Sometimes, an overactive immune system can lead to an arthritic condition. In these instances, immune complexes consisting of antibodies coalesce within the joints of the body, causing inflammation.
The resultant polyarthritis can be very painful and debilitating. Fever and a generalized depression are also features of these diseases.
Many cats that suffer from immunity-related polyarthritis are also infected with the feline leukemia virus. As a result, other symptoms not related to the arthritis might be seen. Fever and a generalized depression are two of these that are seen quite consistently.
Special blood tests and/or tests on joint fluid are used to diagnose autoimmune disorders in pets. Treatment usually consists of high dosages of steroid anti-inflammatory medications designed to curb the body’s overactive immune response.