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 Post subject: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:47 pm 
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I think it's important to get this information back on the forum. I hope no one has to use it, but it's good to have it here, just in case. This is one of the best pages I've ran across:



Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia & Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia


Michael Stone, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)

What is immune-mediated disease?
Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) refers to destruction of red blood cells by the body's own immune system. The onset may be related to infection, vaccination, drug administration or cancer; however, in the vast majority of pets no underlying cause is ever identified.

Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT) refers to destruction of the body's blood cells called platelets. In most pets no underlying cause is ever determined.

Of the three cell types in the blood (red cells, white cells and platelets), red cells and platelets are the most frequent targets of immune-mediated attack. IMHA and IMT may occur together. The immune system is generally in tune with the rest of the body, allowing the existence of all normal cells whilst fighting off foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. With IMHA and IMT, the immune system turns against normal body constituents and causes their destruction. It is unknown why the immune system turns against itself.

A few triggers have been proposed:

•Genetic factors appear to play a role as demonstrated by the increased prevalence of IMHA and IMT seen in certain breeds and family lines
•The administration of vaccines may trigger immune-mediated disease in predisposed individuals.
•Bacterial or viral infections may also trigger "flares" of immune-mediated disease
•Environmental factors such as toxins, radiation and sunlight may also cause flares.


In most cases, however, no obvious factor is determined that triggers the onset of disease.

What are the symptoms of immune-mediated diseases?
IMHA involves the destruction of red blood cells, the function of which is to carry oxygen. When red cells are decreased, less oxygen is available to the cells of the body.

Some possible symptoms of IMHA include:

•Weakness
•Labored breathing
•Jaundice (yellow discoloration) of the eyes and mouth
•Darkened urine


IMT involves the destruction of platelets, whose function is to stop bleeding. When platelet numbers drop below a critical number spontaneous bleeding occurs.

Symptoms of IMT may include:

•Bruising of the skin
•Nose bleeds
•Blood in urine or stool
•Bleeding into vital organs, i.e. the brain or spinal cord -- this can be life threatening


What tests are needed?
Most pets with an immune-mediated disease are diagnosed in middle age, and purebreds are more frequently affected than mixed-breed dogs. Hereditary factors are involved but the exact genes associated with immune-mediated disease are unknown.

The diagnostic steps undertaken when IMHA or IMT is suspected may include:

•Blood work
•Urine testing
•Fecal analysis
•Bone marrow analysis
•X-rays and ultrasound are used to detect abnormalities of internal organs


Testing for underlying or concurrent disease can only be made by excluding the presence of other diseases that may affect the blood cell counts, such as cancer or infection.

What treatment is available?
Treatment of immune-mediated disease involves "toning-down" the immune system. The presence of infection must be carefully excluded since "toning-down" the immune system could allow infection to spread. The treatment most commonly used to suppress the immune system is prednisone and high doses are initially administered until good response is seen.

Side effects of prednisone are common during the high dose phase of treatment and include:

•Increased thirst
•Increased appetite
•Increased urination
•Panting


Although side effects develop in most pets, they are not harmful in the long term and will disappear as the dose of prednisone is tapered. Weight gain is particularly troublesome and limitation of food intake is essential. It is important that prednisone never be abruptly stopped and dosage reductions be made gradually.

If side effects are excessive, a different corticosteroid (such as triamcinolone or dexamethasone) may be substituted. Long-term use of corticosteroids (greater than a few months) may cause sagging of the stomach and poor hair coat. The dose of prednisone may be decreased by the addition of a supplemental immunosuppressive medication such as azathioprine, chlorambucil, or cyclosporine. You should discuss the benefits and risks of additional immunosuppressive medication with your veterinarian. Certain vaccines may trigger flares of immune-mediated disease and their administration should be discussed with your veterinarian.

What is the prognosis?
The prognosis for IMHA and IMT is difficult to predict and these diseases can be life threatening. An initial response generally takes a minimum of 3-5 days. Some animals respond to medication and never experience a relapse while other cases do not respond to any medication. The majority of dogs and cats respond somewhere in between these two extremes: blood counts may normalize but later fall as immunosuppressive medications are tapered. For these pets a maintenance dose of medication is required.

