The target area varies depending on the type of autoimmune
disease so that in this instance the affected area is the
skin protein desmoglein1.
Once identified as the "enemy", affected cells
are liquefied by proteolytic enzymes. This process leads
to the formation of blisters, pustules and honey coloured
crusts. The exact cause is unknown but is thought to have
a significant genetic predisposition due to the high incidence
of affected pedigree dogs.
This theory is mirrored in humans where, due to it's high
occurrence in Indian populations in central Brazil, it is
currently undergoing research.
Besides the evident genetic predisposition, it is thought
that additional factors may be involved such as solar radiation,
flea saliva and infectious agents. The response to treatment
can be very variable and endeavours to suppress the immune
system to avoid further damage.
Fortunately, for Rosie she is making excellent progress
and those rather painful patches are healing extremely well.
As far as I am aware the closest Rosie has ever been to
Brazil is watching the football team on the television!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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