Lupus in Cats

20 May 2020

May 10, 2020

 I was speaking with a close friend who has been able to manage her lupus when I came across cats with lupus and I had to research on this.  Cats do get systemic lupus which is a rare feline autoimmune disease caused by abnormal regulation of the immune system.

Just like humans the cat’s body recognizes the body’s own cell as foreign this means the system attacks itself by mistake, normally the bodies have an immune system that protects from foreign invaders which causes disease and infection so when antibodies bind to persistent antigens can create immune complexes.

 The immune cells fail to recognise the body’s normal healthy cells from foreign cells which means they destroy the normal tissues. An autoimmune disease can affect a single system or multiple body systems and can affect skin connective tissue, muscles and nerves the system that controls hormones and other chemicals like red blood cells and the digestive system.

Systemic lupus is an autoimmune disease it is rare in cats, it can be life threatening multiple organs are usually affected and has widespread abnormalities of the skin, mouth, muscles, blood vessels lungs kidneys joints and nervous system.

Unless cats are diagnosed, they should not be vaccinated except under certain circumstances.

 The cause in not really understood, early diagnosis is recommended since left untreated the complications of autoimmune disease are serious, challenging and complicated.

Fortunately, autoimmune skin diseases are rare in cats, pemphigus is a group of five autoimmune skin diseases which are large and small blisters in the mouth other areas affected are eyelids, lips, nostrils, and anus.

Pemphigus Foliaceus is leaf like it is the most common autoimmune skin disease in cats the cat can develop crusts and ulcers around the eye’s ears footpads’ groin and bridge of the nose. In cats, lesions also develop at the toenail beds creating crusty sore feet, sometimes drugs and pollen can cause this.

Pemphigus Vulgaris is where fluid filled blisters called vesicles form in and around the mouth, eyelids, lips, nostrils, anus prepuce or vulva.  These vesicles rupture easily creating painful ulcers.

Pemphigus Erythematosus its most common symptom is redness, crusting, scales, and hair loss on the nose when the cat is exposed to ultraviolet light worsens a form of pemphigus.

The less severe pemphigus causes serious tumours.

Cats can be hospitalized and examined every two hours until adequate biopsies are obtained.  If a cat gets bullous pemphigoid which is a different type of autoimmune skin disease this is a large thin walled sac filled with clear fluid, the skin is very itchy and large red welts and hives which often appear before or during the formation of blisters. Vesicles and ulcers may be found in the mouth and in the armpits and groin.

 The vet will more likely to give drugs to reduce the reaction of the immune system that is causing the disease but some cats will require stronger immunosuppressant medications such as chlorambucil or oral cyclosporine. This can be controllable with the appropriate medication.

Some of the herbs that can help with lupus are

  1. TurmericCurcuminis an active ingredient in turmeric which can prove effective in the treatment of autoimmune diseases like lupus. ...
  2. Ginger. ...
  3. Apple cider vinegar. ...
  4. Coconut oil. ...
  5. Epsom salt. ...
  6. Tulsi or Holy basil. ...
  7. Flaxseeds...
  8. Green tea.

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