Autoimmune disorders are relatively new to dogs and cats. Pets fed a natural diet with all the necessary nutrients and pure water, vaccinated seldom or never, exposed to healthy amounts of natural light, exercised regularly, and provided a safe environment will probably never experience an autoimmune problem.
Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Canine Auto-Immune Disease (AID), Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA), Immune-mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP), Polyarthritis, are just some of the autoimmune diseases that have appeared and grown in our dogs and cats. What they all have in common, and what defines them as autoimmune disorders, is a glitch in which the animal’s immune system identifies healthy cells as invaders. The immune system then attacks the body it’s supposed to be defending.
These diseases have cropped up more and more due to commercial pet foods, annual vaccinations, exposure to toxicities, and long term treatments of antibiotics, steroids, or other drugs. Many pet foods contain harmful preservatives such as ethoxyquin, which have been shown to cause disease. Some pets may be more predisposed to autoimmune problems than others, due to genetic factors.
Autoimmune disorders can be difficult to diagnose at home, so see a holistic veterinarian. There are a variety of ways to treat your pet’s specific problem. First and foremost, it’s imperative that a dog or cat with an autoimmune disorder be switched to a natural diet, if not already on one. Don’t vaccinate, and be very aware of the chemicals your pet is exposed to in its environment and its food.