Globulin is a type of blood plasma protein, and it is a crucial element of the immune system of both humans as well as dogs. Globulin is one of the three types of blood plasma protein, the other two being albumen and fibrinogen. Around 38% of the blood plasma is made up of globulin, which is secreted by the immune system. Globulin is synthesized by the white blood cells and is one of the major components that strengthen the immune system, and as a result, the entire body system of a dog. Globulin is classified into several groups on the basis of its functions. These groups include, alpha 1, alpha 2, beta, and gamma globulin. These groups of globulin perform various functions like blood clotting, transportation of nutrients, combining antigens and antibodies, and prevention from infections and inflammations. Hence, one can say that the globulin levels in dogs is a crucial factor that affects their health and well-being. In the following sections of the article, we will be focusing on the rise and fall in globulin levels, and its effects on a dog's health.
Functions of Globulin in Dogs
Gamma globulin, which is also calledimmunoglobulin, is naturally produced by the immune system. However, it is important to understand that gamma globulin is also produced as a reaction of certain antigens and the substances that trigger the immune response. These types of globulin are found in the blood and other body fluids like spinal fluid, urine, and some organs like the spleen and lymph nodes. There are various types of immunoglobulin like IgA, IgE, IgM, IgG, etc. All these types of immunoglobulin perform various functions like prevention of various bacterial and viral infections that attack the mucous membrane, and creating components like serotonin and histamine that prevent various types of food and skin allergies. All in all, immunoglobulin is an extremely crucial component for the proper functioning of a dog's immune system. They also act as a protective shield against various types of toxins, including snake venom. The exact profile of various types of globulin is determined with the help of a blood and urine test, which is performed by the veterinarian. Increased levels of total proteins in the dog is an indication or possibility of increased levels of globulin too.
There is a slight difference between normal and healthy levels. A healthy dog raised on highly nutritious dog food has healthy blood reports with ideal profiles of all the blood components. Globulin is measured in grams per deciliter (g/dL). In a healthy dog, the average levels are around 2.1 g/dL to 3.7 g/dL. This is the case of a very healthy dog. Normally, an average dog with relatively good health, should have levels around 2.6 g/dL to 4.0 g/dL. In order to count the amount of globulin in the body, the veterinarian has to know the levels of the total proteins of the dog. A normal dog has around 5.5 g/dL to 7.5 g/dL. It is also important to understand that 0.9 g/dL to 4.0 g/dL is supposed to be a normal range of globulin in dogs. As I previously mentioned, any elevation or reduction in the normal levels is an indication of a variety of diseases and health problems in the dog. A blood plasma and urine test is the most reliable measure that the vets use for determination of the exact levels, the causes behind it, and the path of treatment that they must work on thereafter.
The increase or decrease in the normal globulin count is not a good sign for your canine friend. There are a few things that may cause health problems in the dog, that also increase their total globulin levels. Some of the most common causes include, various kinds of allergies like food and skin allergies, several types of arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, blood disorders, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, blood cancer, etc. According to many experts, elevated stress levels and dehydration may also cause elevation of the globulin levels. This rise in levels could be diagnosed at the time of a routine checkup or when the dog shows some symptoms and signs like weakness, dehydration, indigestion, recurrent infections, food allergies and skin diseases. Upon observing such signs, you must take your dog to the vet, for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Low globulin levels is an equally severe health condition for your canine friend. When the blood plasma test of the dog shows low levels of total protein and globulin, it is definitely an indication of a weak immune system, and diseases and disorders that are caused by the same. It is also an indication of a problematic situation of the important antibodies and infections that are caused by various bacteria and immunodeficiency viruses. Low levels are responsible for a weaker immune system, which makes the dogs prone to a numerous types of diseases and disorders. Dogs that have low globulin levels show some of the aforementioned health conditions. They also show some other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, slow progress in the healing process of wounds, and various illnesses, etc. Such signs should not be overlooked, and proper treatment should be provided to the dog.
The path of treatment totally depends on the medical conditions that are responsible for the same. The primary disease is treated with proper medications, which may slowly make the globulin levels settle to normal. Constant follow-up and blood plasma tests are also needed to keep a track on the progression rate of the dog's health.