Autoimmune Disease Dogs' Treatment

An autoimmune disease in dogs is a defect of the immune system, when one or several of the components of the immune system turn hyperactive.

The immune system of the dog is made up of white blood cells, antibodies and other chemicals that will protect the pet from infections and foreign proteins that may enter the dog’s body. When the dog is affected by an autoimmune disease, the immune system no longer differentiates between the dog’s own cells and the foreign cells and the antibodies start destroying the dog’s own cells. The treatment of autoimmune diseases will focus on inhibiting the immune system.

Types of Autoimmune Diseases

The autoimmune diseases in dogs may be of several types including:

The diseases may attack an organ or may attack the skin or the entire system of the dog.

Causes of Autoimmune Diseases

The causes of autoimmune diseases are not clear, but there are a few possible theories:

  • Unnecessary vaccines
  • Excessive use of steroids or antibiotics
  • Food preservatives
  • Certain chemicals found in pesticides, sprays or dog treatments

Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases

The symptoms of autoimmune diseases in dogs will depend on which organ is affected and how severe the disease is. Common symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • General state of weakness
  • Skin lesions
  • Joint pain and lameness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anemia
  • Seizures
  • Foul body odor

Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases

The treatment for autoimmune in dogs will focus on the inhibition of the hyperactive immune system. The vet may recommend corticosteroids, such as prednisone or prednisolone. It is important that the steroids are administered with care; in some dogs, the lengthy administration of prednisone may lead to serious side effects such as kidney failure or liver dysfunction.

You should also make sure that the dog is in a stress free environment, as stress may destroy the immune system.

Natural Remedies

The dog may also receive certain natural remedies and supplements that will calm the immune system.

Immune diseases cannot be cured and a lengthy administration of steroids may have serious side effects. The natural remedies may be more recommended to manage autoimmune diseases in canines. The remedies should focus on balancing the immune system and should not stimulate the immune system.

Plant sterols or steroilins can be effective in managing autoimmune diseases. Sterols may be found in fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.

The fatty acids may be essential in keeping the immune system healthy; the fatty acids will take care of the skin, coat and the digestive tract.

The dog may also receive a few digestive enzymes and probiotics, which support the digestive system and keep a balance of bacteria that are meant to fight diseases in the digestive tract.

Antioxidants may also manage autoimmune diseases by reducing free radicals and oxidative stress. Common antioxidants that can be used in dogs include coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acids or systemic enzymes.