Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

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Autoimmune Disease Frequency

June 2020


The list below indicates the relative frequency of this type of disease in the Australian Shepherd.  The list was compiled from data gathered by ASHGI. Due to relatively small sample size (~500 cases) actual frequency may vary but this should be a good indicator of which are most common.

The first four listed diseases make up more than half of the total and are the ones most likely to be encountered in the breed.

(If you want to know more, the names of the diseases link to pages with information about them.)

1     Autoimmune Thyroiditis  – 20.70%
2     Lupus (all forms) – 19.53%
3     (tie)  Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – 7.81%
& Demodetic Manage, generalized  – 7.81%
5     Pemphigus – 6.25%
6     Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) – 5.86%
7     Addison’s Disease – 3.91%
8     Degenerative Myelopathy – 3.33%
9     Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) – 2.34%
10     Diabetes Melitus – 2.15%
11     (tie)  Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) – 1.95%
& Autoimmune Testicular Atrophy – 1.95%
13    (tie)  Uveo-dermatologic Syndrome – 1.56%
& Myasthenia Gravis – 1.56%
15    (tie)  Dermatomyositis – 1.17%
& Vitiligo  – 1.17%

Other reported diseases, each accounting for less than 1% of the total, included glomerulo nephritis, scleritis, and Legg-Calve-Perthes.

8.95% of the cases were reported as unspecified autoimmune disease.  Treating veterinarians had determined these were autoimmune in nature but specific diagnoses were not developed either because the owner did not want to pursue further testing, the dog deceased, or the specific cause proved difficult to diagnose.