Auto Immune Disorder Remedies for Dogs

| Modified on May 22, 2024
Diseases, allergens, and some medications seem to trigger autoimmune conditions in some of our pets, creating uncomfortable conditions in our dogs, cats, and other lovable critters that can be very difficult to treat naturally.

Such pet autoimmune diseases include arthritis, lupus, red blood cell disorders, and a variety of skin conditions.

One of the first things to try for many chronic pet illnesses is to experiment with a change in diet, whether that means a different brand of commercial dog food, a BARF diet, an holistic diet, or some other change that may eliminate allergens or otherwise might boost the healthy immune system.

Natural Cures: Most immune boosting natural remedies can be used alike in pets as in humans. Garlic and brewer's yeast, however, while are popular as food additives for many pet owners are simultaneously anathema to other dog and cat lovers, who point to studies that show liver toxicity from these remedies over the long term. Caution is recommended.

Australian Flower Essences

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Louise (Arnprior, Canada) on 09/17/2007

Australian Bush Flower Essences were used to cure auto immune problems in two dogs, one a bleeding disorder, of low platelets diagnosed by veterinarian as auto immune caused. Treated with ABFE (Use Blood disorders page 310 of Australian Bush Flower Healing by Ian white with the addition of waratah, Reiki and one homeopathic remedy Lachisis stopped bleeding overnight. Added Boab to the ABFE after the main crisis was over. The other was suffering from thyroidosis, auto immune type, loss of weight, not playful and heat cycle out of whack and enlarged thyroid. Used only ABFE this time for the auto immune problem and used 7 drops in the dogs water daily, and in two weeks she was more playful, slowly gained weight and heat cycle was normal after two months back in sync with the other bitch. I have found ABFE to be better than homeopathy, works faster and better IMO too.

Replied by Janice
(Coloma, Mi)

I looked up the ABFE information you talked about. Very Interesting. How did you learn about this?

Replied by Jill
(Gainesville, Fl, Usa)

I use the SCIO, quantum biofeedback program for my pet issues. Can scan long distance and works on an energetic, frequency principals.

Replied by Janet Connor
(County Down)

Reading a post about the essences on your site regarding autoimmune anemic conditions with dogs. My dog has had this condition for a couple of years and Timid essence and Reiki has helped greatly, but would like to know the name of ABFE that is suggested. Kind regards, Janet

Coconut Oil and Ester-C

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Diamond (Ma., Essex) on 05/07/2015

Autoimmune Disorder: I had an older cat given to me, she couldn't eat cat food because she continued to throw up, I started her on steaming chicken, and it was accepted by her system, how-ever I also added virgin/organic coconut oil in with her food plus Ester-C in with her food.She is doing excellent but every now an then she falls backwards with her illness, her bowel movements are always black, that generally means one of her organs are at risk. I had made an appointment for her with the vet. But instead I got the tech. where she didn't get much of an exam and something I didn't sign up for or agree to was something was put under the skin in her neck.

Diatomaceous Earth

1 User Review

Posted by CAM (NC, USA) on 05/21/2024

My 9-year-old cocker spaniel started having high liver enzymes 2/24, loss of hair, poor nutrition. I stopped giving her everything. Slowly started adding things back. One of her "healthy" dog food brands, I suddenly found out is using Diatomaceous Earth as an ingredient. I am shocked and horrified after reading and doing research that this product should never be ingested by humans or pets although some people are doing this. It produces symptoms very slowly over time and depletes nutrients from the body and slowly destroys the immune system. I've spent thousands in trying to find out what is happening. She's been tested for immune system diseases, liver diseases, thyroid issues, and lots of other issues. That's when I started checking all of her food ingredients for all treats, toppers or other healthy food brands used. That's when I discovered the use of the Diatomaceous Earth, and this can only be the main reason why she is now showing the side effects listed by researchers. It takes up to 2 years to show side effects in animals or people. She had been a very healthy dog until 2/24. Now I'm desperate to find a way to eliminate this stuff from her system. I've stopped using the product and don't know if there is any way to help her. I didn't know they had started adding this substance to dog foods and treats. I'm horrified. Does anyone have any ideas on how to help her?