To determine your pet's need for long-term therapy, medication doses are slowly tapered while blood counts are monitored to detect relapse. With frequent monitoring it is usually possible to detect blood count changes prior to the development of outward signs to illness. In general, blood counts are rechecked 1-3 weeks after a dosage change is made and then rechecked again just prior to any additional change. Dose-weaning usually takes place over a 4 to 6 month period.

Relapses are treated with increased drug administration and consideration is then given to long-term maintenance therapy. If maintenance therapy is necessary, periodic evaluation for medication-related side effects (such as weight gain or urinary tract infection) is appropriate. It is difficult to predict which pets can be weaned completely off medication and which will need maintenance therapy.

Long-term therapy is not without risk, but with close veterinary supervision, many dogs and cats with IMHA and IMT live long, normal, and happy lives.

Updated 8/19/2008: Audrey Cook, BVM&S, MRCVS, Diplomate ACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
Posted 8/26/2008

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JACKIE,SAGE & SAFFRON


Last edited by Jackie on Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: IMHA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Thank you, Jackie! I've stickied this for easy access. These are scary diseases and unfortunately not that uncommon in our beloved breed.

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 Post subject: Re: IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Can you add Joanne's site for a resource? It's an old site, but it has a TON of information and success stories on it and I know she keeps it updated. She's a leading activist for raising money for AIHA research and treatment. My Bailey is theSeptember 2000 success story and without Joanne and her site, I don't know how I would have coped with all the struggles I had during the 5 years I dealt with it.


Last edited by Angel K on Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: IMHA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:09 pm 
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http://www.cloudnet.com/~jdickson/newhope.htm


Meshia's Hope has loads of information.

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 Post subject: Re: IMHA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:04 am 
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I cached google and found my old original post and would like to add it to your post. Jackie, can you change the topic to AIHA / IMHA - with spaces between the letters and the / so when people google either term they will find our post and possibly help them. Several people last time found us that way. I just remember googling and googling when Brady was sick and found Joanne's site and forum, but if I had found this cocker forum it would have been helpful also. My main intent when I originally joined this forum was to give out this info and hopefully prevent anyone else from losing their baby to this awful disease.


Originally posted March, 2008.
I would like to do this post and ask others who have gone thru this horror to add to it in the hopes that since knowledge is power that a newbie owner will see it and maybe be able to prevent it by avoiding some of the suspected triggers. I found very little on this forum that could have helped me last year, so maybe this could help someone. For those that do not know what this is, it is Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, or Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, which is when for some unknown reason the immune system goes haywire and the white blood cells start attacking and destroying the healthy red cells or platelets, creating a life threatening anemia very quickly. This disease has a high mortality rate, one web site quotes it at 68%. Cockers are prone to this condition, and most dog owners who come down with it have never heard about it until it happens to them. There is usually one line in the cocker spaniel description that mentions this when researching the breed.

My Brady was only 2 when diagnosed last April. I got him from a very responsible breeder who had bred cockers for 25 years, always did OFA and CERF on all her dogs, and really believe her when she told me that Brady was her first AIHA dog. There was no line breeding back 5 generations, and Brady's family tree consists of many dogs who lived long, healthy lives, so this was not a genetic case. He had no vaccinations prior to onset (9 months before), tick disease panel was negative, had taken a Heartguard Plus 2 weeks before, and no Frontline for 2 months prior. It just happened.

The biggest piece of advice I can give all dog owners is to CHECK YOUR DOGS GUMS TODAY to see their natural pink color (black dogs check their tongues). If your furbaby is ill, the first thing to do is check the gums-pale gums indicate illness, whether AIHA or something else. Checking the gum color is the first thing the vet does for a sick dog, and it only takes a second-victims of this disease get neurotic about checking the gums multiple times each day. If the gums are white or jaundiced, run to the vet immediately, then put on a pot of coffee and sit at your computer and learn everything you can about this disease, starting with the Meisha's Hope Website, make your list of questions, get a specialist to treat because many local vets don't have the knowledge that an internist has.

