Hello everyone, I want to start off by saying thank you for taking the time to read Broly’s story and taking the initiative to try to help him fight his disease. Your support is greatly appreciated.
I will post a full description of the disease at the bottom of this to give a full understanding of his condition
I came home one day to find Broly tripping over himself to make his way to me only to fall over and barely be able to move, his gums completely white. Rushed to the veterinary emergency room, they confirmed a prognosis of IMHA (Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia), an autoimmune disease that was genetically passed on in which his immune system and antibodies attack his red blood cells at a rate faster than they can regenerate, causing anemia. While some dogs can fight through the anemia, the complications from it can prove to be fatal as well. After a 2 night stay in hospitalization, we ended up paying about $2,500 for total. His medications are at $200 a month as of right now, we’re hoping to get it down to $150 a month after these next few weeks by eliminating two or hopefully more medications, depending on his condition. If he is qualified for a blood transfusion and the doctor believes it is the next necessary step, the cost will be about $1,587.00 starting and may go up way higher should he need to stay the night in ICU, and it may only be the first of a couple more transfusions, and his condition is far more critical than the doctor and I had originally anticipated. Right now, his PCV blood levels are way below average in anemic patients (Anemia is defined at 35%, Broly left the hospital at 23% and he is now sitting at 12% and they are difficult to stabilize). I will attach all bills for proof to lay full transparency on the situation.
Again, I am so very grateful for each and every person who took the time to read our story and even if you cannot financially support today, know that your love, prayers, and care is recognized and appreciated immensely. Love you all, Broly loves you all. Stay safe!
Description will be below as quoted from OVRS Veterinary, www.ovrs.com
“As a pet owner, nothing is as scary as a disease that can take our pets from us without warning, and sometimes even without cause. Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is a condition that can do just that, though.
Although you’ve likely never heard of it, it’s important to learn what you need to know so that if you ever have a pet who is affected by IMHA you can take prompt and effective action.
What is Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in Dogs?
The name of the disease says it all. In pets affected by IMHA the immune system begins to destroy (hemolyze) the animal’s own red blood cells, resulting in anemia.
In IMHA the pet’s antibodies begin to attack the red blood cells in the bloodstream. These cells become coated with antibody, targeting them for destruction. The body then lyses, or pops, these red blood cells, removing them from circulation.
Because red blood cells are important for transporting oxygen throughout the body, when a pet has too few red blood cells, he or she essentially becomes oxygen-deprived. The spleen and liver, which normally help to clean up old red blood cells, also become overwhelmed.
What are the Symptoms of Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia?
Because patients with IMHA are suffering from a low red blood cell count, often pet owners will notice:
Lethargy or depression
Dark orange to brown urine
Pale to yellow skin/gums
Jaundice (yellow discoloration, especially of the whites of the eyes)
Any time a pet is exhibiting these symptoms, it is important to have him or her evaluated right away. IMHA in particular can come on and progress very rapidly. While none of these are unique to IMHA, they can all be signs of a serious problem.
What Causes Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in Dogs?
Anything that stimulates the immune system can trigger IMHA. This can be an infection, a bug bite, or even a vaccine. In about 60-75% of cases, however, the cause of the immune reaction remains unknown.
Certain breeds also seem prone to developing IMHA. These include:
Old English Sheep Dogs
How is Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia Treated?
Aggressive treatment is required for patients who develop IMHA. Treatment is aimed at three goals:
Removing the inciting cause – While most cases of IMHA do not have an identifiable cause, it is important to remove the cause if one is present. Pets who develop IMHA often need to have extensive diagnostic tests performed in order to look for any problems that need treated.
Stopping the immune reaction – Obviously, stopping the abnormal immune response is key to success. This is most often accomplished through the use of corticosteroids such as prednisone. Sometimes supplemental immunosuppressive drugs are needed as well.
Providing supportive care – Stopping the immune reaction is not instant, and it takes the body time to recover. During treatment patients often need to receive one or more blood transfusions to help them recover. Many IMHA patients are in critical condition and require hospitalization.
Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia is a very serious condition and requires aggressive treatment. Even despite excellent care, some patients still do not survive. It is very important for pet owners to recognize the signs of IMHA so that in the event their pet is affected they can provide care early in the course of the disease. As with so many conditions we see, catching problems early in their process is key to success.”