Replied by Katzie
(Cancun, Mexico)

I don't know where you did your research, but I find it hard to believe D.E. causes ANY disease. It doesn't stay in the system long enough to cause any damage. D.E. is simply "fossil flour", mined from dried-up salt lake beds where the diatoms once lived. HOW on earth a fossil flour could cause an autoimmune issue sounds very strange. Your research also said it shouldn't be ingested by human or animal and I have to disagree vociferously! Also, your point that it takes 2 yrs for negative effects to show up leaves me incredulous. Please state any Study that you found saying these things. I, too, did extensive research on D.E. and had never read anything like that. Been giving D.E. to myself and.dogs for way longer than that and have only experienced POSITIVE results. After all these years I truly think I would've seen any possible negative results by now!

Heartworm and Flea Medication Side Effects

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Bev (USA) on 04/22/2008


Hi, My dog when she was 2, ( a golden retriever/lab mix) was started on Program the one with flea control and heartwomer. She developed ITP. A autoimmune problem with her platlets. She had to be put on predisone because her platlets were so low. She had a bone marrow biopsy, an ultrasound and many blood tests. She is finally went into remission and has been very good for many years. So I know that it was not her but the medication. If it was her it would have stayed not gotten better when she was taken off of it. I know other dogs have actually died because of this drug. they went into the same autoimmune except it attacked the red blood cells instead and the dogs died. Just thought you should add this to your problem meds. thanks Bev B.

Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia

Posted by Wendy427 (Columbus, Oh, Usa) on 05/31/2012 24 posts

Subject: IMHA and AIHA in dogs - Important info for pet owners AND VETS!

I'm posting this because my dog was recently diagnosed with IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia). It can also be called AIHA (Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia). The symptoms are not generally recognizable, AND vets basically do not know why dogs contract this nor is there a definitive cure.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a vet. Any vet/medical terminology below is my paraphrasing from my vets' info and instructions.

On 4/21/2012, my dog, Lacey was lethargic, not eating much (a little, yes), seemed to be pooing normally, yet peeing a little more than usual. The next morning she didn't want to get up from her bed to go out for her first pee of the morning. I thought that she was just tired.

So, I went to work. When I returned home 8 hours later, I let her out into my backyard for her to pee, and something told me to check her gums. Well, I did, and they were STARK WHITE! I knew this was really wrong!

I rushed her to the vet immediately. The vet took her temp which was on the "high end of normal", took X-Rays which were clear, and blood was drawn.

The next day I got the blood test results back: Liver & kidneys were fine, but her red blood cells were somewhat large. Believes she was mildly anemic. On her CBC, the hematocrit (HCT - the number of red blood cells) was 30% (I think the norm is 40%-50%).

Then the vet went into more detail: She thought Lacey may have immune mediated hemolytic anemia. But she needed more info from the lab to get a count of her immature red blood cells to check to see if her bone marrow creation of red blood cells was working OK. (obviously I was paraphrasing from my quick hand-written notes, but that's the gist).

I suggested an ultrasound, and she definitely agreed. On 4/24 she had the ultrasound (to also check for bleeding, tumors, etc. ) and that was fine.

So, the vet put her on Prednizone (the dose is specific to your dog's weight). The vet may also want to do a test for tick borne diseases (TBD) because those symptoms can mimic IMHA/AIHA.

The vet said that due to the meds, she'll be peeing and eating MUCH more.

On 4/25, I decided to get a second opinion at the OSU (Ohio State University) Vet Clinic. The vet there did another CBC.

OSU confirmed the IMHA! Lacey's meds were slightly tweaked; still on the pred and doxycycline (an antibiotic just in case), and on 1/4 Aspirin (the 81mg size) and Prilosec OTC once a day. The 1/4 aspirin decreases platelet function and helps prevent clot formation which is a complication of IMHA.

Her HCT had gotten down to 20. OSU's discharge papers were full of medical terms and counts; I won't even attempt to paraphrase them here.

A recommendation is that Lacey NOT be vaccinated (Rabies titers is OK) or at least have the vacs spaced out over a period of time. This is due to the prednizone compromising her immune system.

On 4/27 her gums were a little more pink and her HCT had risen to 28 which was GOOD!

