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Hi there, Lyndall Pinchen , Canine Naturopath here today to share with you a growing problem amongst our dogs. So today I wanted to discuss with you “Autoimmune disease in our dogs….what’s really going on”. Over the last six months in particular, I have seen a rapid rise in the incidence of certain autoimmune diseases and it got me to thinking why! In this three part blog series, I want to look more closely at what autoimmune diseases are and what causes them. But more importantly, how we can help treat and in some cases, reverse them by following a natural regime. Today in part one we’ll address what these diseases are and what I see as the 5 top causes. Then in part two and three, we’ll look at how we can help manage or reverse these diseases, as well as looking at some specific supplements and their benefits.
Our dog’s immune systems are really an amazing combination of white blood cells, antibodies and other substances that all work together to help your dog to fight off infection as well as reject foreign proteins and other nasties. Think of it like the army that offers a frontline defence in battle! But when things go wrong within this system, there can be real and significant health issues arise under a class of diseases known as autoimmune disorders.
So what goes wrong to cause these disorders? Autoimmune disease in dogs occurs when one or more components of the dog’s immune system become overactive and the ability of the immune system to distinguish between your dog’s normal tissues and what is “foreign” is lost. This causes confusion and leads to the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that attack and destroy the body’s cells and organs, instead of playing its normal role of producing antibodies to defend the body against foreign proteins such as bacteria and viruses.
The end result is that one part or even the whole body can then be under the attack of the immune system. Common autoimmune diseases include
Allergies, AI haemolytic anaemia, IBD, Immune mediated thrombocytopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, pemphigus complex, SLE or lupus.
These conditions affect a wide range of tissues in your dog’s body. Take for example, autoimmune thyroiditis where the body’s immune system develops antibodies against its own thyroid gland cells. As the thyroid gland cells are attacked and destroyed, the remaining cells have to compensate by working harder. When around 75% of the gland is affected, the remaining cells are unable to produce enough thyroid hormone, and this is when you will notice your dog displaying symptoms including:
weight gain and lethargy
dull coat as well as greasy or dry skin with or without an odour
skin infections like yeast issues
diarrhoea or constipation
increase in reactive behaviour and aggression
Want to learn more about the 5 steps to optimal health in your dog?? Click here for my FREE ONLINE TRAINING: