Amyloidosis is a disease that occurs when substances called amyloid proteins build up in organs of the dog. In this condition, the dog's ability to synthesize amyloid proteins is affected . Amyloid is an abnormal protein usually produced by cells in the bone marrow that can be deposited in any tissue or organ. Amyloids are insoluble fibrous protein aggregates sharing specific structural traits. The unique structure of the amyloid proteins makes these "wax" like substances insoluble.
Amyloidosis can be classified as systemic or localized which is more common and can affect almost any tissue or organ in the body but is found chiefly in kidneys, liver, spleen, and adrenal gland.
Most dogs show clinical symptoms associated with renal amyloidosis. No genetic involvement has been established but familial amyloidosis is known to occur in Chinese shar-peis, beagles, and English foxhound. The breeds predisposed to this disease are: Chinese shar-pei, beagles, collies, English foxhounds, pointers, and walker hounds. Dogs over the age of five and female dogs are at a slightly higher risk compared to males.
Symptoms will vary depending on which organ is impacted and the amount of protein build-up that has occurred. The reaction of the organ to amyloid deposition will also vary . Following are common symptoms and signs associated with amyloidosis deposition.
Increased thirst and urination
Ascites (fluid accumulation in abdomen)
Edema at various body sites, especially in limbs
Jaundice (in case of liver involvement )