Eosinophilic Granuloma in Dogs

Eosinophilic Granulomas are a form of diseases in pets that are characterized by an overactive immune system response to a perceived threat. In most cases, there is no danger to the immune system, and the body reacts abnormally by producing an overflow of immune system cells. The result of this excessive production of histiocytes is that there are oftentimes bone growths and many other issues as well.

These can be painful and potentially even life threatening, depending upon where they develop. In advanced cases, the growths may cause other bones to break or become malformed. In other situations for dogs, lesions appear on the surface of the skin.

Eosinophilic Granuloma Overview

In most cases, Eosinophilic Granuloma in dogs is caused by some sort of hypersensitivity or allergic reaction in the body. The body will begin to produce immune system cells as if it were to fight against a perceived virus or other disease invader. However, the cells are produced at such high quantities that they can, if left untreated, cause a host of other problems. Some of the most common symptoms associated with Eosinophilic Granuloma in dogs are the following:

  • Skin lesions
  • Open sores and wounds
  • Discharge or bleeding
  • Bone growths
  • General bone pain
  • Difficulty walking or sitting down
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

This condition may arise in dogs of any age, breed or of both genders. it is much more common, generally speaking, in feline cases. however, dogs have been known to develop Eosinophilic Granuloma as well. If your pet has a known hypersensitivity to a particular ingredient or susbtance, this could be the cause. otherwise, cases have been known to arise idiopathically and without any detectable reason.

Diagnosing Eosinophilic Granuloma

If your vet suspects that your pet may be suffering from a case of Eosinophilic Granuloma, he will likely begin with a physical examination to determine the nature of the lesions on his body. He will usually take a small tissue sample for tests and analysis in the lab. These tests can confirm or deny whether the composition of the growth or lesion is based on the histiocyte immune system cells that are characteristic of Eosinophilic Granuloma. In the case of an internal growth, a biopsy or x-rays may be necessary as well.

Treating Eosinophilic Granuloma

The best way to treat Eosinophilic Granuloma in dogs is to find a way to stop or slow down the immune system. Corticosteroids have the side effect of slowing the immune system generally, so a small dose and a short regimen of these medicines is useful in acute cases. However, there are a number of other considerations to make when treating your pet in this way. First, lowering his overall immune system function will leave him weakened and susceptible to many other diseases and conditions as well. Additionally, corticosteroids may have a number of other side effects, and you should be prepared to check in with your vet regularly and to monitor your dog closely throughout the treatment.