Most cases happen for an unknown reason, but some suspected triggers are:

1. Overvaccinating. When you think about it, vaccines work with the immune system, and this is an immune system disorder. We have to vaccinate our dogs, but maybe spacing them out may prevent AIHA. Dr Jean Dodds recommends spacing out the vaccinations and giving rabies at 6 months. We all know about boosters at 1 year and every three years (apparently the Kansas lawmakers don't), but does everyone space the shots out so that the distemper/parvo combo is never given with rabies? Also, a titer can be done to check immunity status on these. Personally, I will give my dogs their shots at puppyhood, 1 year later(spacing out rabies and parvo/distemper 2 months), at age 4, 7, then I will do titers to check immunity status. I also have to give Lyme in my area, so that is also spaced. Children receive their childhood vaccines that provide immunity for life, same is true for our furbabies.

2. Onions. Onions cause a Heinz Anemia, similar to the Hemolytic Anemia. This includes onion powder, which is in many of our foods. There was an issue awhile back that dogs with cancer were given baby food, but some of the baby food had onion powder added to it and it was causing these poor dogs to also get Heinz Anemia. Brady's favorite treat was Pepperedge Farm Goldfish, and this has onion powder listed. Did this cause his AIHA-I really don't think he ate enough fishies to cause it, but Callie and Casey never get fishies. Do folks check the label in Adolf's Meat Tenderizer when putting on dog's food for poop eating? I haven't checked, but could someone please check? Foe me, Brady's illness took a great pleasure out of owning a pet-giving them table scraps (on a small scale). A piece of meat from the grill-is there onion in the barbeque sauce? Coldcuts from the deli-is there onion is the seasoning used? Yes, I am paranoid, but I already read labels for trans fat, so I add onion also.

3. Many also suspect Heartguard Plus and Frontline Plus. I wonder if it is not the drug but the dosage-Brady was 28 lbs and got the 25-50 lb dose of Heartguard-the Frontline I never used the entire 25-50 lb vial because of that issue. Someone posted somewhere that they split the bigger vial between their 2 dogs-does anyone else do that? Some folks also give the heartworm rx 45 days apart-I will now use Interceptor only during the summer, and will go 37 days.

I hope this helps someone. I know this is a very positive forum and do not want to be negative, but maybe if just one case can be avoided by simply spacing out the vaccines or avoiding onion powder, then it will not be in vain. I also hope others can add info.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Here is a link to another forum I stumbled across looking for information. It's FILLED with good information about the drugs used, side effects and how to treat them. Everyone either has had or has a dog with a form of IMHA

http://forum.dog.com/forums/t/90432.aspx?PageIndex=1

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:24 pm 
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The vet who wrote this article, Dr. Michael Stone, is in the same practice as my vet. He has been consulting on Darby's Cushing diagnosis since we first started testing in June. I didn't know that he was a published author!

What a small world!


Connie F.

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Bailey, Black & White Parti, age 11.5 so sadly missed! 7-7-2000 to 1-24-2012


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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:59 am 
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Things that can help with the side effects of drugs given:

Powdered MilK Thistle- will help protect the kidneys and liver
Knox NutraJoint unflavored drink mix- helps keeps the joints healthy

Slippery Elm Cocktail- helps calm the tummy
1 -- half a cup of boiling water.

2 -- add 1 rounded tsp. of ground slippery elm

3 -- let cool totally

4 -- add 1/8 c. + 2 tablespoons of aloe juice

5 -- add 10 drops of chlorophyll

6 -- Add 2-3 capsules (open the caps) of acidolpholus


Once you get it mixed up and whipped smooth, it keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days (after that the acidopholous dies).



Use a baby medicine syringe and load it FULL. Give about half an hour before a meal. Just put the tip of the syringe behind the canine tooth and hold the mouth loosely closed. Squirt slowly so they can work their tongue to swallow.


Pet-Tinic - helps rebuild the blood increasing iron levels

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Last edited by Jackie on Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:16 am 
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Here is the CBC (complete blood test) Dictionary of sorts:

BLOOD TEST RESULTS & ABBRIVATIONS CHART

http://www.dogcancer.net/k9-labs.html
http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/caninebloodwork.htm

WBC
White blood cells (WBC) - The body's primary means of fighting infection. Decreased levels may indicate an overwhelming infections (viruses), or drug / chemical poisoning. Increased levels indicate bacterial infection, emotinal upsets and blood disorders.

