in Dogs, Horses, Ponies, Cats and Birds
A wide variety of diseases are classified as ‘autoimmune', meaning that the animal's immune system has turned on its own tissues. This is an extremely challenging range of diseases and some knowledge of homeopathic medicine and other ‘alternatives' offers great advantage. Results of holistic treatment have generally been very rewarding to date.
While actual causes are obscure, it is thought that virus challenge, vaccination and dietary anomalies may give rise to an autoimmune condition. At the AVMC, we suspect a very strong link between autoimmune disease and vaccination in many patients. This theory is neither far-fetched nor difficult to envisage as host-identical or host-similar tissues are injected along with the vaccinal antigen, in every dose of vaccine.
Named autoimmune syndromes in various species include: Anal Furunculosis, Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA) aka Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA), Dry Eye (KCS), Rodent ulcer, Equine Recurrent Uveitis, PBFD, Pemphigus, Perianal Fistula, Lupus, Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD, SARDS), Eosinophilic Myositis, Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM / DM), Thyroid disease and Heart Valve Disease (of Cavaliers). Different breeds show different tendencies, when pushed into an autoimmune state. Westie Lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), Addison's disease and Diabetes Mellitus may have autoimmune aetiology. It is not impossible that Cardiomyopathy may be included, when better understood.
In conventional medicine, it is usual to try to suppress the allergic reaction with anti-inflammatory drugs (usually steroid/cortisone) and/or immuno-suppressants. This is a life-time task and usually results in deepening or worsening of the problem, as a result of the suppression/exacerbation cycle. A common result of this is an increasing dose requirement, with attendant dangers.
Many cases appear to respond very positively to holistic treatment with natural medicine. These successful cases appear to show that homeopathy can provide a realistic alternative to suppressive drug therapy. We have many cases on record that have enjoyed apparent cure.
We try to avoid the seemingly very risky practice of immune suppression (immunotherapy) by drugs, for autoimmune conditions.
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N.B.: Although autoimmune disorders are commonly seen in dogs, similar considerations apply to Autoimmune conditions in other species (e.g. horses, ponies, cats etc., e.g. equine recurrent uveitis, rodent ulcer). PBFD (Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease) of birds (mostly in the parrot family but also recently seen in a buzzard by AVMC) is also of autoimmune nature.
Additional notes of human comparative interest: Mankind also suffers a range of known and suspected autoimmune diseases. Among these are Addison's disease, Alopecia areata, Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS), Autoimmune Hepatitis, Bullous Pemphigoid, Coeliac disease, Crohn's disease, Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Dermatomyositis, Diabetes (Type 1), Goodpasture's Syndrome, Grave's disease, Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), Hashimoto's disease, Lupus Erythematosus, Miller Fisher Syndrome (MFS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Myasthenia Gravis, Narcolepsy, Pemphigus, Pernicious Anaemia, Polymyositis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's Syndrome, Temporal Arteritis, Thrombocytopaenic Purpura, Ulcerative Colitis, Vasculitis and Wegener's Granulomatosis. Chaga's disease, COPD, Endometriosis, Morphea, Schizophrenia, Scleroderma, and Vitiligo are among those suspected of being autoimmune diseases. Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown origin, that may also one day be classified among autoimmune diseases. It is possible that similar considerations may apply to humans, with regard to aetiology and to treatment.