MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Immunodeficiency Diseases in Animals


Ian Tizard

, BVMS, PhD, DACVM, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University

Last full review/revision Jun 2020 | Content last modified Jun 2020

Immunodeficiency diseases manifest clinically as a predisposition to infections. They are usually recognized when an animal makes multiple visits to a veterinarian for infections that would normally be relatively easy to control. Two major groups of immunodeficiency disease occur. One group is inherited as a result of mutations or other genetic disease. These primary or congenital immunodeficiency diseases usually develop in very young animals (<6 months of age). The second group of immunodeficiency diseases are secondary to some other stimulus such as a viral infection or tumor. These secondary or acquired diseases tend to occur in adult animals. One other general rule in diagnosing immunodeficiencies is that defects in the innate and antibody-mediated immune systems tend to result in uncontrollable bacterial infections, whereas defects in the cell-mediated immune system tend to result in overwhelming viral and fungal infections.

For More Information

Also see pet health information regarding immunologic diseases in dogs and immunologic diseases in cats.

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Test your knowledge

Excessive Innate Responses

Canine rheumatoid arthritis is an uncommon inflammatory condition that leads to progressive loss of articular cartilage. What is thought to be the cause of the excessive joint inflammation in canine rheumatoid arthritis?

Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website