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.



Anonymous said...

Oh we are thinking of Thunder today too. Please, as you said, don't read too much into what you read online about it, it is always the worst case scenario. We are sending our best healing vibes your way and all paws here are crossed for you.

harrispen said...

So sorry to hear about Thunder but at least you have a reason for his not feeling well (anemia), but not the source of why he has it. The prednisone should also increase his appetite so hopefully he will feel like eating more. Today might be Benny's day, but we will cross our paws for Thunder too.

Millie & Walter

Lorenza said...

I really hope the meds will work for you very fast, Thunder!
We all want you to be healthy again soon!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

rottrover said...

Oh Thunder! Sending strong rottie POTP your way! We'll send you some of our appetite mojo, too!

-Bart, Ruby and Otto

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Dear Furend, THAT is so typical of you... to put Benny furst. THAT is what makes YOU who you ARE. VERY well respected.

This sounds as though you were about 3 jumps ahead of your vet... again very typical of YOU. YOU know your babies better than ANYONE.
We are going to pray that the Pred and the Doxy will do the job.
LOL... our vet calles Pred. the Eat More Drink More PEE More drug.
Paws All CROSSED here on our Hill.

BeadedTail said...

I've been thinking of Thunder all day and am glad you have a plan of action but wish there was more information on the what and why this has happened. The most important thing is for Thunder to get well so we're sending lots of prayers and soft purrs that the meds work quickly and he feels better soon! Many hugs to you too Mom!

Berts Blog said...

I had to take the time to comment just to let you know that Thunder is on our minds and we are sending much love and healing your way.
Bert and My Vickie

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I have my paws crossed for Thunder!!
Sending prayers and healing bubbles.

Kat said...

So sorry to hear about Thunder's diagnosis. We hope that the steroids will be successful in treating the IMHA. Sending good vibes your way. Enjoy your weekend!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh no, we are sorry Thunder. My counts are wacky too. Our paws are crossed for you and thank you for thinking of me
Benny & Lily

♥Mona + Weenie + Mommy, too♥ said...


I just heard about Thunder being sick. My thoughts and prayers are with Thunder. Mona & Prissy have all their paws crossed. Like we told Benny in our post "Keep fighting and never give up hope".

God Bless.......Sarah, the Mommy

The Websters said...

We haven't had time to do a lot of reading so didn't realize you were concerned about Thunder. We are so so so sorry to hear this bad news. Praying and praying for wisdom for the vets and the two meds to work.


Ruby said...

Oh dude, I am so worried abouts you! I am prayin' the meds are gonna do the trick and you will be betters soon! I will be sendin' you all the healin' vibes I can muster for ya! You gots to get to feelin' betters, cause your worryin' your Moms.
Moms worry alots, and she just wants you to feel better, okay? Okay.
Oh, I see your on the prednisone...your gonna be waterin' LOTS of grass!! BOL
Ruby ♥

Prancer Pie said...

We are keeping our paws crossed for sweet Thunder. Sending lots of purrs and purrayers his way! XOXO

Stewey said...

We're continuing to send healing vibes to Thunder. Hoping that the meds work quickly!
Stewey and mom

GOOSE said...

My paws will remain crossed for Thunder. And MOM and I are praying for all of you as we knows it is worrisome.

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Howdy Everybuddy, we're sorry Thunder is not well but are keeping all paws crossed here in Oz he will be well real soon. Hugs to all. No worries, and LOVE, Stella and Rory

KB Bear said...

We are sending the Power of the Paw to Thunder. We love you all, and we hate for you to be worrying like this. I hope that the pred does the job, and TD is as good as new!

houndstooth said...

We're really pulling for Thunder! I understand all too well how those senior dogs can put your heart through the wringer. Let us know if there's anything we can do!

Khady Lynn said...

We are sending lots and lots of prayers for sweet TD!! For the most accurate info, please see the Merck Vet Manual site at That is always where I go for info that I know I can trust. I sure hope the meds work!


Khady Lynn

scotsmad said...

Very worrying. We'll keep our paws crossed....hopefully he'll get sorted out.

You are so right about the internet. Just read and article about 'Cyberchondria'....diagnosing yourself.

XXXOOO Daisy,Bella &Roxy

Molly The Wally said...

We send POTP and big hugs to Thunder. Sorry we have never heard of it. The good things paws crossed is that there is no bleed or tumour. Let's hope the meds kick in and his appetite returns and he is comfortable. Mum try not to worry too much we know it isn't easy not to.
Paws crossed tightly
Best wishes Molly

Mitch and Molly said...

We continue to send you lots of AireZen and our paws remain crossed for you, Thunder!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Arno Vom Altvilstal said...

Dear Kathie,
We think of you and Thunfer all the time! We do believe that the meds are going to help him very soon! Thunder stay brave and fight this illness! We wish you all the best!!!
From Germany all our love to you all!

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock, Violette said...

We are so sad that our pal TD is poorly, and we are crossing all our paws, hooves and fingers that he will respond well to treatment.

We agree with you about taking the Internet info with a grain of salt. We did, however, look at the explanation on the site of the Vet College at the University of Prince Edward Island. It's one of the best vet schools in Canada and the outline is clear and to the point:

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

We hope the medicine works well for Thunder. He is still young and hopefully has lots of strength to deal with whatever ends up being the problem. You are right that the internet can be the source of a lot of misinformation and cause a lot of unnecessary worry. I'm sure your vet can help you as much as required. I know Thunder has lots of support and wonderful care from you and his doctors.


The Thundering Herd said...

