Species affected: Cats, Dogs
Background: The body develops an immunologic reaction to its own tissue, creating antigen-antibody complexes that deposit in various tissues. This family of diseases is probably expanding more rapidly than any other category, are found in dogs more commonly than cats, and females more commonly than males. Most purebred breeds have predispositions for certain forms of the condition.
Symptoms: May vary from case to case depending upon which organ system(s) is involved. The major categories are digestive, respiratory, hematological, endocrine and dermatological.
Diagnostics: Many cases involve multiple systems and need to be diagnosed using the appropriate tools for the presenting signs; depends on the availability of specific tests.
Special Notes: The etiology is not well understood, though some cases appear following drug therapy or vaccination, especially when modified live virus vaccines are used. Cases may be induced with emotional stress, nutritional inadequacies, secondary to other diseases, environmental pollution, drug, and vaccine exposure.
Principles for Supplementation: Regulate the immune system, support immune function, treat affected body systems with supportive therapy; anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds can be very helpful.