IMHA

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IMHA

Postby Beowulf » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:30 pm

I've seen this mentioned in a couple of threads but haven't ever dealt with this personally. I know that Red went through it with Tigger. Has anyone else had a dog with IMHA?

Bootleg, my foster-turned-permanent dog was diagnosed on Thursday. She was hugely obese when I started fostering her in June so she's been on a diet since then. In September when I decided to keep her, I switched her over to BARF with the other dogs. She continued to lose a little weight but the last couple of weeks I've been noticing that her spine and hips were sticking out more than I like to see. She also sheds like a maniac. It's hard to gauge her weight because she has a huge stomach, I assumed from multiple litters and a radical c-section. So I took her to the vet to get her thyroid checked. Thyroid came back fine so they tested her for every tick-borne illness under the sun and did a Coombs test. It came back at 26%.

Yesterday we started on pred, aziathioprine and iron supplements. I know that the prognosis is not good, and to further complicate matters they decided to do a sonogram to see if maybe the IMHA was secondary to abdominal cancer and found that she has a spleen "the size of Connecticut." 6 or 7 pounds, they are estimating, but "not striated like they are when they are about to burst." But it definitely has some abnormal tissue. So for now we are continuing with the medicine and on Wednesday or Thursday of next week we'll have another sonogram to see if the spleen has shrunk and do another hematocrit to see if her red blood cells are still nonexistent. If the spleen hasn't shrunk it has to come out and we'll schedule surgery.

I would appreciate any input, from good or bad experiences. And please keep my little Booty in your thoughts.
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Re: IMHA

Postby Adrianne » Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:38 pm

I have no information, only love. :hug:
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Re: IMHA

Postby pblove » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:30 am

:crybaby:
:hug:
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Re: IMHA

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:55 am

No advice, but good wishes sent.

We gve a couple of cars of IMHA a year at the clinic where I work, and all of them have survived.
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Re: IMHA

Postby Beowulf » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:38 am

Thank you for the love and hugs. And Allison, that is encouraging.

She has now had 5 doses of medicine and is running around like a puppy. I can't tell if her stomach is shrinking or not, but it does seem to be changing shape, if that makes any sense. I bought an air mattress so I could sleep in her room with her. She doesn't quite know what to think about that.
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Re: IMHA

Postby Taffys_Angel » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:12 pm

AllisonPibbleLvr wrote:No advice, but good wishes sent.

We gve a couple of cars of IMHA a year at the clinic where I work, and all of them have survived.


Yeah, I used to see IMHA animals all the time where I was working (more dogs than cats tho'). Some more worse off than others. Most recovered, albeit some took a lot longer than others, and more aggressive treatment.


Good luck Beowulf. I hope your pup does alright.
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Re: IMHA

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:49 pm

I tend to give a 50:50 prognosis with IMHA, they either do well or they don't. The ones that respond well to treatment tend to do well, and those that do not respond well do very poorly. Animals that require a blood transfusion also have a lower prognosis.

Here's an article meant for owners on IMHA, diagnosis and treatment:

http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=1390
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Re: IMHA

Postby Beowulf » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:58 pm

That's pretty much what they told me. If she responds well to the steroids, she might have a chance. If not, she'll probably be dead within 3 months. As of right now she seems to be responding really well. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for the link.
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Re: IMHA

Postby julie64 » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:04 pm

Smootches to you Bootylicious. I know you will be one of the ones to do well. :)
Hugs to you Jena.
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Re: IMHA

Postby Adrianne » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Beowulf wrote:That's pretty much what they told me. If she responds well to the steroids, she might have a chance. If not, she'll probably be dead within 3 months. As of right now she seems to be responding really well. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for the link.

Come on baby!
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Re: IMHA

Postby Red » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:21 pm

The high doses of steroids did nothing for my Tigger, but I am hoping that things will be different with your pup. The only way her BCC would go up was after transfusions and she had several. I am glad to hear that Bootleg is already responding to the meds given, lots of good thoughts for her and you.
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Re: IMHA

Postby Beowulf » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:22 pm

Val, what was Tigger's Coomb's test result?
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Re: IMHA

Postby patty » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:52 pm

:teardrops: My Amber passed from some form of this horrible IMHA. I'm glad that Bootleg is responding to the steroids. For Amber it happened all too fast and she was took weak for comprehensive blood tests.

All my prayers and good thoughts sent your way. Keep us updated.

:hug:
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Re: IMHA

Postby Peneloki » Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:26 pm

I am sorry, no information, but lots of thoughts and well wishes sent your way. :pray
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Re: IMHA

Postby Beowulf » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:24 pm

The news is not good. She lost 2 more pounds. Hematocrit went down from 26% to 20%. Spleen has not shrunk. We're having the spleen removed next Wednesday and the chances are very, very great that it is cancerous. Which means that it is throughout her bloodstream. Plus she has Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which is tick-borne.

I've bought an air mattress and we've been sleeping together every night and will continue that for the next week. I've already told them that if they open her up and there is obvious cancer elsewhere I do not want her brought out of the anesthesia. And I want her cremated. More than likely this is my last week with my girl. Send me strength.

I'm just thankful that she is with me and she has known love for the last 5 months of her life, not on a chain and not used as a baby-making machine like she was for the first part. She is truly home and I've enjoyed the time we've spent together. And I know she has, too.

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