Woo, Thunder, we are thinking of you buddy. Please tell your mom if there is anything we can do for support, you only have to ask. In the meantime, we have lots and lots of paws crossed for you.

Ruby and Penny said...

Praying Thunder is feeling better soon. Sending more & more doxie feel bette rayz his way.


Love Ruby & Penny

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

We are so sorry to hear that Thunder is under the weather. We are sending our best healing purrs and we have our paws crossed the bloodwork will improve. We will be thinking about all of you.

The Mom who has a terrible memory remembers their was a dog (in France) suffering from anemia she can't remember who are the name of the blog but she remembered they put him on a special diet. The diet stuck in her head because she gave Sir Lass raw eggs after he sliced his leg open on a fence thingy and lost a lot of blood. She thinks blueberries were also on the diet. She did a google search but couldn't find what she was looking for this was the closest thing we could find.

Anonymous said...

I agree, it's common for nordic dogs to hide pains and discomfort. But I hope the prednisone helps that he will eat a little bit more. I will cross my paws for you, Thunder. I hope you will be well soon.

FiveSibesMom said...

We are sending you prayers and thoughts and big hugs for you and Thunder. I'm going to put a posting to my Facebook readers on our FiveSibes page to see if anyone has any experience with the IMHA to see if we can get some info and/or experiences from others. Sending lots of love to you both.

Marg said...

Oh gosh, we are so sorry to hear this. I had a cat that was very very anemic and they didn't hold out much hope for him but they gave him a steroid shot and he had to have them every two months and his levels rose right up to where they were supposed to be but it took a couple of tries. But I don't know if it is the same thing.
You are sooooo correct about info on the internet. It will make you crazy.
I bet the steroids will help him a lot. We sure do send tons of purrs and prayers and hugs to the Mom. We sure know how hard it is when the furkids are sick.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kathie-well although it isn't the best news, it is better than a lot of other conditions. I wonder if dogs have any of the side effects from Prednisone-I had to take it once and remember how hyper I was on it.
Sending healing thoughts to Thunder and peace to you!
Hugs, Noreen

The Florida Furkids said...

We're purring for Thunder. Mom says that Google is not always your friend. She's (needlessly) scared herself quite a few times by searching for things.

The Florida Furkids and Mom Sharon

Anonymous said... Mom had 3 Sibes, aged 11, 12, 14 1/2 when they ran North OTRB. they all had similar symptoms, the ultrasound is the critical diagnostic to rule out a type of tumor that attaches to the lover, spleen. Paw crossed and purring up a storm for Thunder to get well. Paw hus, Savannah

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

Poor Thunder, no wonder he is feeling so lethargic if he is anaemic. Hope they can give him medicine to clear everything up so he can get back to his old self soon.
Hugs to you Big T.
Dip Bridge and Elliot x

Max Mom said...

I know I've not been around for sometime, but I saw your post and was concerned for Thunder. Please know that we'll be thinking of you as you try and ride out this storm. We send lots of love and warm vibes your way and pray that things will turn around soon. I know how worried you must be. Hugs to Thunder...and the other pups too. (and a big hug to you too)
sending lotsaluv

sagechronicles said...

I have all my paws crossed for Thunder--even the kitties are crossing theirs!

I hope Thunder responds well to the meds. It's always so worrisome when one of our best furiends get sick.

Sage, Mom & the kitties

Gracie=^o.o^= said...

I am so far behind in my visiting I don't think I will ever get caught up. Will send good thoughts and purrs that the meds work for Thunder and soon he is back to being self.

Madi and Mom said...

Thunder bless your sweet little Woo heart. THANK COD you have a most observant and loving Pack Mom who is on top of things like white on rice.
Sweet friend you are in our purrs and thoughts and we send you sloppy kitty kisses and human hugs.
madi and her slave

Casey said...

We're keeping our paws crossed for Thunder!

Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs said...

we have our paws crossed for Thunder and hope the medication helps - but it would be nice what caused it?

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Sorry Thunder isn't feeling so well. We hope the meds will get him back on track. Purrs and pawtaps for him.

Misaki @ misadventuresofMisaki said...

Hope the meds work and he's feeling better real soon xx

chicamom85 said...

I am crossing paws for Thunder and Mommy is praying. There is so much love in this community and I just know you must all be feeling it. I hope it helps to comfort you knowing that there are so many pals and peeps out here that love the Woos so much. POTP POTP POTP for Thunder. Tweedles and I will be out later with magic healing bubbles, so if you get a chance please go out and let them fall all over Thunder. I know we will all be howling at the Super Moon and I am gonna howl " help Thunder feel better"

Loveys Sasha

SissySees said...

Prayers and crossed paws for you and Thunder. I'm well-versed in Lyme's Disease, as Mugsy (my first JRT) had it and I have been treated for it THREE times...

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello woos its dennis the vizsla dog hay i am verry sorry to heer abowt thunders troubles!!! we ar only too awayr of those lab papers with too menny red numbers on them arownd heer!!! i hope he reesponds wel to the prednisone and the doxie cycline!!! ok bye

Amber DaWeenie said...

We will continue to keep Thunder in our prayers until you get a perfect report from the vet.

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Dear Thunder, we know you are a fighter and that now that you have the right medical help, you will work hard to regain your health. Know we send our strongest White Dog healing energies and positive thoughts. We send your family calming vibes and belief that love can work wonders. The White Dog Army is beside you.

sprinkles said...

Oh wow, poor Thunder! I hope those meds will get him back on track. It sounds like you're doing all you can for him. I'll keep him in my prayers.