging diseases that your dog can experience, and a treatment for lupus is necessary if you want to prevent your dog from suffering quite a bit and, potentially, even dying as a result of the condition. Lupus is an autoimmune condition that results in your dog's body not being able to process its own tissues in the correct way. The result is that the body attempt s to fight itself with immune system responses. The condition can result in a number of painful and irritating symptoms.

How Corticosteroid Treatment Works

One of the goals of any lupus treatment plan is to lower the patient's natural immune system level. This will result in the immune system not being able to adequately fight off the perceived threat that is the rest of the dog's body. Corticosteroids have a number of medicinal and medical benefits for dogs, but they also have some risks. Typically, a suppressed immune system is seen as one of the adverse effects of taking a corticosteroid treatment for your pet. However, in the case of lupus, it's precisely this effect that the veterinarian takes advantage of when he prescribes corticosteroids.

Effects of Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids not only suppress your pet's immune system, but they result in a number of other effects as well. This can include increased healing from sores and other signs of lupus, resistance to some certain forms of skin condition and arthritis, and more. Corticosteroids are also a natural pain reliever, so your pet will be less likely to display signs of pain as a result of lupus or some other condition.

Dangers of Corticosteroids

In addition to the obvious danger of a suppressed immune system, which can lead your dog to experience a greater incidence of standard illnesses and other types of diseases, corticosteroids are generally quite hard on your pet's body. These powerful drugs are addictive and can result in withdrawal symptoms after they are removed from your pet's system. Additionally, most vets will need to prescribe additional medicines on top of the corticosteroid treatment in order to ensure that your pet isn't susceptible to every disease that should cross his path. Oftentimes, your dog will need to undergo a general antibiotics regimen at all times during his corticosteroid treatment for lupus.

Corticosteroids are generally not recommended for long term use, so it's important that you consult with your veterinarian about long term strategies for managing your pet's condition. Long term use of corticosteroids can result in weaker bones and muscles, susceptibility to a variety of chronic conditions, and, in some cases, adverse reactions in certain dogs.

Lupus is a very dangerous and debilitating condition, and you should take it upon yourself to familiarize yourself with the signs of this condition. At the first sign that your pet is experiencing lupus, you should take him in to the doctor or veterinarian for a thorough check up.