Canine IMHA Complications: Daphne Didn’t Make It

Daphne, she was struggling with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA).

The path to her diagnosis was not straight. It took a visit to a specialist to determine what was behind Daphne’s symptoms.

Canine IMHA Complications: Daphne Didn't Make It

Daphne’s decline

After she was started on the correct treatment, Daphne was showing signs of improvement but then the complications started.

Daphne’s belly became distended. She was brought to the vet immediately.

An ultrasound and a sample of the fluid showed that Daphne started having blood clots and was retaining fluid in the abdomen.

Thromboembolic disease

Thromboembolic disease is a complication which is the leading cause of death of dogs with IMHA.

There was a really big one on Daphne’s spleen and there was a risk that the spleen would have to be removed. However, surgery was not possible at that time. When clots develop in large blood vessels, it causes increased pressure which causes fluid to leak into cavity spaces. This is one of the complications of red blood cell destruction. Even worse, the medication used to treat IMHA, prednisone, can be a contributing factor to clot formation.

If Daphne developed a clot in her vital organs, such as the lungs or brain, she would not make it.

Daphne was put on different medications and a baby aspirin was added to decrease the formation of additional clots. She was also scoped in an attempt to further rule out why she was not eating and what was causing her low blood protein levels.

The endoscopy revealed some ulcerations which were biopsied and sent for testing.

That night Daphne ate better but by morning she didn’t want to have anything to do with her regular food again.

Daphne was rather stable, though definitely not herself; she’d mostly just lay around with very little energy and was refusing her food and her medications.

Then, suddenly, Daphne took a turn for the worse.

Things got very bad very quickly. RIP Daphne. (more details when I have them)

Related articles:
Liver Tumor? IMHA? Daphne’s Story

Further reading:
The Reality of a Dog With IMHA

Categories: ConditionsImmune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)Real-life Stories

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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