|Barked: Wed Oct 18, '06 8:41pm PST |
|Oh sure, make me dig out my textbooks again
(The Merck Veterinary Manual 8th ed. Published by Merial in 1998.)
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) has four basic forms:
1) Peracute AIHA = seen in middle aged, large breed dogs. Initial unresponsive decrease in red blood cell leves. Usually responds to treatment after 3-5 days. Usually treated with heparin and glucocorticoids.
2) Acute AIHA = most common form with a breed predilection in Cocker Spaniels. Initial signs are pallor and fatigue. Generally a good response to glucocorticoids, possibly followed by cytotoxic drugs if little response after 7-10 days.
3) Chronic AIHA = differs from acute in that red cell count falls to a baseline and stays there for weeks or months. More common in cats than in dogs. Usually responds well to treatment in initial stages, with response dropping as the condition progresses. Again, initially treated with glucocorticoids, followed by cytotoxic drugs after ~2 weeks.
4) A variant of AIHA is Pure red cell aplasia. It is most common in dogs and comes in 2 forms: postweaning to adolescent dogs and adult dogs. Treatment is the same as for Chronic AIHA.
Causes of AIHA can be precipated by drugs, vaccines, or infections, but most triggers remain unknown. Most forms are treatable, and once treated, relapses are uncommon.
So prognosis sounds pretty good. You will need to be on medication for quite some time, I would imagine. But you can fight through this and be just fine!! Get better soon
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