OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical signs, laboratory findings, relationship to vaccination, and response to treatment for type I immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) in dogs. DESIGN: Retrospective study. ANIMALS: 39 dogs PROCEDURE: Clinical records and radiographic reports from 3 university referral hospitals were reviewed. Clinical signs, laboratory and investigative findings, relationship to vaccination, and response to treatment were evaluated. RESULTS: Clinical signs and initial laboratory and clinical investigative findings were frequently abnormal but were nonspecific and not associated with likelihood of recovery. Time of vaccination was not associated with onset of disease. Chemotherapeutic immunosuppression resulted in complete cure in 56% of dogs. Continuous medication was required in 18% (7/39) of dogs, relapses were treated successfully in 13% (5/39) of dogs, and 15% (6/39) of dogs died or were euthanatized as a result of disease. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The possible involvement of vaccination in type I IMPA was not made clear from this study because of the small population size. Signalment, clinical signs, and results of diagnostic tests other than multiple synovial fluid analyses were generally nonspecific. Most dogs with type I IMPA responded to initial immunosuppressive treatment, but 31% (12/39) of dogs relapsed, required further treatment, or both.
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