Why does my immune system hate me?

Hey, life can be tough with all the slings and arrows that we dodge on a daily basis. If it wasn’t for the hard-working cells and chemicals in our immune system, we would die if we so much as caught a sneeze from a viral laden individual. And our furry friends likewise rely on the little army of cells that make up their immune system.

Our immune system is quite beautiful in its design and operation, from the role of immunoglobulins, and tissue macrophages, to the lethal T-lymphocytes killer cells. However the beauty and complexity of our immune system renders it prone to dysfunction, and the development of immune-mediated diseases.

When things go awry with our immune system, any number of our organ systems can be susceptible to this internal turmoil. Hence, we may be afflicted with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, steroid responsive meningitis, immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematosus, and anaphylactic shock.

Now, as I stated earlier, dogs and cats can be similarly affected by immune-mediated diseases. In fact, we commonly see all the disease listed above. And we are often faced with the struggle of treating them.

Our immune system is just trying to do it’s job.  But unfortunately when the immune system gets it wrong it can be very damaging to our pets health. Now, our immune system doesn’t hate us! It’s just a lethal weapon that’s pinpointed in the wrong direction.

In our next Pet Chat episode we’ll look at some of these diseases in detail and how we might deal with them in an emergency situation.