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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Murraysmom. Lightning was just diagnosed with lupus. I'm going in tomorrow to get the meds and talk to the vet about it all. Like you, I was relieved that it wasn't something worse, but I'm still concerned. So how is Murray doing? Does he stay on his meds all the time? How is he tolerating them? Thanks for any info you can provide about living with lupus.--Allison (and Lightning)
 

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Canine Lupus | Canine Systemic Lupus | Canine Discoid Lupus

I just saw this- thanks Mike for the heads up- I've been cleaning my flooded basement for the past 4 days(we got 15.2 inches of rainfall from last weeks storm and a couple of inches in our basement) and haven't been online.

Above is a link that describes the difference between canine systemic lupus vs canine discoid lupus. Murray has discoid lupus. He had a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, and when his nose is ulcerating I use a littlre paint brush and put tacrolimus on the sore. Sunlight makes it worse, so I made a little cloth nose cover that I tie over his muzzle if he goes outside during an episode. The good thing is that it's been about a year since he's had an episode.

Murray is 9 now, and sometimes I think I've singlehandedly financed my vet's kids college education. Murray was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis last December; we monitor his liver function and he takes Denamarin (milk thistle and Sam-e based) to support his liver function. He's retired from his hospital pet therapy visits since it's hard for him to walk long distances anymore due to weaknes in his back leg, but we're doing a reading program for kids grade 1-4 at our local library.

Thanks for asking about him, and good luck with Lightening- please let us know what the vet says-
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the update. It's definitely discoid lupus. Yesterday I got his meds: tetracycline and a special vitamin. Is that what Murray took/takes? I'll have to look for tacrolimus. Never heard of that before. Lightning doesn't spend much time outdoors, but I know he still needs sun protection. I'm glad Murray is doing relatively well. Lightning is 13.5, and otherwise he's in great shape. So what's a little lupus? But again, thanks for telling me about Murrays' experiences with it.
 

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Here's a link to information about tacrolimus Tacrolimus Eye Drops

It's used for dry eye (Murray has that too!) but is also perscribed for dermatological conditions- it helps to heal the discoid lupus nose sores. You have to be careful handling it, it's recommended that you don't get it on your own skin when applying it- that's why I use a little watercolor brush. After applying it, I just hold Murray's muzzle gently for a minute so he doesn't lick it off his nose before it dries.

I can't remember what else he was on last time, but I think they gave him a vitamin and an antibiotic too.

I had a heck of a time trying to find something to cover his nose in the sun, and finally made a little cotton flap that I can tie over his muzzle. He's OK with it if I sit by him while he's outdoors, but he'll 'lose it' as soon as I turn my back. I don't blame him; he knows he looks silly and I wouldn't want something tied on my face like that either, but sun really does make it worse.
 

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url=http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesandconditions/qt/petsunscreens.htm]Protect Your Pets From Getting Sunburned[/url]
Use pet-safe sunscreens if possible As of this writing, only one has FDA approval, and that is Epi-Pet Sun Protector. This is great news for dogs and horses, [/url]

Zinc oxide paste are toxic if ingeseted and therefor not recommended.
 

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Thanks Mike, I should have mentioned that sunblock. That might work for Lightening.

I put alot of time into trying to find a sunblock back when Murray was first diagnosed. My vet was no help at all, in fact didn't realize that human sun protectors shouldn't be used becasue of zinc oxide. I actually ordered the Epi-Pet Sun Protector but ended up not using it because Murray wouldn't stop licking his nose and vomiting- that's how I ended up having to make the 'nose flap'.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've got to see this nose flap. Do you have any photos? It might be helpful for the dogs I work with in southern Africa that develop oral cancer at a high rate because of sun exposure. I've been trying to think of some kind of visor those dogs could wear that would keep the sun off their face, but visors are hard to keep on in the African bush!
 

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I've got to see this nose flap. Do you have any photos? It might be helpful for the dogs I work with in southern Africa that develop oral cancer at a high rate because of sun exposure. I've been trying to think of some kind of visor those dogs could wear that would keep the sun off their face, but visors are hard to keep on in the African bush!
I'm not very good at taking photos and posting them, but I can describe it. It's quilted cotton material about the size of my hand. It goes from under his eyes toabout an inch off the end of his nose. I attached clothe ties to go over his head and around his neck.

He won't keep it on (I don't blame him!) unless I'm with him, so it probably wouldn't work for dogs in general.

I looked all over the internet for visors and hats that would shade his nose and there was nothing out there. The Epi sunscreen is expensive, so I don't know if it would be practical for the African dogs.

Wish I could be of more help!
 

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Wow, i m so impressed by y'allz. Helping these dogs w/cancer in Africa. and poor Murray's mom cleaning out flooded basement for 4 dayz-- that does not sound like so much fun, but still taking the time to answer here.. :)
 
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