Varying levels of immunosuppression may be present in veterinary patients as primary or secondary (ie, inherited or acquired) immunodeficiency, sequelae of an ongoing disease process, or a consequence of treatments to fight a disease. In the last instance, the case may be an intentional suppression of the immune system, an adverse effect, or an existing secondary infection.  

Regardless of the cause, immunocompromised patients are more susceptible to infection by opportunistic pathogens present in the environment, in the veterinary practice, or on veterinary team members. Practice protocols should be designed to protect not only immunosuppressed patients that may be infectious and therefore kept in isolation, but also patients in the general practice population that may be immunodeficient.

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