An autoimmune disease is a malfunction of the immune system where the body’s defense cells erroneously attack the proteins of the body’s own cells.
An autoimmune disease can theoretically occur and affect any organ or tissue of the body. The most typical types of the disease affect the skin and the blood. The two most common types of the disease that affect the skin pemphigus, and systemic lupus, erythematosus, primarily cause skin alterations on and around the head of dogs. First the fur on the bridge of the nose, around the ears and around the eyes falls out, subsequently, the skin loses its pigmentation. Later the skin reddens and forms crusts, erosions and weeping wounds.
The causes of this disease are still unknown. But, it is believed that an acquired immune defect or genetic predisposition in conjunction with viruses are the primary triggers of this disease.
The primary purpose of therapy directed at autoimmune dermatitis is the suppression of the immune system with cortisone. In addition to this countermeasure, damaged skin has to be protected from direct sunlight and constantly taken care of.
If you suspect an autoimmune disease, call your veterinarian and have your dog examined within the next few days or weeks.