View Full Version : Immunoglobulin Deficiency in Cavaliers (IGA Disorder)

15th January 2007, 08:31 PM
Does anyone know much about this disorder, whether there is any treatments or if they grow out of it???

Harvey has seemed from day one to have one problem or another - his on going diarrhea problems and he has had a cough for weeks which every time i have mentioned it to the vet they have just said its nothing.

Harvey had tests on his stools and they all came up clear and when my cats then started coughing too i knew something wasnt right.

I pushed for them to do something about Harvey's cough telling them that the cats now had it too - they said that it wasnt possible for the cats to have caught something from Harvey and that bugs were not passed from dogs to cats.

Anyway they sent off his tests last week and i just received a call from the vets tonight.

It turns out that poor harvey has a very bad case of Bronchitis and that the cats probably have it too.

She went on to say that in having a discussion with a collegue they think with all the diarrhea etc its possible that Harvey has IGA!!!

They want to take a blood sample from Harvey and send it off to America to be tested for IGA and in the mean time give Harvey and the cats tablets to help the chest infection.

I have just tried to do some research on the net and have not come up with much......

Has anyone else come accross this disorder????

15th January 2007, 09:22 PM
I have never heard of this disorder, but it sounds like you may have to find a new vet! It's a good thing you were persistant!

15th January 2007, 09:32 PM
When you google it, with Cavaliers being the third word, there are a couple of articles.

I'm not sure of the implications....but it seems to be related to respiratory infections.

Good luck, hope your Harvey is feeling better soon! :flwr: :flwr:

15th January 2007, 09:58 PM
I found this on Cavaliers:
"Deficiency of IgG has been documented in Weimaraners, cavalier King Charles spaniels (CKCS) and as part of a more complex immunodeficiency in Rottweilers and miniature dachshunds. Young, related Weimaraner dogs are reported with multisystemic inflammatory and infectious disease from the age of approximately 15 weeks7,8. These dogs most consistently have subnormal concentration of serum IgG (sometimes with low IgM and IgA) and neutrophil functional defects have also been reported9. Vaccination is thought to act as a trigger factor in this complex disease syndrome10. Young CKCS and miniature dachshunds with pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis carini also have subnormal serum IgG, and lymphocyte function defects have also been documented in affected miniature dachshunds1."

There is more here if your interested in the whole article:

15th January 2007, 10:02 PM
My cavaliers have been the (ironically) healthiest breed of dog I've had. I've brought in kennel cough to the home only have three dogs get it --- all very mild and gone within a week. We've had individual dogs get ill occasionally and told by the vet that this virus is going around like wildfire-- don't be surprised if all your dogs get it and no one else gets it.
Your immune system is suppose to learn from the diseases it gets-- when your immune system doesn't work right, it doesn't seem to ever get better for long. There are different degrees of immunoglobulin deficiency disorders. That is all I have heard about this disorder. I hope they are wrong and he just has a virulent bug. Sandy

15th January 2007, 10:10 PM
My 8 Year Old Daughter ~ Human~ has IGG

( If this is perhaps what your vet said)
Im working on 5th grade homework at the moment....but Please P.M. me and I can tell you what we have gone thru with her...

15th January 2007, 10:15 PM
At the moment apart from the cough which is kinda like a chesty cough with the sound of him maybe bringing up gunk (flem) but nothing actually comes out (he is on antibiotics) the cough only seems to happen 2 / 3 times a day!

So apart from the cough he seems very happy and healthy - his stools are solid and healthy (while he's on the Hills ID tinned food) he drinks well - plays well and has bright eyes!!!

He has had a very difficault start in life with the fracture to his leg which thankfully is all healed now, and the upset tummy and chest infection - I just hope that they have got this wrong!!!

They said on the phone that if he has got this disorder he will be prone to picking up every bug around and will struggle to fight it off due to his low immune system - but that he might grow out of it???

15th January 2007, 10:31 PM
Personally: I'd hold off on the blood test as I don't see on the basis of what you've said, that it would follow that diarrhea necessarily indicates a relatively rare disorder. This board is FULL of people whose puppies have bouts of diarrhea, on and off. I've not had problems with my own dogs (though jaspar would get the runs as a pup from time to time -- rarely as an adult) dogs but I have with most kittens I've had in, fosters or my own.

I just think a lot of young animals, especially if they come from stressful backgrounds or poor breeding situations, tend to have bad tummies. Sometimes we ourselves can exacerbate this when well intentioned -- rotating around too many foods, having our own anxiety picked up on by the pup, stressing the pup unnecessarrily without realising it. So many things can cause the problems.

Given that stools are now fine, I'd simply say you want to wait and see if he keeps struggling with this before conducting blood tests (that are likely to be costly). Keep him on the food that you have found works. Try something new as he gets older and tummy remains well settled.

I've found, with dogs and cats, that tummies and other things tend to settle after they reach about 6 months, and especially, problems often go away entirely by age one or so.

15th January 2007, 11:05 PM
I Can tell you the course of treatment for Humans.

We had a consolutation with a Hemotoligist for Olivia, at the Childrens hospital here in Wisconsin when she was first diagnosed. It was told to us at the time that the treatment for building the white blood cells was infusions, once a month for two years. We would have to use banked blood and my husband being in the medical field was uncomfortable with that.

The Hemotologogist that we contacted next was one of the tops in the country and doing ground breaking work in this field. I tearfully asked him ( He was gracious enough to do a consult over the phone as he works halfway across the country) What would he do if this were his child and he told me absolutly nothing.....No infusions, no nothing.

Olivia is tested yearly for her white blood cells, simple blood test. She is gaining every year. Shes prone to Phenomena and gets upper infections all the time~ however hasnt been hospitalised for it .....

It really hasnt effected her quality of life....she just gets sicker and a little faster than most kids and we watch her carefully. I also had my self tested, and low and behold I have it too....thats why I always test as Anemic when actually Im not...it depends on the type of blood test. I do believe it to be a genetic however I dont believe there is any solid Evidence. I dont remember being sick as a child but perhaps I just didnt notice becouse I was always at one standard of health and that was poor?

Now How this is treated in dogs Im not sure...perhaps by antibiotics, low doses like children that get chronic ear infections, Id ask your vet what the course of treatment is for IGG in dogs before having him tested, becouse if its nothing....well it may be alot of expence to have him tested to confirm in fact he does have it.....and as they told me, chances are that as Olivia ages she will begin to have higher levels of white blood cells and this goes along with what your vet said......*phew* My fingers hurt now..... :D

16th January 2007, 07:53 AM
Thank you all so much for your help!!

If it was just the diarrhea i would be inclined to not get him tested just yet, but because of the Bronchitis on his chest which according to the vet is an older dog thing - i might get him tested - the test costs in the region of £20 - which in the scheme of things isnt too bad. It probably costs that just to send the blood sample over the pond to the US.

I think i would rather know what we're dealing with than not know.

Then i guess it will be a case of keeping him away from areas where he is more likely to pick up a bug and hope that in time he will grow out of it...