So, for the whole month of May 2012, Lacey has continually improved. I continue to give her the prednizone and other meds. I also took her to a holistic vet who prescribed a few other things, which I am convinced are actually accelerating her better health!

As of 5/30/12, Lacey's last 2 HCT tests (red blood cell count) have been holding steady at 38. If her next HCT in a month holds steady or rises (which is good), she'll start being weened VERY slowly off the prednizone. This prednizone weening process is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT; you can't take the dog of pred cold-turkey or they may have a relapse.

In general she's really feeling MUCH better. Can go for longer walks, insists on chasing voles (look like black mice) , and generally has an upbeat attitude!

She had developed a cyst on her leg due to her compromised immune system, but even now, it has diminished considerably since I've been regularly swabbing it with diluted Apple Cider Vinegar (learned about on this site, plus giving her turmeric! ), although she still needs to wear an e-collar to prevent licking it. Good thing it can come off during eating and walks!

The only thing that's probably a bit bothersome for her now is her back legs are fairly week; she can't jump up on the bed/sofa. But this is only due to the prednizone side effects.

Other than that, she's doing pretty good!

So, hope this info is helpful for anyone whose dog may be experiencing the symptoms of IMHA/AIHA.

For more detailed info on IMHA/AIHA visit the Meishas Hope site:

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh/USA)
24 posts

*** UPDATE - Dog diagosed with IMHA *** Here's some more info about Lacey and her battle with IMHA:

Around mid-June 2012, she started getting weaned off the prednizone. This was because her HCT levels were holding steady at @36-38. However, starting about mid-to-late July, she started having a very difficult time walking, standing, breathing, & eating. There were also a couple of times she was unable to get up off the floor after laying down.

Unfortunately, on Sunday, August 5, 2012, Lacey passed away. She just couldn't battle the IMHA symptoms nor the prednizone side-effects any longer, despite also being on a holistic protocol of vitamins prescribed by her holistic vet.

I talked to my vet the next day who explained that Lacey had probably had a pulmonary embolism. Here's a link that describes the symptoms and causes of a pulmonary embolism in dogs, one of the causes being IMHA which Lacey had been diagosed with:


Replied by Diamond
(Ma., US)

Wendy; I am so sorry for your loss, I know first hand what it's like losing a loving and faithful pet. I rescue a lot of pets, but the more I lose the more painful it gets. I am more than willing to go without than to see my pets suffer.

Good Luck with your journey. It does eventually get better. :-)

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus Oh)

Thank you so much for your comments. Doing much better now. Adopted another Golden Retriever last year and she's doing great!

Replied by Maryann
(St Marys, Pa)


I have been researching IMHA. My shih tzu was recently diagnosed with this decease. She just had her vaccinations in May and I applied the flea and tic medication to her in June. She is just a week into being diagnosed she had a blood transfusion... She seems good now eating good but I know that is the prednisone. Her blood count is only 22 very low. I was wondering what the natural drugs you were giving. I would like to try something like that also. Dr. said they might need to remove the spline...They are puzzled she was positive with a tick decease. Please if you have time to respond I would be very grateful.

Thank You.


Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

In my notes, I have about anemia to feed raw organic beef, sheep, chicken livers because of rich amino acids b12, pumpkin, collard greens, beets, oatmeal, lima beans, tofu, slightly cooked and put through a blender and flavoured with a little blackstrap molasses and also add kelp.

vit c 500 mg for small dog 1000 mg for larger, brewers yeast is a good source vitamin b12, also add dark green leafy vegs, Anyway, hope this helps.

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)

Maryann, I'm so sorry that I haven't replied earlier! Just now getting back on to earthclinic!

How is your Shih Tzu doing? I really hope she's ok! Were the vets able to deal with the tick borne disease? Unfortunately, I don't remember the holistic remedies recommended by my holistic vet. You may need to contact one in your area.

All the best to you and your pup!

Melatonin and Vitamin C

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Loulou (Michigan) on 02/05/2018

Melatonin and Vit. C as Additional Supplements to Help with IMT in Dogs

Vitamin C and melatonin at night. My pom is about 12 lbs. She got sick with IMT about a year and a half. She also had a few relapses. She's on 2.5 mg prednisone once a day 5 days a week.