Disorder - Immunoglobulin A deficiency in DogsOrgan Systems Involved
Levels of Immunoglobulin A (IgA) - proteins in the blood important to immune system functioning - are significantly reduced or absent in the mucus-covered surfaces of the respiratory, genital and intestinal tracts. IgA normally provides protection in these areas against bacteria and viruses that attempt to attach.
The decreased protective ability of the immune system means that affected animals are predisposed to bacterial and viral infections. These dogs are generally in a state of hypersensitivity to allergy-causing substances in the environment. The four most common problems presented in IgA deficient dogs are
· a high incidence of recurring upper respiratory tract infections, which may present as difficulty breathing, especially following exertion
· gastrointestinal disease, often recognised by excessive continual vomiting or diarrhoea
· skin diseases and
· inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa).
Dogs may also show a food allergy or flea allergy. Less well documented is recurring parvovirus enteritis (a disease of the gastrointestinal tract against which dogs are vaccinated), despite immunisations, and hypothyroidism, which is a metabolic disorder presenting as weight gain and lethargy. There are also cases, especially in older dogs, where despite the deficiency, animals show no symptoms.
German shepherd dog
Immunoglobulin A deficiency in Dogs
Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]