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Conservative Management with Lupus – Kaylie

My 9-year-old 64 lb Kaylie became critically ill in June 2015 and was diagnosed with canine systemic lupus (which acts very much like human lupus) but luckily I found a wonderful internal medicine vet  who is very knowledgable in this area. Through immunosuppressive drugs–Prednisone and Imuran among them–she has been in remission since mid-summer 2015, though she still requires careful monitoring as well as regular lab work and vet visits.

conservative managementFour weeks ago she slid off the bed and yelped, refusing to bear weight on her left hind leg. A drawer exam confirmed a CCL rupture. This was a terrible setback for her as she is not a surgical candidate due to the Prednisone and her diminished immune system. I researched non-surgical treatment and decided to try a stifle/knee brace through Animal Orthocare. They were expeditious in making her a custom fitted brace. We are using it intermittently along with a lift harness, weight reduction, restricted activity, morning Tramadol, and started on Glucosamine/Chondroitin. We are now 5 weeks post injury and she is putting weight on her hind leg even without the brace on and seems pretty comfortable, though her leg does quiver when walking with or without the brace–not sure what to make of that.

She will be off Prednisone in a few more weeks and if a couple months go by and she does not relapse with the lupus, she may be a surgical candidate; however, I am leaning strongly against surgery as she will be immunosuppressed for the rest of her life, so I’m very worried about the increased risk of infection with a surgery. I will keep you all posted as we go along.

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4 Responses to Conservative Management with Lupus – Kaylie

  1. Candace Jones June 14, 2016 at 7:44 am #

    update on Kaylie–she is doing well- started to realapse her lupus when off prednison e aid is back on low dose indefinitely—she is 4 months post ccl injury and have treated woth custom brace,weight loss, restricted actvity, and glucosamine and chondroitin–
    She is walking and comfortable on her injured leg-no pain meds needed and only use brace for longer walks..
    I support her hind end going up stairs- do not allow her to jump–like into a car and guide her down stairs–I am very pleased with her conservative management- it was the right choice for her -yea!!!

  2. Trish January 5, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    Thanks for sharing! I have the same reservations with our dog Max, who is in remission for immune mediated hemolytic anemia, but still on immune-suppressing meds (predisone was recently restarted because his platelets became very low, and he has not weaned of mycophenolate – maybe never will). Not only have I been advised that the anesthesia carries the risk of bringing him out of remission, but being on the immune-suppressants, I am concerned about his infection risk still, even though his dosages are no longer as high as they were.

    • candace Jones January 6, 2017 at 3:59 am #

      Hi Trish am sorry to hear about your baby’s injury and systemic illness- I hope he is under the care of an internal medicine specialist
      My best.beloved girl Kaylie was doing very well with conservative treatment for her ccl tear-the brace from Animal Ortho Care in Virginia definitely helped- she was also continuing in remission from her lupus–.Last June 28th I let her out in the morning as usual – she was fine—–and 10 minutes later my neighbor came to me to tell me Kaylie appeared to be dead-yes dead under the apple tree down back—I flew to her and she had indeed suddenly just collapsed and died—I was completely shattered and heartbroken and we buried her under the apple tree where she died. My vet believes she had a sudden cardiac event–arrythmia or clot===there will be a huge hole in my heart forever—.
      Regards her knee- she was comfortable and bearing weight with no issues..so for her.–non surgical mangement was right choice==I did consult an ortho pedist who told me in no uncertain terms that with her prednisone and suppressed immune system, he would never advise surgery—-infection would not be the only risk, but poor wound/incision healing would also be a problem as well as the stress of surgery possibly worsening her fragile lupus status–
      I urge you to look into a custom made knee brace from Animal Ortho CAre-they were wonderful to work with
      Please post an update on how you baby is doing and best New Years to you both–Candace

      • Trish January 9, 2017 at 10:20 am #

        Oh, I am so sorry to hear about Kaylie, Candace. How heartbreaking. 🙁 Yes, Max sees an internal medicine specialist for his IMHA/ITP conditions, I do believe it saved his life, as his regular vet was just not very confident/familiar with the condition. We just ordered him a non-customized brace last week – just to see if he would take to it or not, as he is really difficult regarding such things. We are seeing tiny improvements, which helps mentally reassure us we’re on the right path. I am so glad I read Kaylie’s story, because it reinforced my thoughts that Max should in no way have surgery, given his underlying conditions! If he does well with the non-customized brace, we will definitely start looking into customized braces. I am also going to get him started on Adequan shots, hoping they help him in his recovery, I read on the Tiggerpoz conservative management site that it can help.

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