My name is Sadie Elizabeth and I am a 9 year old Pomeranian who was just recently diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. My Pommy Mommy, Kristina, helped me set up a Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/SadieElizabethStrong1228 so that all my friends and family can get updates on how I am doing.
I was born on December 28, 2004 and almost 8 weeks later on February 25, 2005 my Mommy brought me home. I am extremely energetic and love to be with my family. My Mommy and I are so close, we do everything together. I always sleep at her feet and love to cuddle in her lap and watch our favorite TV shows.
A little more about me, I am Wolf Sable in color, big brown eyes, diva personality, oh and I love to play fetch with my favorite ball. I have two Pommy friends Badger and Kinsey, we love to play and bark at just about anything.
On my 9th birthday (12/28/13), me, my Pommy Mommy and her Mommy went shopping at Petsmart. That is a tradition we do on my birthday, so I can go out and pick a new toy. I was my spunky self that day. Two days later Mommy was getting ready for work and I came over to see her, I knew she knew something wasn’t right. I am never awake at 6:30 in the morning and I never turn down my food. I did that day and Mommy said I looked so sad. The rest of the day I just slept and didn’t do too much because I didn’t feel up to it. At first Mommy thought maybe I caught a bug at the pet store but then more symptoms came on and Mommy was getting really worried. She took me to the animal emergency room (AVETS), I was quite nervous, it was a long car ride, well long for me anyway and I wasn’t sure why Mommy looked so upset.
We got there and this very nice doctor came to check on me, between him and my Mommy they decided to run all kinds of tests, since I was running a slight fever and seemed to be a little lethargic. (That’s a big word for a little Pommy like me). Anyway back to my story… my doctor took me and Mommy to the back for some blood work (ouchie and Mommy didn’t get to stay to hold my paw) and then an hour or so later brought me back to Mommy. (Phew).
Thank goodness Mommy was there because the doctor was throwing a whole bunch of big words around that I didn’t understand. Mommy seemed to though. He told Mommy that my red blood cell count was 32, normal range for me should be between 35 and 54. It wasn’t too low but the doctor wanted to start me on medicine anyway because things could change drastically really fast. We caught it early the doctor told Mommy.
So I started all these medicines and had to come back quit a few times that week for blood work. Two days later on 1/2/14 I went back with my Grammy this time because Mommy had to work, this time my PCV (packed cell volume) had dropped from 32 to 21. Grammy and Mommy were reassured that it would take at least 7 to 10 days for my medicines to start working. I went back again the next day and my PCV was 19. My new doctor Dr. Tam said that since I started to eat again and was still walking around some, that I was okay to go home and didn’t need a blood transfusion.
I rested all weekend because the Prednisone makes me really sleepy and so does IMHA. The more I sleep the easier it is for my body to produce more red blood cells. My other medicine (Azathioprine) is suppressing my immune system so my body will stop fighting against itself. That means I have to be really careful around other puppies. I also take some medicine for my tummy so the Prednisone doesn’t upset it and some Aspirin so that my blood stays thin enough. Thank goodness for peanut butter, that’s how Mommy gets me to take my medicine. She thinks I don’t know it’s in there but I do, I eat it like a big girl anyway because I don’t want to let my Mommy down. We need each other too much!
On Monday, 1/6/14 I went back for more blood work only to find out my PCV dropped to 18. Scary but Mommy said that was ok because it only dropped one in two days, meaning my medicine was starting to work by slowing down the destruction of red blood cells. Dr. Tam increased my Prednisone this time though in hopes to help bring my PCV up.
On 1/9/14 guess what?! My PCV went up to 23. Everyone was so happy, especially since the day before I started having trouble breathing… kind of sounded like a really loud snoring sound or so my Pommy friends told me. Dr. Tam said that the breathing was a side effect of the Prednisone.
I went back to see Dr. Tam again for more blood work and a check up on 1/14/14 and my PCV went up again to 27. I am still super sleepy but I started to perk up some around snack time. Mommy gives me some yummy yogurt before bed. I still have side effects of the Prednisone. That medicine is really hard on me but I know it will make me feel better so I keep on fighting.
On my latest visit to see Dr. Tam my PCV went down a little bit to 24, I know Mommy was a little sad but we are hoping this is because they had reduced my Prednisone some last time I saw Dr. Tam. Dr. Tam also heard a slight heart murmur this time, which is common in us dogs with IMHA. My Prednisone is also starting to weaken my muscles so I started slipping on the floor.
So What is Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia?
Normally red blood cells live about 4 months in dogs. As the cells age, they are removed and destroyed by other cells that are part of the immune system. New red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow at a rate that matches the destruction of older cells. In Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, the immune system destroys red blood cells prematurely, faster than the rate at which new ones can be produced. The name says it all – anemia (reduced red blood cells) caused by hemolysis (destruction) by the body’s own immune system.
So Pommy Mommy’s if your furry baby has any of the symptoms I told you I have please take them to your Vet right away.
I’m ‘Sadie Strong’ and will continue to fight this…
Well these were all my updates up until now when Mommy was finally able to set this up for me. I am getting really sleepy now and it’s almost medicine time again. Time to go ‘night night’.
I ‘woof’ you all very much!
Sadie Elizabeth… as told to Kristina Backoefer