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Petey IMHA Update

Petey and Marina

This is just a quick update on Petey. He went in for his regular check-up yesterday which is now just a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and it was perfect! Everything was in the normal range.  For those of you who have battled or are battling an illness, I know you understand what a wonderful feeling that is.

As always, I have to give many many thanks to Dr. Slusser and the amazing staff at VCA Animal Specialty Group. They are our miracle workers and we are forever grateful. It’s a great feeling to walk in with him when he is happy healthy – especially when we see the all of the wonderful people who helped nurse him back to health when we just didn’t know if he was going to make it. Their caring, kindness and expertise got us through a very rough time.

Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia Treatment

After Petey’s diagnosis of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), we began our journey into treatment. He had been in the hospital for several days and was released on August 17th, 2009.  He was prescribed: 50mg of Azathioprine daily, 1 ½  20 mg tablets of Prednisolone, twice daily, ¼ 80 mg baby aspirin daily, and 100 mg of cyclosporine, every eight hours.  A follow-up was scheduled for August 19th.

On the 19th, we continued all medications as previously directed and a recheck was scheduled for August 26th.  In the days in between appointments, Petey’s abdomen started to show signs of what appeared to be bloating. I called our vet and found that it was most likely Ascites, an accumulation of fluids in the peritoneal cavity. Unless it gets considerably worse, we were given the ok to wait until our next appointment. At the appointment, he was prescribed 50mg of Lasix for the swelling. His CBC showed slight improvement.

A few days later his abdomen was the same and now one hind leg and front leg was very swollen. On the 28th, we were back in ER. It was determined that the swelling was part of the ascites. By the 30th, we were in ER yet again. The swelling was so severe in his front leg that we didn’t feel we could safely wait until the next day (Monday). This time, a Penrose drain was recommended to drain what had become an abscess in his front leg.  We were sent home with the dreaded e-collar, 375mg of Clavamox and 50mg of Tramadol for pain and we were to see Dr. Slusser as soon as possible. We were able to get an appointment on August 31st and Petey was given an ultrasound to check his heart – to rule out any other causes for the swelling. Cardiac problems were ruled out and a recheck and drain removal was scheduled for September 4th.  To be continued….

Evan’s Syndrome Symptoms

By 2009, our rescue Petey, had been part of our family for nearly four years. He settled in nicely, was healthy, eating well and a pretty happy go lucky dog in general.

Every August, we have a summer party with friends and family and Petey and Marina are regulars.   At the party that year Petey seemed a little mellower than usual, to the point that more than one person commented that he seemed to be laying low.  We kept an eye on him and the next morning, he continued to be a bit lethargic and didn’t have his usual appetite. At one point we thought that maybe he had eaten something at the party that didn’t agree with him. Later that evening, he was getting more and more lethargic and we knew we had to get him in to the vet. We weren’t able to get him in to our regular vet and felt that his symptoms warranted a trip to a nearby animal hospital.

The hospital conducted an initial exam, CBC, Chem Panel, Urinalysis and a brief abdominal ultrasound. Per the hospital, Petey’s blood-work, while not 100% conclusive suggested that he had Evan’s Syndrome, a disease where the immune system begins to destroy it’s own red blood cells and platelets. It was also suspected that he had a biliary obstruction and moderate to severe osteoarthritis (we knew about the osteoarthritis).

Since the results were inconclusive, the hospital’s recommendation was to leave him overnight for further testing which was estimated at over $2,000. We opted for a second opinion, which marked the beginning of a very long journey.  To be continued..

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