Autoimmunity and Immune Deficiencies in Dogs
The immune system is important to a dog’s health. It acts as a guard to infections and harmful organisms. However, there are instances when the immune system acts against its host. This leads to problems with immune deficiency in dogs and autoimmune deficiency in dogs.
- This occurs when a dog has an underactive immune system.
- This compromises the dogs and makes it susceptible to all sorts of infections.
- Dogs with this condition may show recurrent infections.
- They may also show problems in dealing with infections and they take a longer time fighting infections compared to other dogs.
- A suppressed immune system may be genetic or it can be caused by certain factors like vaccination, poorly balanced diet, hormonal changes, insufficient nutrition, corticosteroids and other drugs, virus and diseases, etc.
- The dog may also become susceptible to cancer.
- They can also be easily affected by pesticides and certain pollutants that would normally not have affected them.
- This occurs when there is an overactive immune system
- The body can react to normally non-threatening factors in an extreme way
- It is characterized by the immune system going into overdrive and causing reactions that can threaten, or at the very least inconvenience the dog.
- It can be an inherited trait, but it can also happen for apparent reason.
- Like immune deficiency, it may also be caused by diseases and viruses.
- Autoimmune problems can be triggered by a failure to receive colostrums in the first 2 days of life, demodex, excess vaccination, environmental chemicals, drug reactions, stress, poor diet, previous parvo or distemper infections, etc.
- Drugs may also trigger autoimmune reactions
- Common autoimmune conditions in dogs include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Addison’s Disease
- Grave’s Disease
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Chronic Hepatitis
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)