Friday, June 21, 2013
More On Thunder
The OP Pack Mom here tonight. Thunder's blood work came back showing that he is suffering from anemia. His white blood cell count is too high and the red blood cell count is too low. I don't know how to read the blood panel report but I see a lot of red numbers. Things are either in the too high end of high or too low end of low. The initial diagnosis is IMHA, which is a short way to say immune mediated hemolytic anemia. At this point the cause is unknown and may not be discovered. He went back to the vet today to have his abdomen x-rayed and to have a heartworm test to check for heartworm and for other tick-borne diseases. The purpose of the x-ray was to check for internal bleeding and/or tumors. Per the vet, there was no "obvious" bleeding and no "obvious" tumors, but this does not rule out the possibility of either. An ultrasound will be needed for a final determination. In addition, he does not have heartworm, Lyme's disease, ehrlichosis, or any of the other more common tick-borne diseases. All of the dogs are on heartworm preventative year round. There are a few obscure other tick-related diseases but the vet said at this point she thought they were a very unlikely possibility.
For now, Thunder is on high doses of prednisone and doxycyclin. The doxycyclin will be given for three weeks, while the prednisone will be given for two weeks, then the blood will be retested. If there is improvement in the numbers, then he will slowly be weaned off the steroid. And if there is no change in his eating and energy levels by this Monday morning, additional x-rays and an ultrasound will be done.
As you can imagine, I am pretty worried about my sweet boy. This came on so fast. And of course, we are talking about a very stoic breed that is very good at hiding pain and discomfort. But a mom always knows when something isn't right. I actually had told the vet on Wednesday that I thought his gums were pale, but when she checked, she said they were responding well to the pressure test. When she called this morning, she told me I was right.
This is the first time I have ever heard of IMHA. I have done some reading online about it, but I have to take it all in with a grain of salt. The Internet can be the source of unnecessary concern. If any of you have had any experience with IMHA, I would love for you to email me about it. Our email address is in the sidebar.
If the prednisone does what it is supposed to do to TD's immune system, he should be able to recover well. Here's hoping. Thanks again for all the good wishes and for all the private emails with your concern and caring. I don't expect to post any updates until after Monday.
Meanwhile, don't miss our post below for Benny - today is Benny's day - part of why I waited until tonight to post about Thunder.
Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.