You’re on the right track if you’re still having a tough time getting quality information about service dogs for lupus. You’ve come to the right place. Make sure you read on to check out our detailed walkthrough on these highly-trained service animals.
Service dogs for lupus can perform various special tasks and assignments. These tasks and assignments are primarily aimed at making their owners’ lives more comfortable. This is the reason why getting one is a life-changing experience if you have this autoimmune disease. Follow along to find out more.
What is lupus?
First things first. Lupus is a type of autoimmune disease. This means your body’s immune system will mistakenly fight off healthy and normal tissue instead of eliminating infections and diseases. This “attack” manifests in a variety of ways in the human body.
There are actually four (4) kinds of lupus. The most common type is the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It typically causes tissues to become inflamed and susceptible to damage. This type of lupus normally affects the blood vessels, kidneys, skin and brain. Joint issues are common for people with SLE as well.
The next kind is drug-induced lupus. As its name suggests, this type of lupus is instigated by prescription medicines. The drugs believed to cause this kind of lupus include isoniazid for tuberculosis, procainamide for arrhythmia, and hydralazine for hypertension. Interestingly, this lupus variety is more common among men.
Cutaneous lupus is another type of this autoimmune illness. It usually manifests by forming a rash that spreads over the nose and both cheeks. It has the appearance of a butterfly. While this rash normally looks red and scaly, it isn’t itchy at all. For some reason it doesn’t leave any scarring as well.
The final type is the neonatal lupus. It is one the rare kinds of lupus and is generally seen among newborns. It is said to be caused by the passive diffusion of autoimmune antibodies from the mother to the offspring. Affected newborns usually have skin lesions all over. They are also vulnerable to heart disease.
Scientists and medical experts still can’t figure out what exactly causes lupus in the human body. It is hypothesized that this illness may be passed on from one generation to the other. Another theory points to “triggers” in the surroundings and hormonal imbalance. There is no cure yet.
Reasons why persons with lupus need to have service dogs
Some individuals afflicted with lupus constantly feel exhausted. These persons are also prone to sudden bouts of extreme fatigue. They need to have service dogs for lupus to help them move around during these episodes. Mobility can be tricky for some people with this autoimmune disease.
Another reason why persons with lupus need to have service dogs is mental health support. Those suffering from this disease usually go through lots of mental health problems ranging from severe depression to anxiety attacks. These animals remind people with lupus that life is beautiful amid this disease.
There are also other tasks and assignments that service dogs can provide assistance with for people with lupus. These are usually included in the training that they will undergo before being deployed.
How does a service dog help someone with lupus?
Just to clarify things, emotional support animals (ESAs) and service dogs for people with lupus belong to distinctly different groups. They may sound similar at first, but they are actually unrelated. We need to tackle this first to fully appreciate how a service dog can help someone with lupus.
ESAs are obtained to provide companionship to their owners. These people typically suffer from mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. They are not trained in any way. ESAs mainly give their owners a comfort zone to prevent the onset of episodes. These animals also help in quickly getting over them.
Service dogs for lupus are usually trained to perform various special tasks. They are not only for companionship. These animals can help in a number of things that regular dogs cannot. You can think of these service dogs as “specialists” in a way. Some service dogs even know how to dial 911 during emergencies.
What are the particular benefits of owning a service dog when you have lupus?
With that covered, let’s move on to the specific benefits that you’ll get when you have a service dog. Besides helping people with lupus move around, these animals can also do a lot of other cool things.
Here are just some of the tasks and assignments that lupus service dogs can be trained to do. Keep in mind that this list is simply a preview of their capabilities. These animals are really smart and have lots of potential.
A service dog provides people suffering from lupus with mobility assistance.
It’s not unheard of that some people with lupus have a tough time moving around. This autoimmune disease can cause joint swelling and inflammation. These manifestations of lupus can significantly hamper the mobility of a person suffering from the disease. Some people even require mobility devices like wheelchairs, canes, and similar equipment to get from one place to another.
One task a service dog can do is provide mobility assistance. Besides contributing additional muscle power to wheelchair navigation, this animal can detect signs if a person is getting too exhausted to move.
This is the reason why it’s crucial to choose the appropriate breed for you when selecting a service dog. You can choose from medium to large working breeds if you require mobility assistance. These breeds include the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever, and the Labrador Retriever.
You can also go for smaller dog breeds like the Poodle, the Yorkshire Terrier, and the Pug as options. This is if the assistance you require does not involve getting around the place. Moreover, it can also alert the family members and loved ones of the person with lupus if an emergency arises.
