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Joan, Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18374
Experience:  Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
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My dogs liver biopsy results just came in and the vet seemed

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My dog's liver biopsy results just came in and the vet seemed very optimisic when telling us the results. He said that it was not cancer, but was rather a case of hepatitis and lupus. In the event that SLE type of lupus, what does that mean for his life expectancy?


Does the Vet have the dog on any medication?

Is the Dog hospitalized right now?

Is the dog eating and drinking normally?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do also want to elaborate on the story just so you understand and then I will answer the questions you just asked. Originally, we took my dog to the vet because we noticed significant weight loss. We took him there and he lost nearly 8 pounds in 2 months so they took an X-ray. The x-ray displayed some sort of growth on his liver so we took him to a different vet clinic for an ultrasound. After performing the ultrasound, it was established that there was no "growth" but the liver was very enlarged. We were told that either meant cancer or general inflammation of the liver. Fortunately, it turned out to be inflammation so a liver biopsy was then performed to figure out what was causing the inflammation. My dog's liver biopsy results just came in and the vet seemed very optimistic when telling us the results. He said that it was not cancer, but was rather a case of hepatitis and . He said there was nothing to worry about, as these conditions are entirely treatable. He even considered it a "Christmas present" for us. In the event that it is the SLE type of lupus rather than the DLE type, what does that mean for his life expectancy?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My dog was put on 5 mg of prednisolone (1.5 tablets per days), Marin (1 tablet per day), and Denamarin (0.5 tablet per day)

He is not hospitalized .. there actually never seeems to be anything to wrong for him besides a persistent fever.

He drinks a lot and he would eat anything in sight if we did not have him and my other dogs on a scheduled eating regimen.


You are very lucky! The liver is the one organ in the body with proper treatment and care can regenerate itself. There is a Medication called Denamarin which is SamE and Milk Thistle which has been found to work very well in help regenerate the Liver and clear the toxins. Cortical steroids are also used for both the Liver issues as well as the Lupus.


When asking about the quality of life when living with Lupus, I can personally attest that the life span with proper medication, monitoring and care, you dog can life a good life. I have SLE Lupus and have had been diagnosed with it about 15 years ago. Medicine has come a long way from considering it a life ending illness.


Steroids and immunosuppressants, such as Azathioprine or Cyclosporine may be necessary as well as no or very limited time in the sun.


Hopefully your Dog will respond well and you will have a long life with him.

Happy Holidays!





Customer: replied 5 years ago.

From everything I have read regarding prognosis for dogs with SLE though, it is referred to as being guarded, or slightly under fair. In addition, it also seems that prognosis for humans with SLE seems much higher. The vet made it sound like it was amazing news but everything on the internet is portraying SLE as being a life-threatening illness for dogs. I know you can not say with absolute certainty, but do you consider this to be good news and does it have the potential to shorten his life span? Also, how does the hepatitis play into this?


The Liver as I mentioned has the ability to regenerate itself. There are different types of Hepatitis and most are treated with the same medication as you would the Lupus. This article goes over the various types of Hepatitis:


As far as the Lupus, I have seen dogs with SLE do very well with the Immunosurpressive therapy. The life span is much better than that of a dog with Cancer. There are new medications on the Horizon that are awaiting FDA approval. I really belive that this can be managed and your dog will do well. Joan

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
One last question ..

We have him on an extremely good diet. The food we give him you can not buy in food stores. It is very expensive, entirely natural, preservative free, and is of very high quality. We are also willing to do anything for him (money is no concern) so no matter what medications or treatments he needs, he will get them.

That said, is it fair to say that we should not worry about losing him anytime soon? Aside from this issue with his liver, the vet told us that he is extremely healthy.


Nobody can say what will happen tomorrow, but my belief is the with what you have told me and the protocols being followed, he should continue to improve. I would speak with your Vet about the Immunosurpressives like Cyclosporin, if needed. We actually use that for dogs with seasonal allergies.



I feel the Vet was correct in saying that it was a gift that he was Cancer free. Remember that you will have to keep him out of the sun as that becomes an enemy, follow the medication protocol and hopefully he will be in remission and enjoy a long life with you and your family.



Happy Holidays and hugs to your boy!


Joan and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much !