Discoid lupus erythematosus is thought to be an immune-mediated disease in which local skin lesions occur. the lesions may be aggravated by exposure to sunlight.
It is very rare in cats.
Diagnosis is confirmed on skin biopsy taken from affected areas.
Immunological tests such as immunofluorescence are not usually necessary, and antinuclear-antibody tests are usually negative.
Systemic (tablet or injection) or topical (creams) corticosteroids (eg prednisolone) are used to induce and maintain remission, with long-term low-dose intermittent treatment being preferred.
Strategies to reduce exposure to the sun are also helpful - eg keep the animal indoors and protected from strong sunlight. Use sun-blocking creams.
High doses of vitamin E (400-800 IU/day) have been reported to be of benefit in some cases., as has the use of niacinamide in combination with tetracycline (250mg of each three times daily by mouth for dogs under 10kg body weight, 500mg of each at the same rate for dogs over 10kg body weight
Good. this is not a life-threatening disorder.
Long term problems
Relapses are common in affected animals that respond to initial treatment, particularly following exposure to sunlight
Updated January 2016
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