Diagnosis of IMHA

My Diagnosis and fight to get through this disease.

January 22nd 2013 12:15 pm
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NOV 2012 (a few months before his 5th bday), Chance was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). We knew something wasn't right when he would barely eat, pale gums and was very tired for 2 days. His blood level was 9 (should be 37 or higher) when we brought him in. He underwent high doses of antibiotics and a live blood transfussion with an exact match Boxer. He now struggles to get better.

His levels moved up nicely to as high as 34 (37 or above is ideal). So, we lowered the dose of medications.

Sadly, not even a few days after doing that he lost 5 pounds and his levels went down to 32. So, the medication had to be increased again.

He was on high doses of Prednisone, Prilosec and IMURAN (azathioprine). After a month of all this medication, he has now been diagnosed with Muscular Atrophy. The vet took him off the IMURAN(azathioprine)and replaced it with a very expensive medication called Cyclosporine (Atopica). The 5 pounds came back on after switching medications so we are hoping the levels rise also so that the medication can be lowered.

We are praying he pulls through this as the medication is doing so much harm that I am worried can't be reversed. He goes back today to see how the Cyclosporine (Atopica) is working. Pray the levels rise!

 

Update 1/23

January 23rd 2013 1:18 pm
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Chance's blood levels went up to 35 1/2 (which is dramatic since last visit) so they are contributing this to the change in medication. Heck, for the cost it should do something! The goal level is 37, so this is good. It shows his body is doing what it needs to to build up his red blood cells again.

Now the tricky part - we are dropping the dosage of prednisone (almost in half) in hopes to decrease the side effects and gain some muscle back. We'll see how he does for a week, making sure he doesn't get symptoms of the anemia coming back. Then if he doesn't show any signs, we'll do more bloodwork in a couple weeks to try and drop the medication again.

 

GoodBye my dear friend.

February 14th 2013 9:04 am
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My dear friend will be entering the Rainbow Bridge tomorrow.

He has progressively gotten worse due to the medication treatments. This was a horrible disease that I would hope no one has to deal with. You can't win, you treat the disease only to cause other problems caused by the medication. He developed Muscular Atrophy from prednisone. Then started having trouble walking on one hind leg, then started with a rash that took away all his fur on one side of his face, having accidents in the house, etc.... but through all this still ate and wagged his tail!

He now has developed full blown lupus and possible kidney failure. Medications can be pushed, but the quality of life will never go back to where he was and will only keep getting blows from new medications.

Chance just turned 5 recently, so very sad, a young life cut short. Chance will be put down tomorrow, so he is resting at home today for one more night with his family.

 

Chance entered the Rainbow Bridge

February 15th 2013 10:23 am
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We will miss you my dear friend. Today was a very hard day for us, but from your eyes, we see you were tired and ready. We tried the best we could to help you get better but your body just couldn't go on like this any longer without sufferering.

You are at peace now, my friend. Today was a beautiful, sunny day. I am sure you up at the Rainbow Bridge soaking in all this sun!

I hope Maggie, who just entered the Bridge a month ago, greeted you there. Soon, our other family dog, Tula, will be heading up there within the next week or two, so all 3 of you can look down on the family.

Love you and miss you forever! Hunter is already looking for you : (

 
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Chance *RIP* 1/12/08 - 2/15/13


 

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