It will “remind” you to do particular things.
Another cool thing that a lupus service dog can do is give reminders to its owner. These reminders can be anything from taking medications to having a quick wash. This skill is one of the essential things a service dog learns during training.
People suffering from lupus tend to regularly take lots of medication. These drugs are mainly used to alleviate swelling and ease inflammation. These pharmaceutical products need to be taken on a regular basis to maximize their therapeutic effects.
But the thing is some individuals with lupus tend to have memory problems. They also feel confused at times. This makes taking the medicines at the right times rather tricky. Here’s where the service dog gets in the picture.
A service dog for lupus can “remind” its owner to take his or her medication. It may signal the person with lupus using its paws. Or it could also use a system of barks to notify the owner that it is already time. Your service dog can even wear certain devices to alert you exactly on the dot.
Service dogs for lupus will notify others during emergencies.
Did you know that service dogs can be taught how to operate dog-friendly phones? This is to dial 911 when an emergency situation arises. There are also other ways that these animals can alert others during a crisis.
They may use successive barks coupled with other movements to get people’s attention. Some service dogs can even use their paws during emergency situations as if to tell their owners “everything is going to be alright.”
Having a service dog can be a literal lifesaver when you are suffering from lupus. Just imagine having swelling ankles and then not being able to move to take your meds. A lupus service dog can detect whenever you’re in a pinch and will immediately get in action.
It will provide you with lots of emotional support.
Having lupus is tough. This autoimmune disease can be very taxing physically and mentally. It’s not uncommon that some people suffering from this illness will have issues with depression and anxiety. There are even individuals who tend to have suicidal thoughts because of this disease.
A service dog can provide emotional backup when you need it the most. It can sense whenever a person with lupus feels down and gets to work instantly. Apart from being very generous with hugs, a lupus service dog also likes to give kisses and paw pats. This animal will also never get tired of cuddles and gestures of affection.
And you won’t believe how soothing this is to a person with lupus. Just thinking about it makes you feel better already. A quick hug and cuddle session can do wonders to a service dog’s owner’s overall disposition.
A service dog clears away sharp objects.
A lupus service dog can clear away objects that could put its owner at risk to injury. It could also guide the person with lupus to avoid certain obstacles while moving around. There are even service dogs that act as a barrier against other people when their owners are travelling in public.
This skill counts a lot during emergency situations. Apart from keeping their owners away from further harm, it will also ensure that help will be on the way.
It will encourage you to do a bit of exercise.
Did you know that you are unconsciously having a quick workout whenever you play with your lupus service dog? This is very beneficial to some persons with lupus since they can be sedentary for very long periods. Having a service dog will give you the opportunity to exercise without you even knowing it.
A lupus service dog can help improve the mood.
This benefit is just too valuable to discuss only once. A service dog has the ability to boost the overall disposition of a person with lupus almost immediately. Having one means that you will have a constant mood enhancer whenever you’re feeling blue. How cool is that?
Is every person with lupus entitled to a service dog?
Just to make things clear, not every person who is diagnosed with lupus can avail of a service dog. There are physical and mental requirements to be met before you will be given the green light to have one.
One of these requirements is you must be so physically affected by lupus that you can’t perform everyday tasks already. Another is lupus has already instigated a debilitating mental condition that already requires the assistance of a service dog.
You can proceed to get one if you satisfy the said requirements. There’s no need to be disappointed if you don’t get to have one, though. This simply means you have to be thankful because your condition is not as bad compared to others.
How do you get service dogs for lupus?
Getting a lupus service dog requires certification and documentation from your medical healthcare professional that you have the disease. You will also need a letter from a duly licensed and qualified mental healthcare professional to this effect. This is to make official that your state of mental health could benefit from having one.
Is getting a service dog for lupus expensive?
A significant factor involved in getting a lupus service dog is having sufficient finances. Getting one could set you back thousands and thousands of dollars. Most of this amount goes to the training of the animal by experts. The total cost of training a service dog can already reach five figures as of 2021.
However, there are non-profit associations and charity groups that are willing to assist you financially if you qualify in their selection process.
Do service dogs for lupus require special care?
Lupus service dogs are not simple pets unlike what a lot of people mistakenly think. These animals have certain regimens to be kept and nutritional requirements to be met. The trainer will give you an extensive guide during the turnover. All in all, just keep your lupus service dog happy and your life will never be the same again.