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skin disease

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Hi there,

 

I am trying to find up to date information regarding a disease called bullous pemphigoid,

which is the tentative diagnosis for my 7 yr old

female Border Collie. I'd also appreciate

any personal experiences you might have had related to this disease. The vets are recommending massive oral steriod doses, perhaps for the rest of her life. They don't seem to vue the potential side effects as an important issue.

 

Thanks, Sheryl

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Sorry to hear about your dog?s problem, Sheryl. You?ve probably found this info, but it might be useful ? does seem like steroids are the go.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.js...us%2cpemphigoid

A search on www.dogpile.com using ?bullous pemphigoid dogs? as the keyword, also threw up a number of references.

Good luck to you and you fur girl.

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This entity is rare in humans, I've only ever seen one case.

 

As the article mentions, it's caused by your own antibodies attacking the skin, causing blisters. Drugs to suppress the immune system, of which steroids are but one type, are the required treatment. In humans, there tends to have bad episodes between periods of remission - maybe you can get away with treating the flare-ups with aggressive steroids thereby sparing some of the side effects of chronic treatment. That would depend on the frequency of flare-ups and the overall impact and chronicity of the disease. A recent research study in humans found that a potent steroid cream applied to the skin actually works better than oral steroids while sparing the side effect issues. Perhaps worth a try. But if your dog licks the cream off, it's going to be oral steroids anyway.

 

I'll have to leave it to the vets to determine if any of this can be extrapolated to your BC. I am not a vet, and dogs are not necessarily treated the same way as people would be.

 

Good luck,

 

-kevin-

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Thanks for the good suggestions. I've done about 15 hours on the internet, searching for alternatives to steroids, and had a lengthy discussion with the vet. We're planning to go ahead with the steroids and have several good options for maintenence therapy after she

improves. I appreciate the help.

 

Sheryl

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As the article mentions, it's caused by your own antibodies attacking the skin, causing blisters. Drugs to suppress the immune system, of which steroids are but one type, are the required treatment.

_________________________________________________

 

There are extremeley effective holistic regimens available for autoimmune problems that don't screw up and suppress the immune system, rather they bring the immune system back into balance. You need a regimen that uses an "adaptogen" instead of one that uses a regimen that "boosts the immune system up.

 

I have used this successfully on one of my dogs, and the same has been used successfully by many others.

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My old dog had an autoimmune disease that attacked the skin. He was getting puss filled blisters on his paws and open sores every where else. He went on steriods for a while then we weaned him off. After that it seemed to manage itself I guess as the open sores never did come back. It was a scary time. Good luck to you!

 

Jill

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As a policy, I try not to discredit holistic remedies out-of-hand since I don't know much about them, what they do or how they might work. However, I can tell you from good authority that steroids do not stimulate the immune system as Northof49 states.

 

Steroids (specifically corticosteroids, not anabolic steroids which build muscle) are immune system suppressants. They interact with the genetic machinery in the nucleus of white blood cells to shut off the production of many different proteins that collectively produce the immune response (including antibodies). In the case of bullous pemphigoid, the white blood cells have "imprinted" on the skin cell proteins and produce antibodies to attack those cells. By shutting off this process at the level of gene transcription with corticosteroids, inflammation is suppressed.

 

There are other immune system suppressants which are not steroids, most of which work in similar ways. Many persons rely on these drugs to keep their immune system from attacking and killing their transplanted organs, allowing them to survive when they otherwise wouldn't.

 

I do not know what an adaptogen is, nor what role it or holistic remedies might play in the treatment of this disease.

 

-kevin-

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I've been told an adaptogen calms an overly enthusiastic immune system and revs up a lazy one. Interesting. My vet says that dogs don't usually have the degree of nasty side effects that humans do to steroid use. He expects that she'll remiss in a relatively short time and will be maintained with lesser medications. He is including an omega 3 and vitamin supplement

now, that matches what was suggested by holistic practice. I did hear from one person who had a dog with similar diagnosis. She offered her holistic recipe, including an adaptogen, and it

all seemed to make good sense to me. It was very similar to what my dog will be on for mainenence.

 

Thanks again for the suggestions and comments.

 

Sheryl

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There are extremeley effective holistic regimens available for autoimmune problems that don't screw up and suppress the immune system,

________________________________________________

 

I was referring to the fact that holistic regimens do not supppress the immune system like prednisone etc., does in order to control an autoimmune problem.

 

 

You need a regimen that uses an "adaptogen" instead of one that uses a regimen that "boosts the immune system up

_________________________________________________

 

I was referring to the fact that the holistic regimen you need to use for an autoimmune disease is one that brings the immune system back DOWN into balance.

 

An adaptogen is capable of either boosting a poor immune system back up, OR taking an overactive immune system and bringing it back down into balance, depending on what is needed.

 

On the other hand, something like Licorice Root, only works by boosting the immune system up, which would be the opposite of what you want for any autoimmune problem.

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