Help, Need Info on Canine Pemphigus - Page 1

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by spirmon on 30 September 2009 - 17:09

This is a picture of a 4 year old believed to have Canine Pemphigus. We are awaiting a biopsy. I have not been able to find a lot about this condition and was hoping to find help and advise here. What the picture doesn't show is the blisters around his left eye, nose and tounge.  About a month ago, his ears flared up, and he was put on Predisone and Antibotics, his ears and eyes cleared up within a few days and he was weaned off the Predisone. A week after being off the Predisone his ears have falred back up. He has been back on the Predisone 2 days.
He is otherwise healthy and active.  Thanks in advance for any helpful input.

by AnjaBlue on 01 October 2009 - 02:10

Pemphigus is an autoimmune disease - the body attacks itself (in this case, by producing antibodies which target the skin.) There is no known cause and no known cure - it can just be managed. You need to wait until you get the result of the biopsy, because discoid lupus and pemphigus can look very much alike. Then you can go online and go to one of the search engines (like Google or Bing), type in whichever disease your dog has, and get a great deal of information. There are different forms of pemphigus, unfortunately the treatment is basically the same - doses of heavy duty corticosteroids (like Prednisone) for the life of the dog. The problem with this approach is that these drugs can cause serious side effects, and since they don't cure anything (just suppress the symptoms), when you withdraw them the bad stuff will most likely return (as you have seen with your dogs ears.) If you live in the US or Europe (I don't know what the availability is in other places) I would seek out an holistic vet  who can use homeopathy as a way to manage the disease -  in other words to use remedies to boost the immune system rather than drugs which suppress it, leaving your dog open to other medical issues. A raw diet with supplements (salmon oil and Vit E) can be very helpful also - and stay away from vaccinations, which are only going to compromise your dog further. The condition can also be made worse by keeping your dog out in the sun for prolonged periods of time..........

It is a frustrating disease to deal with, because it is basically for ever  -  there may be periods of remission followed by flare ups. Good luck - let us know the results of the biopsy.... 

by spirmon on 01 October 2009 - 02:10

Thankyou for your information. I want to compile as much information on this as possible.  Would like to also hear from any one else who has/had a shepherd with this problem and how it was managed.

by AnjaBlue on 01 October 2009 - 11:10

Our 8 year old girl has it - she actually has the worst kind (pemphigus vulgaris) which attacks the mucous membranes. Don't be surprised if you don't get much response on this, it isn't that common in GSD's. There aren't many options for managing it I'm afraid - you either use the steroids/antibiotics and deal with the side effects, or you don't. I chose not to because I have access to alternative medicine , and instead of suppressing the disease and pushing it inward I wanted to keep it on the surface, and well away from internal organs (which is what homeopathic medicine seeks to do.)

I'd be very interested to see if you get any more information on this topic, so I'll keep checking this thread. You are welcome to PM me if you need support or further info - as I said, it is a difficult problem to deal with, and comes with a significant amount of discomfort/pain for the dog.

by TessJ10 on 01 October 2009 - 12:10

I remembered reading a case study so I looked it up for you:  Some of the results have been very encouraging, i.e. no recurrence for up to 6 years.

Here's more info as well:

Good luck!

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