Iowa State University Veterinarian

Document Type



Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is an immunohematologic disorder in which antibodies are produced against the body's red blood cells (RBC). It is one of the oldest recognized immune-mediated diseases of both humans and dogs, and has also been recognized in the cat, horse, mouse, pig and guinea pig. There has been a significant increase in the number of dogs recognized to have AIHA. Since 1979, hematologic reference laboratories have noted a two to three fold increase in the number of cases of canine immune mediated diseases. Whether this is due to a true increase in the prevelence of the disease or an increased awareness among veterinarians is questioned. However, research has shown that the current increase reflects a true increase in the frequency of the disease.