The immune system, your pets “gate keeper” normally protects them from infectious agents, foreign objects and malignancies. When the immune system mistakenly recognizes their own healthy cells as foreign invaders, the result is one of the many autoimmune disorders. Since the object of attack by the immune system may be blood elements, blood vessels themselves, or solid organs, the result can be devastating.
Fortunately, early detection of many of these autoimmune diseases can lead to prompt and successful medical intervention.
PetLabsMD.com offers tests that detect abnormal antibodies, or healthy circulating antibodies which are present in abnormal quantities.
Through early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to greatly improve the quality of life in pets that suffer from these autoimmune conditions.
The cause of autoimmune diseases is the production of auto-antibodies against the animals own tissues. The underlying reasons for these disorders occurring are complex and not fully understood. Infectious agents are thought to be the initiating factor in some of these disorders e.g. Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE)
In nature animals have evolved a sophisticated defense system that produces glycoproteins called immunoglobulins or antibodies in response to chemicals (antigens) on the surface of organisms
(bacteria, viruses) or other substances (toxins) that gain access to the body. The antibodies chemically bind with the antigens - an initial step in the process to remove them from the body. Under normal circumstances the body's immune system recognizes tissues and cells that are part of itself, and the immune system will only produce antibodies against foreign cells. However, sometimes the controlling mechanisms fail and the immune system does produce antibodies which attack the animals own body tissues. These are called auto-antibodies and the disease that results is called an autoimmune disease.
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