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My Dog Has Autoimmune Disease

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  • My Dog Has Autoimmune Disease

    The tests show low red blood cell count. Not Anemia like humans. Her chances are maybe 50/50 to survive this. I am devestated as she is only four years old. My first vet put her on Prednisone and antibiotics, as oddly the prednisone isn't good for the system. complicated to say the least. I called her breeder in another state and she never had one herself with it but knows of a champion who has survived four years and got it around age four. I then called an internal medicine specialist she will see tomorrow. They do chemo and even transfusions if necessary. Funny, I just deposited $1,000.00 in my savings I had saved up from tips and grooms. I need to know the treatment plan and the costs and the odds of her success, if they have any. I am so devastated and honestly do not see much hope. She won't eat this morning and she threw up upon waking up. I gave her her Pepcid and other meds and hopefully by this afternoon she will eat. I now have to get myself together and dry my tears to go groom a St Poodle easy trim. This is a new understanding client. I also must get a good nights sleep and see the specialist 9Am tomorrow then groom a few dogs in the afternoon.

    Has anyone out there had this experience and any success stories? I can't believe we might loose our Baby girl. She isn't in pain, just lethargic. The dogs know I am upset when I cry. What I have read on line is not incouraging. It is hard to keep my concentration on grooming when I just want to hold her and cry.

  • #2
    I had one dog who they suspected that she had autoimmune. They gave her heavy amounts of pred and antibiotics. I have another older foster dog who they said was going to die. She had lymes, and they thought she got into rat poisoning because of how her blood counts where. Both dogs survived. They still think the foster dog may have autoimmune disease because her blood counts are not right. But she has gained 12 lbs since Nov and has lots of energy. (She didn’t when she first came to our house.) Its really hard to say but both of these dogs looked and acted like they were going to die and both are doing great. Just give the meds some time to work, it took my dogs both over two months. I hate pred but it saved both of these dogs life’s.


    • #3
      MY heart goes out to ya. We had a toy poodle as a teenager that came down with hemoleptic anemia. Her original symptoms made them think it was her liking cleaner off a shower at first. They did the whole gamet of treatment and even chemo. She survied despite a long and expensive battle. I believe she lived about 6 yrs afterwards. So there is hope! We used to give ours those frozen tube popsicles (they make pedilyte ones now) and baby food (chicken flavor) since she was too lythargic to eat normally.


      • #4
        Just last year my dog had both lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever at the same time last year and his red blood cell count was so.... low we had to watch for spontaneous bleeding for two weeks.

        Did they check your dog for these things also? 14 Days of antibiotics cured my baby but boy it as a rough two weeks until his next blood test.

        I hope your dog's prolems are cureable.


        • #5
          I went thru almost the same thing about a year and1 /2 ago with my dog. His gums were white and he was acting strange so I took him to the vet. His red blood cell count was 4. They did't think he would make it thru the night. They decided it was auto immune and put him on steriods and antibotics. One Doc did ask if he could have been poisioned somehow, but they treated him as if he had AID. Took him off all commercial food and cooked for him, plus I gave him a multi vitiam, plus his meds. He was so sick he couldn't get on my bed, so I drug my matress in the living room floor so I could sleep with him. Called my son and told him to come say goodbye. I fed him rice & chicken, or rice and chicken livers or rice and turkey during this whole time, it lasted about a month, then suddenly he started showing improvement and now is back to his old self. I kept him on the rice diet for several months, untill I noticed he was starting to turn into a butter ball. It has also been 2 years with out any vaccanations. I read several opinions that over vacacnating ccould also cause immune problems. It has not happened again. I started reading labels and being very picky about anything I fed him, even treats. My dog loved rawhide chews, and I was always picking him up a chewy evey time I was in a discount stiore or I saw them on sale. Most of that stuff is made in China , and I may have been slowely poisioning him , by giveing him those cheap treats over several years. Now I read every label, and if it isn't made in the good old USA, it don't go in his mouth!, Hope your baby is ok, don't give up!


          • #6
            How sweet of all of you to share your success stories.

            Tomorrow I see the specialist. Maybe she isn't bad enough for chemo yet. Maybe they will want to do the pred and antibiotics first for two weeks, then retest. I will do whatever necessary to try to get her blood cells back to normal. I do not like the idea of chemo, but what else is there? Any alternative treatment would be difficult to find and I am afraid not to do traditional treatment. NU Vet vitamins coming in the mail for her asap. I was told today by a nice lady a TBS of tomato sauce and even cod liver oil. I don't want to make her nausious. She shows no interest in food til at least 3PM when the Pepcid and meds kick in. I know she doesn't understand why I cry now and then, but I can't help it. I will keep you all informed of her progress.

            Thank you all so much. I would love to hear Hellys' thoughts on this. Helly, you out there?

            She ate all the chicken baby food w/brown rice. I get so excited to see her eat I almost overfeed her. I want it to stay in her.

            We do not have a tick problem here and fleas rare. Never had one on them. Not lyme etc. No poisoning, Probably some gene fluke thing.
            Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-24-10, 06:47 PM.


            • #7
              Man, they can scare ya half to death, can't they? I don't have any experience with AID but we'll be keeping our fingers and paws crossed for you. I hope that, given time and attention, she'll be back to her old self.
              Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
              George Sand (1804 - 1876)


              • #8
                You know, I can't really comment without knowing a whole lot more. Like what tests have been done, and what the results were. Did they test for Lyme's or parasites like babesia? Did the vet happen to name a disorder, like hemolytic anemia or lupus? Knowing what type of autoimmune disease is going on make a huge difference.


