This review summarises the current understanding of immune response and T cell subsets in the context of development of autoimmunity in the dog. Mode of action and rational usage in immune-mediated disease in the dog are discussed for the following drugs: glucocorticoids, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, ciclosporin, tacrolimus, human intravenous immunoglobulin, vincristine, danazol, leflunomide, mycophenolate mofetil and liposome-encapsulated clodronate. Disease mechanisms are discussed and published evidence for drug efficacy is scrutinised for five important immune-mediated diseases: immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, myasthenia gravis, glomerulonephritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Future strategies for more refined manipulation of adverse immune responses are presented.
© 2011 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.