Autoimmune Disease in Pets: Pillow Paw, Stomatitis in Cats, Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia

Autoimmune Diseases in Dogs and Cats
Unraveling the Mystery
By Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist
autoimmune 2cat reading

Autoimmune disease in cats and dogs may be characterized by
some of the following symptoms:
  • Puzzling, unusual symptoms, seemingly unrelated
  • Periods of sickness & periods of wellness (some pets can have a sudden life-threatening "attack")
  • Constant maladies---pet has chronic infections, muscle weakness or fatigue especially in a young pet
  • Chronic Inflammatory reactions that come and go
  • Bouts of attack on a specific body part (e.g. gums or thyroid)

In autoimmune disease, the pet's immune system is so overloaded that the pet's body forms antibodies to its own tissues and attacks itself. Autoimmune conditions can be one of the hardest illnesses to treat and conventional care typically involves the use of steroids to calm the overactive immune response. While there is typically a genetic predisposition, the onset of the attacks is associated with triggers (e.g. exposure to vaccines, environmental chemicals, stress, food allergens). Anatomy does not have to become destiny. Click here to learn more about food allergens and how they create inflammation.

There is hope for dogs and cats with autoimmune conditions. Identifying the triggers can help control the inflammation associated with autoimmune disease. Treating and controlling autoimmune disease symptoms is complex but not impossible. While it may be hard to reverse damage that has already occurred, holistic care can help manage the triggers which will directly effect the ongoing progression of the disease.

For example, pets can have thyroid abnormalities (dogs hypothyroidism and cats hyperthyroidism) as an autoimmune reaction to foods they are eating. The thyroid is a barometer and years of inflammation in the bowel can affect how the thyroid functions. Using a diet and supplements to reduce inflammation can in fact, help the pet's overall thyroid function. The pet may continue to need some thyroid support, but the amount of medication can often be reduced (rather than the typical increase as the disease progresses) and other health problems can be much better controlled (e.g. skin problems seen in dogs with thyroid disorders, for example).

Common autoimmune diseases found in pets:

  • Hypothyroidism in dogs (some forms)
  • Hyperthyroidism in cats (some forms)
  • Pillow Paw Disease
  • Stomatitis in cats
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Dry Eye
  • Immune Thrombocytopenia
  • Lupus
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Immune-related arthritis


From Pat, Emmaus, PA:

"We wanted to let you know how well the Immune Harmony has been working for Cody, our 5 year old spaniel/border collie mix. Cody has autoimmune thrombocytopenia (his immune system attacks his platelets). (Read entire story by clicking here)

If your dog or cat has an autoimmune disease, dietary changes are essential. Pets need to eat a hypoallergenic, low carbohydrate diet to reduce inflammation. . Use fresh foods such as a raw frozen rabbit diet and avoid feeding any dry food as it is high in carbohydrates. Using the supplement regimen combined with diet changes can greatly change the lives of cats and dogs with autoimmune disorders. We will help you! When ordering supplements, please be sure to include the food you are feeding your pet along with health issues directly on the order form at checkout. We will include FREE diet suggestions on the packing slip that comes with your order.

Essential Supplements for Pets with Autoimmune Disease:

Caution: only certain kinds of immune support supplements will be helpful and some can even be harmful. Since a pet with autoimmune disease has an immune system that is already overstimulated, using supplements that "strengthen" immune activity can often make the situation worse. Instead, use supplements that 1) reduce inflammation and/or 2) balance the immune system by quieting GI activity (the majority of a pet's immune system resides in the gut). We recommend the following for any pets with autoimmune disease:

Immune Harmony modulates the Immune System--very well tolerated by both cats and dogs, #1 choice for autoimmune

Power Probiotic gently supports digestive health and repopulates good bacteria which supports immune health without overstimulation)

Colostrum For Pets especially important if the pet had worms or parasites such as Giardia as a puppy or kitten causing the intestinal lining (protects our immune system) to be compromised at an early age

Notatum our best seller for immune support that fights infection, supports GI health and is well tolerated by cats and dogs of all ages and sizes

Amazing Omegas Highest quality fish oil that reduces inflammation and is essential for pets with autoimmune disease