Cases resembling SLE have been previously reported in cats. Scott described two cats with low ANA titers and skin histology
that was supportive of bullous SLE. Both cats achieved clinical remission with high dosages of glucocorticoids. Pedersen and
Barlough described 11 cats with clinicopathological findings resembling SLE.
The majority of these cats (eight of 11) responded well to immunosupression. Two of those cats diagnosed with SLE fulfilled
four of 11 criteria established by the ARA, including positive ANA, but supportive skin disease was absent. It is interesting
to note that in the aforementioned study, the majority of cats diagnosed with SLE were purebred Siamese, Persians or Persian-related
This article serves to underscore how variable lupus erythematosus may present clinically in the pet, and even though this
disease is rare, it is a reasonable differential diagnosis in the cat with symmetrical, non-pruritic dermatitis and cytopenia.
Dr. Vitale received his veterinary degree from Mississippi State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed
a residency in veterinary dermatology at the University of California, Davis and is a diplomate of the American College of
Veterinary Dermatology. He is a clinical instructor/lecturer at UC-Davis and a staff dermatologist at East Bay Veterinary
Specialists (formerly Encina Veterinary Hospital), Bay Area Veterinary Specialists and San Francisco Veterinary Specialists.