Canine Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) is a rare genetic disorder that affects some breeds of dogs, including the Afghan Hound, Basset Hound, Canaan Dog, and Italian Greyhound. It’s caused by mutations in genes associated with their immune system, resulting in an extremely weakened immune system. Dogs with SCID lack both B and T lymphocytes, which are essential components of a healthy immune system. Because they don’t have the B and T lymphocytes, these dogs are highly susceptible to infection and disease.
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) is a rare genetic disorder that can have serious consequences for affected dogs. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve the quality of life for these dogs, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to prevent further spread of the disorder.
Symptoms of Canine Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
The main symptom of SCID is an increased susceptibility to infection and disease due to a weakened immune system. Other signs can include:
- Recurring skin infections
- Persistent diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Poor coat condition
Diagnosing Canine Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
SCID can currently only be detected through genetic testing. If a dog is diagnosed to have the SCID mutation, it’s recommended that all offspring of the affected dog are also tested in order to prevent further spread of the disorder.
Stages of Canine Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency is a genetic disorder, and diagnosis is made through genetic testing. There are three main stages of SCID that can be seen in affected dogs.
The first stage the dog has an increased susceptibility to infection and disease. Affected dogs can also have poor coat conditions, recurrent skin infections, and persistent diarrhea.
The second stage is associated with an increased severity of symptoms, such as a weakened immune system that puts the dog at risk for more serious illnesses and infections.
The third and final stage is associated with extreme susceptibility to infection and disease. Dogs in this stage often need intensive medical care in order to survive.
Treating Canine Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
Unfortunately, there is no cure for SCID. Affected dogs can still lead relatively normal and healthy lives with the proper treatment and care. Treatment of SCID typically involves a combination of antibiotics, antifungal medications, and drugs to help reduce the risk of infection and boost the dog’s immune system. Affected dogs should be kept indoors and away from other animals in order to reduce their risk of infection.