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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28450
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my dog has very sore gums and my vet did a swab of the mouth

Resolved Question:

my dog has very sore gums and my vet did a swab of the mouth and it has come back as a form of lupus a auto imune diesese would he need a blood test to confirm this and what is the best treatment for my dog it the future good for him or grim he is on Prednisone tablets

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Charlie. Confirmation of systemic lupus erythematosus relies on identifying at least two different affected organ systems. The diagnosis is made when any three of the following occur concurrently or over any period of time:

Cutaneous lesions, especially skin exposed to sunlight and/or at mucocutaneous junctions.
Oral mucosal ulcers
Nonseptic, nonerosive polyarthritis
Glomerulonephritis
Hemolytic anemia and/or thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets)
Leukopenia (decreased white blood cells in the peripheral blood)
Polymyositis or myocarditis (inflammation of muscles)
Serositis (nonseptic inflammatory effusions - fluid accumulations - in the abdominal, pleural, or pericardial cavity
Neurologic disorder (seizures, psychosis, or polyneuritis - nerve inflammation)
Significant serum antinuclear antibody (ANA) titer.

As you can see there isn't any one blood test that confirms lupus but, instead, we need a preponderance of evidence to do so.

If Charlie resists taking pills, please ask for a tasty suspension of prednisone to be formulated by a veterinary pharmacy which you could add to his food or squirt between his cheek teeth and cheek with an eyedropper. Immunosuppressive therapy with a steroid such as prednisone is essential. The prognosis isn't well-known; many cases wax and wane but in general the prognosis is good when treated appropriately. The finding of progressive renal disease as evidenced particularly by proteinuria (loss of protein) through damaged glomeruli (see "glomerulonephritis" above - inflammation of the filtering organs of the kidneys) indicates a guarded prognosis.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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