Lynda V

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My Great Pyr has been tentatively diagnosed with discoid lupus. I say tentatively, because the vet is judging by symptoms. If she doesn't respond to the medications that the vet prescribed, a biopsy will be done on some skin tissue. It's not at all common for Pyrs to have it. My main concern is that the condition is made worse by exposure to the sun, and my dog is outdoors with the sheep most of the day. I was wondering if anyone has or knows of a Pyr or another type of lgd with this condition and how they managed it.
 
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Mike CHS

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I had to look it up to see what it is so I'm no help. I do hope you get some answers though.
 

Ridgetop

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No idea what it even is. How can she work if she can't be out with the sheep? And how can she be happy if she isn't out with the sheep? Can you devise some sort of coat for her to wear? Kind of like the jackets the seeing eye dogs and other helper dogs wear? Or what might be better since it fits tight like a stocking, how about a super large size sheep coat. The stretchy tube type ones that kids put on their market sheep to keep them clean for the Fair. They are stretch knit fabric available in different sizes from livestock manufacturers. They are slit for the animals to pee through. If they make them large enough, I would buy 2 so you can wash one every day or so, and also in case she tears one. No idea where you live, so don't know if you have heavy brush or grass pasture. Heavy brush and brambles might tear it pdq but t might be worth a try. How big is she?
 

Lynda V

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Thanks for your ideas. I appreciate your taking the time to respond:). Discoid lupus however (as I now know. Never heard of it before either!) is an autoimmune disease that manifests itself in areas that are exposed to the sun, which in dogs is mainly the nose and eye area, since everything else is covered in fur. My dog seems to have a pretty severe form, which means bleeding, scabs, and ulcers on the top of the nose pretty much all summer long. Keeping the dog indoors is the recommended treatment, which in our case is not possible, since my girl is an lgd. Last summer we actually did turn a sun room into a doggie hospital and kept her in for two weeks when her nose was really bad. The idea then, since we didn't know about the lupus, was just to keep the flies away from her nose and to keep our other pyr from licking the topical medication off. She did improve greatly, but obviously that is not a long term solution! She was miserable, her pyr pal was miserable, and she needs to be able to do her job.
So, right now she's on a course of medications consisting of a mix of steroids and antibiotics. Her nose is much better; all healed over with no bleeding, which is such a relief. We've gone through this for the past three summers (every summer of her life,actually!) and I was getting desperate. It's good to have a name to put on this issue and, even though it is chronic and not curable, her vet and I will know what treatments work for her condition while still enabling her to be out with her sheep.
 

Ridgetop

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Have you ever used a spray called Alumashield? It is mainly available for horses, and when my mare had a particularly nasty open sore that the flies were constantly laying eggs in, we used Alumashield. It goes on like silver paint and forms a complete barrier. Great stuff. We have since used it on sheep and dogs. I am never without a can now for all the animals.
 

Lynda V

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That sounds like it could be helpful! My concern would be if it would be dangerous for the dogs to ingest. Her pyr pal loves nothing better than to lick her nose after I've put on some balm or ointment. It's as if he's saying, "Oh, you've got something on your nose. Here, let me help you with that.":confused:
 

Ridgetop

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I am not sure. Look it up on line though. It is available at most feed stores and also on line. I use it on the sheep too.
 

farmerjan

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Many of the dairy farmers also use it on the cows.... foot rot after cleaning it out, sores on legs, you name it. I don't know if it would be dangerous for them to lick.... but once it is "dried" on, forms a barrier. Only takes a few minutes to dry from what I've seen.
 
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