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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Zeke, my daughter's sweet, but mercurial, miniature schnauzer has been diagnosed with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. Basically, his body is destroying his red blood cells. He's getting blood tests every few days and his red blood count is slowly dropping. If he doesn't respond to the latest medication soon, he'll need transfusions to keep him alive.

Zeke has been living with us for a couple of years while our daughter attends grad school in New York. I can't believe how attached I've become to him. Our daughter is feeling frantic and helpless, since she's so far away. She's flying home the week of Thanksgiving and our job is to keep him alive at least that long. This is the same daughter that has Dante, who survived lymphoma after a year of chemo and radiation. Dante lives with her ex and is doing great, but is still monitored closely.

Zeke is on a prescription kibble, which he eats with some enthusiasm, and he's getting plenty of fluids, but he's losing weight and is getting weak and lethargic. If you met him for the first time, you'd think he was thin, but otherwise normal, but he doesn't have his usual ball-of-fire energy.

I don't actually have a question, unless anyone has had experience with this. Our local vet is out of options so, if the most recent medication doesn't help, we'll be travelling to a specialist. They've already done multiple x-rays and ultrasounds. It appears he has some pancreatitus, which is common in schnauzers, and that could have triggered the anemia.

He continues to guard the house and his family against invasions by squirrels and mailmen. He is stoic and never complains, even when he's getting poked and probed by the vets.



This is Zeke, relaxing in the exam room while waiting for lab results. He could give us all lessons in how to remain calm in the face of adversity.

 

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Sorry to hear about Zeke. Hope you can get some good answers. Poor little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is Zeke, at a happier time, modeling his entry in an ugly Christmas sweater contest.



And with Esther when they were both young and foolish.





 

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Sending positive thoughts your way. I am sorry to hear he and your family are suffering through this, but not surprised that his noble self is handling it in stride.
 

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Nobody survives like a mini Schnauzer. They are the toughest little guys I've ever met. Sending good thoughts your way.
 

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I'm so sorry :(
 

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What a strong and courageous little fellow. You all will be in my thoughts. Big hugs.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
 

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So sorry to read this.

Unfortunately I have experience with IMHA; my granddog was diagnosed with it last year, and was treated at a specialty vet clinic and Mississippi State vet hospital for seven months. He received numerous transfusions, which always made him feel better, and was on many immunosuppressant medications, Prednisone and Cyclosporine are the
ones I remember, among others.

He did not respond well to medical management, and eventually had a splenectomy; he had a wonderful response after his surgery, and was weaned off of all his medications, and seemed to have recovered from the IMHA.

Unfortunately he was diagnosed with leukemia a few months afterward, and did not respond to chemo.

You shared Dante's story with me when I posted about Rowdy's diagnosis.

My experience with IMHA resembled a roller coaster ride, periods of elation when blood counts improved spaced with terror when the counts dived, sometimes within days. Rowdy would maintain his normal demeanor until his counts dropped to life threatening levels; one day his appetite was a little off, I looked at his gums and they were WHITE. His hematocrit was 11 when we got to the emergency vet, we were immediately transferred to Miss State, where he was transfused; this pattern continued until he underwent the splenectomy.

I do advise a specialty vet or vet school; my hometown vet would do Rowdy's weekly bloodwork but was leery of adjusting any medication, and would not do any transfusions; they did not have the ability to crossmatch and that is important when a patient has to have multiple transfusions
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
My experience with IMHA resembled a roller coaster ride, periods of elation when blood counts improved spaced with terror when the counts dived, sometimes within days.
That's exactly what we were told to expect.

I'm happy to say that - at the moment - his roller coaster car is on the rise and he's slowly improving. But even if his blood work gets back to a normal range, we need to monitor him closely for sudden and dangerous changes.
 

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My thoughts are with Zeke and Family. If any dog can give this type of illness a run for its money, it's a Schnauzer! Hang in there, boy!
 
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