1 The immune system is actually composed of two subsystems that work in tandem to provide protection against infectionand disease: The Innate immune system and the Adaptive immune system
2 The brain is the only organ that is not considered to be part of the immune system
3 Feet are the only part of the body that do not contain lymph nodes, small oval-shaped organs that are found throughout the body and act as a filter to trap foreign particles.
4 Allergies occur when the immune system goes into a type of hyper-overdrive causing it to react to otherwiseharmless substances such as dust, pollen and food proteins
5 The spleen is the largest lymphoid structure and it is where red blood cells are filtered and old blood cells are destroyed
6 Monocytes are a type of white blood cell found in the lymph nodes, the spleen and in bone marrow. They protect the body by ingesting harmful foreign particles, bacteria and dead or dying cells.
7 The Adaptive immune system has the ability to ‘remember’ past exposure to specific pathogens and it is this memory that allows vaccines to work
8 The Innate immune system is composed of the skin, cells lining the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and certain white blood cells. This system acts as the first line of defense helping to prevent foreign particles from entering the body
9 Puppies require multiple vaccine boosters when they are young because they still have protection from their mother antibodies that interfere with the body’s ability to recognize and react to the vaccine antibodies. As the mother’s protection wanes the vaccine boosters fill in the gaps in immunity
10 Contrary to popular belief, it is the proteins in the diet that most dogs are allergic to (ie, chicken, pork, lamb) and not corn or wheat. Changing to a diet that contains a novel protein source, such as venison or duck, can be beneficial as can feeding a diet composed of hydrolyzed proteins (protein molecules are chemically broken down so that they are too small to activate the immune receptors)