Pemphigus in dogs is a group of autoimmune diseases that will affect your pet’s skin and mucous membranes.
It is a growing problem in dogs and this group of diseases can cause scaling skin, scabbiness, lesions, and on occasions pustules.
These are pus filled sores that will resemble acne in humans.
An autoimmune disease is unique in that your dog’s immune system is basically attacking itself by mistake.
It attacks healthy cells and with this condition your pet’s body recognizes a glycoprotein that is naturally found in the skin and attacks it.
A glycoprotein is a molecule that consists of a carbohydrate plus a protein.
These molecules play very important roles in your pet’s body as the immune system response mechanism is made up almost entirely of these molecules.
In an autoimmune disease, there is something that malfunctions in the immune systems process that causes it to attack itself.
These conditions can be very difficult to treat as they may disappear as suddenly as they appear.
They may also flare-up again and become chronic; where they can cause a lot of damage to your pet’s skin.
There are four different types of Pemphigus in dogs: Bullous pemphigus, Erythematosus, Foliaceus, and Vulgaris.
The type of the disease is determined by which layer of skin that it affects.
The most common form of Pemphigus in dogs is Foliaceus and it affects the top layer of your pet’s skin.
The breeds at the most at risk include Akitas, Chow Chows, Dachshunds, Bearded Collies, and Dobermans, Schipperke, and Newfoundland dogs.
This form of the disease will most often affect the feet or the head of the dog, will start out as pustules, but will usually progress into a severe crusting.
As a result, their nose may become discolored and severe itching will develop in the affected areas of their skin.
If the footpads or the nails of your dog become infected, it could cause a temporary loss of leg motor functions that could become permanent if not treated very quickly.
If your dog is severely infected, they may develop a very high fever and lose their appetites completely.
Erythematosus is the next most common form of Pemphigus in dogs and the breeds that are most at risk are Collies, German Shepherds, and Shetland Sheepdogs.
This form of this disease group also attacks cats.
It is believed that excessive exposure to sunlight may be the catalyst for this form of infections.
The symptoms will include pustules that drain and as result will also cause crusting of the skin. This form of the disease group attacks the skin on the face and on the ears.
The other two forms are not quite as common but are considered much more serious.
Pemphigus Bullous is found almost entirely in Collies and Doberman Pincher.
Over 75 percent of the dogs affected with this type of the disease will develop oral lesions in the form of vesicles that attack the groin area as well as under the front legs.
Vulgaris is the final form of Pemphigus in dogs, and is the most severe. It can attack any breed of dog and causes severe ulcerations from vesicles that have broken open.
This type of the disease attacks your pet skin where normal skin meets specialized skin, and as a result can infect the mouth, nose, prepuce, anus, and vagina areas.
However, in most all cases, the mouth will become severely infected.
These ulcerations are especially dangerous as they can lead to several types of secondary conditions.
Since autoimmune diseases are the cause of an irrational response by your dog’s immune system to itself, the most effective treatment is to try modifying the immune systems response.
As a result, the treatment for Pemphigus in dogs most commonly used is Corticosteroids.
The most common Corticosteroid used is Prednisone in high doses as it works very rapidly and your dog needs the relief as quickly as possible.
However, all corticosteroids have the potential for some serious side effects, and this one is no different.
Some of the side affects include increased thirst as well as urination, susceptibility to further infection, and potential damages to your dog’s liver, adrenal glands, as well as muscle loss.
Liquid gold injections have also been used to treat autoimmune diseases, as it can slow down the immune response and it is not effective in all cases.
There are also side effects with gold injections and they could actually cause skin rashes in other parts of your dog’s body.
It can also cause diarrhea as well as allergy like reactions.
Since autoimmune systems are so difficult to treat effectively, the best way to help your dog is to build the immune system as strong as possible so it will not attack itself.
Autoimmune diseases are caused by foreign antigens that your dog’s body has reacted to and this reaction is generally caused by some type of a nutritional deficiency or a genetic weakness.
There are natural treatments and vitamins as well as minerals that can help to prevent this reaction.
Astraglus root has been used for centuries in both people and dogs as a natural form of reducing autoimmune responses.
It has also proved to be extremely effective in restoring the immune system back to full strength and offers immediate relief as well as protection against skin conditions.
It can be found in almost all natural immune treatments or in tablet form.
Echinacea extract is the top selling herb in the United States and has been used for centuries by Native Americans.
It has been used to heal skin wounds as it helps to activate white blood cells and fights viral, fungi, and bacterial infections.
It also has a very potent cortisone effect in soothing pain caused by these skin conditions.
Vitamin E is also very effective in healing burns and skin conditions of all types as it helps your dogs overall cardiovascular system and as a result, their immune system.
Pemphigus in dogs can be very painful and difficult to treat once it has attacked.
The best way to treat it is to prevent it from happening in your dog and causing the immune system to attack itself.