Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rare disease that can affect the musculoskeletal, haematopoietic, urinary and cutaneous systems. (Gaudiano,   2005).
Animals suffering from SLE produce a variety of autoantibodies which result in a great range of clinical symptoms. In dogs the disease is most commonly seen in Collies, German Sheppards and Shetland sheep dogs. Characteristically the disease presents itself in dogs as a fluctuating fever and non-erosive polyarthritis. Skin disease is another common symptom with skin lesions that can occur anywhere on the body but most commonly on the face ears and distal extremities. Lesions that are characteristic of autoimmune disease are those that occur on the nasal planum, ear pinnae and footpads. Other common symptoms of canine lupus are renal failure and lymphedema. Pneumonitis, blood dycrosis, pleuritis, pericarditis, myocarditis and neuropathy may also be present. SLE is uncommon in cats. Feline lupus usually presents itself as antiglobulin-positive anaemia. The dermatological form can produce various cutaneous lesions including an erythematosus, alopecia, scaling, crusting and scarring dermatitis. Although these lesions can occur anywhere on the body, it is the face, ear pinnae and paws that are most commonly affected. Other common symptoms in cats are fever, polyarthritis, renal failure, neurologic or behavioural abnormalities, hematologic abnormalities and myopathy. In equines, SLE presents itself as generalised skin disease along with antiglobulin-positive anaemia. (Medleau, 2006).
The most characteristic autoantibody produced in lupus cases are antinuclear antibodies (ANAs). Affected animals develop autoantibodies against antigens located within the cell nucleus. The ANAs participate in the pathogenesis of the disease by combining with free antigens and forming immune complexes. These complexes localise in glomeruli and cause Type III hypersensitivity reaction and subsequently...