RBC
Red Blood Cells (RBC) - Responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. High red blood cell numbers usually indicate dehydration but can also indicate uncommon diseases that cause an excess production of red blood cells from the bone marrow. Iron deficiency will lower RBC count. In more reduced count, it may indicate hemorrhage, parasites, bone marrow disease, B-12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency or copper deficiency some immune diseases and toxin ingestion. RBC's live for 120 days so an anemia of any kind other than hemorrhage indicates a long standing problem.

HGB
Hemoglobin (Hb) - normal range: 12.0 - 18.0 The essential oxygen carrier of the blood. Decreased levels indicate the presence of hemorrhage, anemia, iron deficiency. Increased levels indicate higher than normal concentrate of RBC, B-12 deficiency (because there are fewer cells).
.
Hematocrit (HCT)normal range: 37 - 55% or Packed Cell Volume (PCV) - Provides information on the amount of red blood cells (RBC's) present in the blood. The hematocrit is a calculated percentage of red blood cells in the circulation. It gives similar information to the red blood cell count but the value is expressed as a percentage. The other part of the blood is serum, containing enzymes, proteins, electrolytes, etc. Decreased levels means anemia from hemorrhage, parasites, nutritional deficiencies or chronic disease process, such as liver disease, cancer, etc. . Increased levels are often seen in dehydration.

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) - This is the average size of the red blood cells. A high MCV usually indicated certain vitamin (B-12 FOLIC ACID) deficiencies. A low MCV indicated iron deficiency..

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) is an abbreviation for mean corpuscular hemoglobin. This is the average weight of hemoglobin in each red blood cell and is different than hemoglobin circulating in the blood. A high MCH indicates poorly oxygenated blood. A low MCH indicates iron deficiency.

Mean Corpuscular hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) - is an abbreviation for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. This is the average percentage of hemoglobin in each red blood cell. A high MCHC indicates that there is too much hemoglobin in the red blood cell, indicating a high iron level since an important component of hemoglobin is iron. Iron excess is just as damaging to the body as iron deficiency. A low MCHC indicates anemia.

Segmental Neutrophils (Segs) - These are the primary white blood cells responsible for fighting infections. High levels of neutrophils indicate infection. Low levels can indicate sepsis. The neutrophils are concentrated in the area of infection or are rapidly being used, leaving less circulating in the blood.

Lymphocytes (L/M) - These smooth, round white blood cells are responsible for fighting infection and also develop antibodies to protect the body against future attacks. High levels of lymphocytes can indicate infection, viral disease or certain cancers such as lymphosarcoma. Low levels can indicate viral infections affecting the bone marrow or sepsis

Lymphocytes/Monocytes (L/M): 1.1-6.3 Definition: Lymphocytes are produced in the lymph nodes through the body and are responsible for the activity of the immune system by producing antibodies. Monocytes make up about 5% of the white cell count and act as scavengers for the removal of debris from dead tissue and areas of inflammation.

Monocytes (Mono) - This white blood cell helps the neutrophils fight infections. High monocyte counts indicate infection. It is unlikely that there will be no monocytes and a differential with zero monocytes does not indicate any specific ailment.

Eosinophil (Eos) - This white blood cell is primarily involved in fighting allergies or parasites. High eosinophil counts indicate an allergy or parasite causing illness. Low levels are not possible since zero eosinophils are possible in normal blood samples.

Basophils (Baso) - This white blood cell is not very common but can be seen in certain parasitic infection, primarily heartworm. High levels indicate possible parasitism. Low levels are not possible since zero basophils are possible in normal blood samples.

AUTO PLATELET
Platelets (PLT)
: 175 - 500 Definition: Also called a Thrombocyte their function is to halt bleeding (form blood clots). Platelets Play an important role in blood clotting. Decrease in number occurs in bone marrow depression, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, systemic lupus, severe hemorrhage or intravascular coagulation. Increased number may occurs with fracture or blood vessel injury, or cancer.

Polychromasia refers to the light blue color of immature RBCs (caused by residual RNA). Polychromasia is the most important indicator of responsiveness to anemia, and may be further quantitated by counting reticulocytes. A high percentage of polychromatophilic cells (reticulocytes) may result in an increased MCV and decreased MCH or MCHC.

Anisocytosis is a qualitative measure of variability in RBC size. Like RDW, anisocytosis is increased when microcytic or macrocytic RBC (or both) are present, or when spherocytes are present (which have normal MCV but appear smaller on smears).

