Q19: I have an 18 month old, spayed, German Shorthair Pointer female. She was diagnosed with Canine Lupoid Dermatosis last March.  I have her on steroids, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, and an antihistamine, and I just started her on Colloidal Silver.  Her flare-ups include fever, itching, sores that scab over, ranging from very small to very large.  Between flares she has dry skin and thin hair.  Do you have any info about this disease.  Any success stories.  My Vet and Canine Specialist says we should be looking at putting her down, but between flares, she is a happy, loving dog.  Her flares are sometimes weeks apart, sometimes only a few days.   I am desperate to find more info on this devastating disease....Thank You....

A: Thanks for your question. The disease that your dog has is terribly ravaging and hard on both dog and owner. It is fairly uncommon at this point in our breed, but the numbers are growing fast. So fast, in fact, that there is a special study going on about it now at a major research university. They are looking for candidates for their study, still, I believe, and your dog may be a candidate if you'd like to contact them. Even if she is not able to become part of the study, they can be a resource of info for you, and can possibly keep you apprised on the results of their study.

It is being conducted at t
he University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and is for dogs with canine Lupoid Dermatosis. If they agree to take your dog into the study program, the owner has to agree as well. The dog must physically go to Penn to participate in the study.

The Vet School will study him/her for genetic markers and indicators, look for a cure for the disease and try different treatments on him/her to relieve or cure
the illness. (S)he will have a sizable kennel and run and (s)he will have play and exercise time, so (s)he won't just be a lab animal. Penn allows owners to visit the dogs; they don't encourage it but they don't mind. They have will agree to give the dog back to the owner should a cure be found.

There is an interesting side note, the human Medical school there is also interested in the study as there is a human version of Lupoid Dermatosis as well. So the dogs will get a lot of attention as well as funding from The National Institute of Health to study the human disease. That bodes well for the breed as we have a much stronger chance of finding the genetic marker that will lead to a test when we have this much interest in the disease.

When I mention the Vet Program at Penn many owners are very hesitant, but when they realize that the only way to stop the disease is to have dogs like their own studied, they realize that they need to participate. There is now  a Lupoid Dermatosis Foundation through Penn, and they are accepting donations and will be soliciting funds for the foundation through the GSPCA and individual donations, as well.

Here is the contact info for Lupoid Dermatosis at Penn. Margret is wonderful, very helpful and concerned.

Margret L Casal, Dr med vet, PhD, Dipl ECAR
  Assistant Professor of Medical Genetics
  University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary   Medicine
  3850 Spruce Street
  Philadelphia, PA  19104-6010
  Ph:  215-898-0029  FAX:  215-573-2162

In my opinion, this is the best possible solution to a bad situation. Thank you for your question, and I hope this will help. If you would kindly also provide me with your dog's breeder's name and contact information, your dog's parent's names and registration numbers, I will send the info to the GSPCA (national breed club) to add to their database of genetic disease carrier information.

Kind Regards
. . .