Pathologic alterations

There are numerous examples of inherited canine immunodeficiencies, which, not surprisingly, are often associated with a particular breed of dog. Canine cyclic hematopoiesis (gray collie syndrome) has been described in gray collies, pomeranians and cocker spaniels. With this condition, there is a cyclic fluctuation in the number of peripheral blood neutrophils, which, in turn, is associated with periodic bouts of bacterial infections. Although not a true immunodeficiency, Kartagener's syndrome, an absence of ciliary defense mechanisms, has been recognized in puppies with chronic respiratory disease. A selective IgA deficiency has been reported in beagles, doberman pinschers, German shepherd dogs, and shar-peis. A condition in weimaraners and bull terriers has been described, where the puppies have an atrophied thymus, grow at a reduced rate and have a severely depressed lymphocyte response to mitogen. Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) in bassett hounds and Cardigan Welsh corgis has been identified. Also, in Brittany spaniels, a C3 deficiency is associated with an increase in the number and severity of bacterial infections.

Acquired immunodeficiencies occur in a variety of conditions ranging from vitamin and mineral deficiencies (vitamin E and selenium) to viral and bacterial infections (neonatal canine distemper virus infection and severe staphylococcal pyoderma).

A variety of autoimmune conditions occur in the dog. These include but are not limited to autoimmune hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, pemphigus, immune-complex glomerulonephritis, autoimmune thyroiditis, Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Anti-nuclear antibodies have been associated with the MHC gene DLA-12; and systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with MHC DLA-A7. An association with diabetes mellitus with DLA-B4 as well as DLA-A3, A7, and A10 has also been reported.

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