                • #9
                  Yesterday she spent the day being tested.

                  She had ultra sound, X rays urine not back yet. Her red not lower as the pred had already helped and I gave her half instead of 1 1/2 by reading instructions wrong. She has hemolytic anemia and is responding well already. Meds are: pred, Atopica, Doxycycline 50 mg and the 3 mg aspirin is coming today delivered to the house. She has pep today, eyes not empty, and she ate her dog food w/ baby food mixed in. Drank water and is enjoying the weather and even sniffing the orange blossom aroma in the air.The vet lady is wonderful. Types all info up and discribes things and dogs' behavior very well and easy to understand. This is a big facility for various serious concerns like hers which is internal med area. I am very encouraged and so is the doc. Yes, the meds have side effects but she will be monitored carefully and blood test next Thurs. The initial cost between reg vet and the specialist is probably close to $2,000.00 already, with the original estimate yesterday getting a $109 refund. NU VET vitamins coming too. I paid more this week for her treatment than I paid when I bought her. Oddy, I had just depositied $1,000 I had been saving for emergency. The out of state former vet got back to me thru his vet tec ; The message said sometimes removing spleen does the trick. My vet says NO, it has proven to not be the cause or cure. 6-12 mos treatment and to always watch for symptoms. No babesia test.....whatever that is, not mentioned. It is NOT lyme disease. It is Hemolytic anemia and her age is the time it happens. Common here apparently, as she treats for it in many animals. I also have to not let her play with her bros as she will bruise easily at this time. Fortunately her idea of play is often barking at the noises outside. Now I am happy to hear her barking. As we walked down the hall to our room where she eats her breakfast her step was happy and excited , impatient to get the food, unlike the recent past. The meds will make her hungry and thirsty. Oh, and her temp has been normal all thru vet visits and her white cell count a tad low, which is common. Pancrease showed signs of previous inflamation on left lobe. Liver slightly brighter due to steroids, showing it is working to help her cells .All else normal ranges. Her life has been that of a well cared for pup to adult with good food, love, and grooming ( always pest-free except for annoying younger brothers wanting to play )with no stress other than when the door bell rings. All this is in her favor.
                  Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-26-10, 10:18 AM.


                  • #10
                    don't give up

                    Don't give up!!!!!!!!!! one of our Dr was treating her own dog, left the IV cath in thinking it would be easier to euth. I lept telling her to give it time. And that dog is still going after 4 years. If you don't see "that" look in their eyes. Keep up the pred.


                    • #11
                      80% success rate says her doctor.

                      It is likely to work over time as long IF her meds don't cause complications like a blood clot. This is why she us taking 3mg aspirin made up just for dogs. She is a very affectionate liitle dog, and loves to be cuddled. My sweet baby girl. I call her "My Girl "a lot of the time. I am not crying anymore. I have been encouraged for the past two days. It has only been a week since she showed visible symptons by not eating.

                      She acts normal now and ate her regular dog food this AM. But she isn't out of the woods. This is Saturday update.
                      Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-27-10, 08:38 AM.


                      • #12
                        Glad to hear you baby is doing much better!!!


                        • #13
                          Happy to hear your dog is doing much better. I lost one of my poodles to IMHA about 2 yrs ago. It was a very stressful time to say the least. She was treated at the ER. They told me that they had seen dogs come in much worse shape than mine, and make full recovery. And also there were some that came in in better shape than her, and not make it. Sophia's condition changed several times throughout her treatment. Up and down. However she did not make it. Read everything you can about the type of AID that your dog has. The more educated you are, the better. I truley hope your dog stays happy and healthy. My vet made a donation to Coulumbia Veterinary College in honor of my dog. There needs to be more research done. Not only for this type of disease, but many many diseases in animals.


                          • #14
                            I have been reading on line about this disease.

                            The more I read, the more upset and worried I become. The one factor for my dog is that she has Not ever had Heartguard or Advantage etc. Vaccines rarely. There are no known causes in some dogs and in fact the cancer sows up after the dog dies and they find it then. I worry about the side effects of the meds and blood clots to the lungs. Last night she was panting a lot which I was told would happen. I worry about her little heart. She slept well on our bed. She is drinking more whater and ate all her breakfast. I was told she would have a big appetite from meds, and that is happening. So she is getting her nutrition. I was also told to NOT give her any vitamins, contrary to the NUVET salesman. Changing dog foods trying to fine the best is also NOT a cause, tho he said it stresses the dogs' body. I find, I am sorry to say, the NU VET people will say anything they know nothing about to sell their product. I have heard giving vitamins can actually cause an UNbalance in nutrition. The good dog foods are already balanced nutrition. Now, I worry about everything I do for my dogs.


                            • #15
                              One thing you want to do is avoid anything like NUVET, which is supposed to boost the immune system. Her immune system doesn't need boosting. It's already joined the other side, and is in overdrive. She's taking meds to supress her immune system because it's threatening to kill her.

                              Don't panic, and don't give up. Sometimes they seem worse before they get better. The increased drinking and eating is due to the steroids. Don't limit the amount of water she has access to. It may be annoying, but she needs it.