Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is an autoimmune disease seen in dogs. It occurs when the dog’s own immune system reacts to free DNA. It is commonly seen in collies hence the common name ‘collie nose’. People with a background in Latin are probably wondering why the word lupus which is Latin for ‘bite of wolf’ is included in the name. Since collies were used to protect sheep from wolves, it was thought that the condition was caused by a wolf bite.
DLE usually affects the nose but may also strike the ears and mouth. The first sign is often when the nose changes from black to gray. Next, the nose starts to blister and crack until most of the normal tissue is gone. The dog is left with on open painful wound.
The goal of treatment is to control the immune system to lessen the severity of the disease. Here’s a list of some of the common treatments:
1) Keep the dog inside during the day as sunlight exacerbates this condition. 2) Doxycycline and niacinamide work together to suppress the immune response. These two drugs are the mainstay of therapy. 3) In really severe cases, short term steroid therapy may be required to control the immune system. 4) Fatty acids, especially omega 3, combined with vitamin E help decrease the immune response. In some patients, therapy with omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E dramatically decreased the required dose of doxycycline and niacinamide.
Source: -Brooks, Wendy. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus. The Pet Health Care Library, Client Education, VIN.