Poikilocytosis is a qualitative measure of RBC shape. The type of shape abnormality must be specified. Echinocytes (crenation) and torocytes may result from prolonged storage of blood in EDTA; target cells and stomatocytes may result from slow drying of the blood smear.

Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells, typically composing about 1% of the red cells in the human body. Reticulocytes develop and mature in the red bone marrow and then circulate for about a day in the blood stream before developing into mature red blood cells. Like mature red blood cells, reticulocytes do not have a cell nucleus. They are called reticulocytes because of a reticular (mesh-like) network of ribosomal RNA that becomes visible under a microscope with certain stains such as new methylene blue.

Reticulocytosis is a condition where there is an increase in reticulocytes, immature red blood cell. It is commonly seen in Anemia. They are seen on blood films when the bone marrow is highly active in an attempt to replace red blood cell loss such as in haemolytic anaemia, haemorrhage.

Reticulocytopenia, or "aplastic crisis", is the medical term for an abnormal decrease of reticulocytes in the body. Reticulocytopenia can originate from congenital hemolytic anemia, especially when exacerbated by Parvovirus B19 infection. Can occur with Sickle Cell Anemia and Spherocytosis, where hemoglobin levels fall rapidly and the marrow cannot compensate, causing absence of reticulocytes. Reticulocytes are immature erythrocytes.

BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen), also sometimes just called Urea) is also commonly used to diagnose kidney problems, although it is not kidney specific, and values may be elevated for other reasons, particularly if you did not fast your dog for 12 hours before the test was done. If BUN is slightly above normal but creatinine is in the normal range, the odds are that the kidneys are fine, especially if the urinalysis is also OK (normal urine specific gravity and no significant amount of protein in the urine).
Values in the high 20's, up to even the mid 30's (around 12.5 mmol/L) if the dog was not fasted, are not a concern if other values (creatinine, urine specific gravity, protein in the urine) are normal. Dehydration and stress can also contribute to elevated BUN.
If BUN is above 80 mg/dL (28.6 mmol/L), this is a sign of uremia and is usually accompanied by clinical signs such as vomiting and inappetence. In this case, as when creatinine is above 4.5 mg/dL (398 µmol/L), it may be necessary to reduce protein in the diet to help control these symptoms. BUN is more reflective of diet, and less reflective of the stage of kidney disease, than creatinine, but it is still not necessary to feed a low protein diet when BUN is below 80 mg/dL (28.6 mmol/L), although you should definitely be feeding a lower phosphorus diet at that point.

I read this statement during my research: The absence of reticulocytosis does not preclude the diagnosis; it may be due to recent onset (less than 3 days) or destruction of young rbcs in the bone marrow. Bone marrow aspiration should be done if there is a persistent reticulocytopenia, to rule out other primary bone marrow disorders.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Mia had this disease and we almost lost her because we attributed her listlessness to the heat wave we were having. I didn't know about checking her gums. It wasn't until she collapsed that we realized she was ill and took her to the vet. By then she had to have a transfusion, a 4 day hospital stay and both cyclosporine and azathioprine in addition to prednisone.

I am happy to say she is in complete remission and back to her sassy self. I just want to tell everyone: Anytime your dog is low energy, check those gums!!!

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Very important point Naomi! I've been so busy trying to get all the imformation on this page that I forgot this small, but VERY important thing! Anytime the gums are white or pale pink, run, do not walk to the vet
Also if your dog does have IMHA and you feel something is "off" follow your gut feeling and get to the vet ASAP. Things can change so fast with this disease and no one knows your dog better than you do. I can't tell you how many times I've ran to the vet, and sure enough the blood count was dropping or something else was wrong. Even if you go and nothing is wrong, better safe than sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:07 am 
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Here is a link to another good site I just stumbled across

