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Autoimmune Diseases in Dogs

When we say autoimmune diseases in dogs, it is a broad and complicated variety of disease that greatly affects your fur-baby's immune system. The immune system is composed of a network of antibodies, white blood cells and defenses in the body that help fight off foreign bodies, bacteria, viruses that cause diseases and infections in the body.

"If your dog has canine autoimmune diseases, these antibodies will attack the body's own cell and tissue."

If your dog has canine autoimmune diseases, these antibodies will attack the body's own cell and tissue. When not given immediate proper treatment, it can be life-threatening. Here, we've come up with a list of some of the most common autoimmune diseases in dogs, their symptoms and ways you can manage it.


AHA happens when your fur-baby's own immune system fights off red blood cells, which is responsible for bringing oxygen all throughout the body. In AHA, the red blood cells are damaged at a speed faster than they can be supplied again. Symptoms of AHA include:

  • Jaundice
  • Discoloration of the gums, eyes, skin
  • Paleness
  • Faster breathing, faster pulses
  • Sudden loss of consciousness


SLE is a rare autoimmune disease that can develop in your fur-baby and can be hereditary. Breeds commonly affected by SLE are German Shepherds, Poodles, Beagles, etc. SLE can show up at any age and greatly affects the kidneys, lungs, heart, and blood. Symptoms of SLE include:

  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Anemia
  • Hair loss
  • Lesions and drying of the skin
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Enlargement and dysfunction of liver, kidney or spleen
  • Fever
  • Issues in the thyroid
  • Lameness


Pemphigus. This autoimmune disease results in scabs, scaly skin and pus-filled sores. This commonly appears on the head or on the feet of your dog but can spread fast elsewhere, like on the nose, private areas, and the anus. Discoid lupus erythematosus appears in your fur-baby's nose as scabby scores and loss of pigment. Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome is remarkably rare, prompts a loss of pigmentation and happens together with an eye disease (which can lead to blindness if not treated immediately). Body parts such as the lips, eyelids, nose become seriously infected.



In addition to medications prescribed by your veterinarian, you can find holistic approaches to aid you in treating your fur-baby's autoimmune disorder (but of course, you should discuss it with your vet first to see it won't cause conflict with the medications).

Switch your dog's diet. If you are feeding your dog with processed food, switch to a whole made foods that are made without chemicals, synthetic ingredients and preservatives.

Massage. Giving your little pooch a relaxing massage can greatly help his condition. Just make sure you hire a trained professional for safety purposes. You wouldn't want to create any more complications.

Provide supplements. Supplements with ingredients like turmeric and Omega-3 are well-known to help minimize the severity of the symptoms of the autoimmune disease your dog has. There are many supplements that contain these essential ingredients but only a few are trusted and efficient like Pet Parents®. Pet Parents® Turmeric for Dogs SoftSupps® will provide your fur-baby with healthy ingredients that can help promote dog immune support and help maintain a normal inflammatory response. It also contains BioPerine®, a patented extract from black pepper fruits that have been clinically studied for promoting the enhancement of bioavailability, assuring that your fur-baby is being offered only the best value & quality.

Keep a stress-free environment. Removing all stress triggers will greatly help your dog recover faster, as stress can greatly cause anxiety and even depression in your fur-baby.

Autoimmune diseases are complex and hard to deal with but as pet patents, there is nothing we won't do for our fur-babies to make them feel comfortable and at least, help ease their pain to live that happier and healthier life again.

"Supplements with ingredients like turmeric and Omega-3 are well-known to help minimize the severity of the symptoms of the autoimmune disease your dog has."

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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