Immunodeficiency - weakening of the body's protective functions in dogs

Every second, the organism of animals and humans is attacked by pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microorganisms. These include bacteria, viruses, and a variety of harmful fungi. Without the immune system, we simply cannot survive. For this reason, immunodeficiency in dogs is an extremely dangerous pathology. More precisely, their whole "bouquet".

Since these diseases directly affect the state of the immune system, they are extremely dangerous for the dog's body. These pathologies leave him completely defenseless against many infections. Many of these diseases are hereditary, others appear as a result of the action of the same viruses and bacterial agents.

Disorders of the phagocytosis process

Phagocytosis is an important mechanism of the immune system. Phagocytes, that is, cells responsible for this process, capture and digest antigens that have entered the body. But it is much more important that they are responsible for the "presentation" of new foreign objects to other immune mechanisms. Phagocytes are present not only in the blood, but also in many organs and tissues of the body (which, in principle, is logical). They are found in the skin, spleen, lymph nodes, membranes of the brain and spinal cord, bone marrow.

Violations of the phagocytosis process are possible either due to a lack of these cells (during a serious illness), or because of some kind of congenital disorder, which is much more dangerous. The lack of protective cells causes an increased susceptibility to bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. Diseases with such an etiology are very difficult to treat with antibiotics or other antimicrobial agents, since they do not eliminate the immediate cause of the pathology, but act only on the symptoms.

Immunoglobulin deficiency

As you might guess, looking at the name, this disease involves problems with the production of immunoglobulins. As in the past, it can be congenital or acquired. The first type, when a certain type of immunoglobulin is lacking in the dog’s body (for example, IgA), is relatively common in hounds, German shepherds and Chinese sharpei. The owners of these dogs will have to get used to respiratory infections, digestive system disorders, persistent skin diseases or allergies.

It is important to consider that similar effects can develop in those dogs that did not receive mother's milk (colostrum, more precisely) in their early childhood, or it was received in insufficient quantities. Older dogs are also prone to the appearance of this pathology, but in their case it appears for "physiological" reasons, due to poor performance of the body's immune system.

An acquired variety may appear due to any more or less serious illness. For example, certain tumors (such as lymphosarcoma and myeloma) cause a curious effect when "wrong" immunoglobulins begin to be synthesized in the body, which simply cannot fulfill their natural protective functions. Some viral infections, including canine plague and parvovirus infections, can cause serious damage to tissues and cells that synthesize immunoglobulin. All this leads to extremely serious consequences, including the complete inability of the body to resist even non-serious infections. It is treated by eliminating the root cause, immunoglobulins can be prescribed.

Systemic immunodeficiency

In this case, problems are observed in both cases: both in the synthesis of immunoglobulins and in the work of antibodies. This is the most undesirable variant of immunodeficiency. Sick animals lack T and B lymphocytes, which makes the body defenseless against any pathogenic microorganism. Relatively frequent cases of congenital pathology in basset hounds, toy, or dwarf poodles, rottweilers and crossbreeds, where the representative of the above breeds played the role of at least one parent.

The predisposed dogs are healthy during the first few months of life, since they managed to get antibodies with maternal colostrum, but gradually the defenses of their body are drastically reduced. There is no treatment, the prognosis is poor.

Predisposed breeds

Rottweiler puppies have a predisposition to severe cases of parvovirus infections, when the immune system practically does not react to the pathogen. In other breeds this is not observed. Rottweiler resistance to other diseases is absolutely normal, the cause of this immunodeficiency is unknown. It is assumed that the case here is in some kind of genetic pathology.

But do not assume that only Rottweilers suffer from such ailments. So, many beagle breeds (as well as collies), for reasons that are not understood, do not have innate resistance to mycoses of the nasal cavity. Aspergillosis is almost completely affected by German shepherds ... living in Australia. In all other parts of the world, they have a good immunity to this disease. Scientists suggest that lowering its level is somehow related to the characteristics of local feed, in which there may not be any vital trace elements.

Anyway, but all immunodeficiencies, one way or another mentioned in this article, are extremely dangerous. Alas, most often, specific methods for their treatment do not exist. Immunomodulators do not always help.