http://www.peppypaws.com/LillisLegacy.html

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:58 pm 
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My Riley just died this past June from this disease. We delt with it for 8 years, which is way longer than the vet thought he'd live. We had a 'regular' vet as well as a homeopathic vet treating him, and one thing that helped him deal with 8 years of 5mg of prednisone is called Canine Hepatic Support. I have an almost full bottle and will send it to anyone who asks their vet about it and it becomes part of your treatment program. It's not cheap, but I will give it to you in Riley's memory...nothing about this disease is cheap. It's hard on nerves, hearts, and pocketbooks, but mainly the dog. Our dog had 2 major near death episodes during those years, but with luck and good care, he lived 8 happy years. It was kidney failure that finally got him, which we expected, due to the long term prednisone, but it also allowed him to live so long. I hope for you all to have as many years of loving and living as we were blessed with, if your dogs are unfortunate enough to get this disease, and if you do need the CHS, let me know via a message here.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:56 am 
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Can someone please post pictures of "normal" and/or "abnormal" coloring for gums and other physical symptoms? I am a more visual person so it is easier for me to know what to look for based on pictures rather than from descriptions. I check gums regularly, but don't really know what I'm looking for. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:06 pm 
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You will know if the gums are pale. When Sage was so sick, his gums were white, no pink, just pure white.
Sage really didn't have any symptoms other than that he had no engery, one day he just didn't want to go for a walk. He ate great, acted fine up until that one day. It was downhill fast from there though, if I hadn't taken him to the vet that Monday, we would have lost him.

Here's a page that might help you
http://thesickdogblog.com/tag/white-gums/


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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:02 am 
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Kell wrote:
Can someone please post pictures of "normal" and/or "abnormal" coloring for gums and other physical symptoms? I am a more visual person so it is easier for me to know what to look for based on pictures rather than from descriptions. I check gums regularly, but don't really know what I'm looking for. Thanks!


Kell

Since you check your gums regularly, you know what normal looks like for them. You will definately know what abnormal pale gums would look like-I just hope you never have to know. Another way is to press your finger and release-the gum will turn white under your finger then bounce nack to pink. Black dogs with black gums-go by their tongue color-same pink theory as with the gums.

If anything, this forum and knowledge about AIHA educates folks and hopefully will help others.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:32 pm 
Sandy H wrote:
Kell wrote:
Can someone please post pictures of "normal" and/or "abnormal" coloring for gums and other physical symptoms? I am a more visual person so it is easier for me to know what to look for based on pictures rather than from descriptions. I check gums regularly, but don't really know what I'm looking for. Thanks!


Kell

Since you check your gums regularly, you know what normal looks like for them. You will definately know what abnormal pale gums would look like-I just hope you never have to know. Another way is to press your finger and release-the gum will turn white under your finger then bounce nack to pink. Black dogs with black gums-go by their tongue color-same pink theory as with the gums.

If anything, this forum and knowledge about AIHA educates folks and hopefully will help others.


It is really important to know your dogs 'normal'. Sokka has pale gums all the time compared to the other dogs but I've had bloodwork done because I was so worried about it, and it's normal all right. I'd hate to see him pale.


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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:24 am 
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Julie, Paisley's are pale too. It alarmed me the first time I saw it. I didn't get bloodwork done, but considered it at the time.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:11 am 
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These diseases are very scary. We must be aware of the symptoms for us to be able to diagnose it early.

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 Post subject: Re: AIHA / IMHA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:49 pm 
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I learned today that if your dog is an AIHA/IMHA survivor you should avoid dosing your dog with Clavamox or penicillin. Mia's internist at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital said that it may be a trigger for dogs with sensitized immune systems. Mia's recent relapse may be connected to the fact that she had been on Clavamox for her eye injury. Our regular vet had actually prescribed Doxycycline instead of Clavamox because of her IMHA history.

Also, if you ever have to take your IMHA survivor in for an emergency, mention the IMHA. We did not and I can't help but wonder if the ER vet would have prescribed a different antibiotic if we had mentioned Mia's history with IMHA.

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 Post subject: Do these gums look OK?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:26 pm 
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How would this gum color rate? Normal....?


Attachments:
Max Gum color.JPG
Max Gum color.JPG [ 87.61 KiB | Viewed 15535 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Do these gums look OK?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:02 pm 
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hassiman wrote:
How would this gum color rate? Normal....?


Scroll up through the previous posts.
Jackie's post on Nov. 19, 2010 has pics of normal and pale gums; these pics were taken from a website on dog diseases.

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 Post subject: Re: Do these gums look OK?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:22 pm 
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hassiman wrote:
How would this gum color rate? Normal....?


In my non-professional opinion, that is a good color in the gums. When I had this issue with my cocker Oakley, his gums wee flat out pale/grey in color....very easy to notice it was not right.

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