TERM OF THE DAY
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, also known as Lupus, is a rare autoimmune disease where the blood has unusual antibodies, which attack the tissues of the dog's body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosis causes disease to the skin, kidneys, joints, lungs, nervous system, blood and heart, affecting several organs at once. The symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosis are commonly confused with other diseases and can be both sudden and chronic. The symptoms seem to recur in a cycle and they include fever, arthritis in multiple joints, shifting lameness, anemia, oral ulcers, skin lesions, low white blood count, inflammation of the thyroid, hair loss, painful muscles, enlargement of the spleen and the crusting of the skin. More advanced symptoms can be infections and/or failure of the kidney, infections of the blood, and septic arthritis. These symptoms can occur together or separately. Treatment for Systemic Lupus Erythematosis is generally life long and is usually tailored to the individual dog. Medicinal treatments are used such as corticosteroids and antibiotics. It is also advised that a dog that is diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis should have limited sunlight since the ultraviolet rays can cause flare-ups of the disease.
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