Rance K. Sellon, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
While there is no doubt that administration of immunosuppressive drugs to dogs, and sometimes cats, is critical for control of immune-mediated disease, administration of these drugs can cause adverse effects.
Immune-mediated neutropenia is an uncommon disease in small animal practice, although some have argued that it may be more prevalent than believed.
Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMTP) is one of the more common immune-mediated diseases in small animal practice, especially in dogs.
The diagnosis of immune-mediated polyarthritis can be challenging. The difficulties of establishing a definitive diagnosis of immune-mediated polyarthritis lie in generating a clinical suspicion of the diagnosis, and the absence, with few exceptions, of definitive diagnostic tests for the majority of cases that have the disease.
The immune system in many ways represents an ideal tool with which to fight cancer. It is capable of killing tumor cells, has the potential to provide long-lasting protection against recurrence, and because immune responses can be antigen- and thus tumor- specific, side effects in normal tissues may be better spared than with other conventional therapy.
The stomach plays a key initial role in digestion through its mixing actions, and through the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin, which are important for the activation of key digestive enzymes.