Please read. Very important information about autoimmune disease: ()
Long post, but I need to share for those who don't know..... Jax is a 4 year old Akita suffers from the autoimmune disease called UVD or Uveodermatologic syndrome, Also referred to as VKH.
It is a rare disease in which the dog’s immune system forms antibodies against its own pigment cells in the skin and light-sensing cells in the back of the eye. It causes red, painful eyes, skin depigmentation on the face and footpads, and premature whitening of the hair. Because the skin and hair issues are cosmetic, treatment focuses on the eye problems, which are typically ongoing and can lead to permanent blindness.
Affected dogs usually experience eye problems, including uveitis (inflammation of a layer of the eye), vitiligo (skin depigmentation), and a premature whitening of the hair (poliosis). It’s important to understand that the worst-case scenario for the skin is merely cosmetic, while that for the eyes is much worse: blindness.
The cause is believed to be related to the immune system’s destruction of cells in the retina of the eye and melanocytes (pigment-making cells) the skin and hair. It’s been postulated that a virus may trigger the process. Exposure to sunlight may exacerbate the problem.
I am in no way an expert on the disease. I am lucky to know other online who help me and many other understand this terrible disease. I can only give advice based on our life with it and will ALWAYS encourage anyone who feels that their dog is affected to consult a vet. One thing to know is that many vets misdiagnose the disease early as allergies and in some cases it is not caught until it destroys their eyes. If you feel your dog has the disease demand your vet research it.
We hope by sharing stories, pictures, and interacting with others it will bring more attention to the disease and at the same time share our beautiful boy and our our Akitas with those who love the breed.
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