Immune Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA) in Dogs and Cats

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Filed Under: Internal Medicine

Immune mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) is a disease in which the immune system mounts an imflammatory response within the joints, causing pain, swelling and difficulty walking.  In IMPA, the immune system is inappropriately activated to send white blood cells to the joints.  The white blood cells release chemicals and enzymes into the fluid that bathes the joints, disrupting the protective function of this fluid.  A diagnosis of IMPA is made after the Veterinarian is certain that there is not an underlying infection or cancer that may have triggered the swelling in the joints.  Because the white blood cells are attacking the joints inappropriately, IMPA is sometimes called and autoimmune disease.  IMPA can occur independently or in combination with more severe immune mediated disease in which other body systems are affected.  IMPA is seen more commonly in dogs than cats, but can occur in both species.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of IMPA in people.

For additonal information on IMPA please read the below article provided by Vet Specialists: