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Causes and Prevention of Lupus in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015

Cause of Canine Lupus

The exact causes of lupus are not known, but it is thought that the disease has a strong genetic component. Other suspected contributing factors include viral infection, adverse drug reactions, stress and chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation (sunlight). Sunlight exacerbates the effects of DLE, which occurs more commonly in summer months and sunny climates.

Preventing Lupus

There is no known way to prevent lupus in dogs. Affected animals should not be bred, because of the role that genetics play in this disease. Owners of dogs at increased risk of developing DLE should consider applying a high SPF, waterproof sunblock to their dogs’ nasal planum (the fairly hairless area on the top of the nose/muzzle) and should keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

Special Notes

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a very serious, progressive disease. Discoid lupus erythematosus is considered to be a much more benign, cutaneous (skin) variant of the systemic condition.

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Disorders Similar to Lupus

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Dog Health Center

Lead Poisoning

Dogs can be poisoned when they ingest lead – especially if they have repeated exposure to the substance. Lead is found in a number of places and in a number of different things

Learn more about: Lead Poisoning