Nancy Has Auto-Immune
Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA) -
August, 2008!
Nancy Died on September 3, 2008

Nancy 2008

Background

Nancy Marie was born on December 28, 2000 in Indianapolis and is 7 years old. Nancy lives with us, and our 2 other dachshunds, Joey and Frankie, and a papillon in Northern Illinois. When Nancy was a younger dog, she learned agility and obedience but was quite stubborn and never seemed to enjoy these activities and she was happy to retire at the age of three.

Nancy has had bouts of un-explained diarrhea over the years, but always seems to recover within a few days. She has also had periods of refusing food.

We have always been cautious about vaccinations and toxins. All our dogs receive vaccinations till they are two, then we do titers. Interceptor is only given every 5 weeks and only from late May to early October. We also limit the use of flea protection unless absolutely necessary.

All our dogs eat raw dog food, not processed. Occasionally, we do give dry food, but then it is only Solid Gold or another Premium dry food.

Nancy's First Symptoms

Nancy-Sick In late July, Nancy became really finicky about eating, at first we thought it was her usual fussiness, but I noticed her gums were too light and I called the vet for an appointment.

On August 4th, we saw Dr. Kristen Junkas
from Wright Animal Hospital

Also on Staff and a Consultant is Dr. Fred Drazner
Dr. Drazner was the internist that cared for
our beloved Pippy in 2001.



Diagnosis and Treatment Plan -
August 4-31, 2008

At our August 4th appointment, Nancy had an immediate CBC at which time her PCV was down to 29.7.
Nancy was immediately tested for ticks, cancer and had X-rays and an ultrasound, as well as a needle biopsy on her huge spleen. Her tick tests and the coombs test came back negative. She was started on 5mg Prednisolone and doxycycline while we waited for further test results.

At this time, since her PCV was only 29.7 and I was not convinced that she had AIHA. On August 11th, she was diagnosed with AIHA, the dreaded blood disease. I was devastated. On August 7th, 11th, 13th and 16th, her PCV went down each time. Her ultrasound and needle biopsy didn't show anything remarkable. Her appetite was even worse now and she was getting weaker every day. She was in more danger every day. To me, she was much sicker than Pippy had been at this stage. She was now on 10 mg Prednisolone, the doxycycline was discontinued. I bought Pet-Tinic which she hated and was force feeding her a few bites a day.

inCrate On August 18, her PCV was down to 13, so it was decided to do a transfusion. The transfusion went well, Nancy came home very hungry. Imuran was now added every other day (EOD). She ate well that night,
but about 4AM, she had massive black diarrhea. (August 19) She was very lethargic and I was convinced she was dying. We scheduled euthanasia, but Dr J talked us out of that. Instead, Nancy saw Dr Drazner and the new diagnosis was drug-induced pancreatitis! Same as Pippy! However, her PCV went up to 32!! Baytril and amphoral was added and she was NPO for 24 hours. She rapidly improved! She was GREAT for about a week, she ate well!

On August 23, her PCV dropped to 26 and we started to worry, but she was still doing well and eating!
On August 27, the PCV was at 19 and she seemed OK, ate with gusto till August 29.
On August 29, the vets thought she would do better with an increase of cyclosporine. She was getting weaker and not eating much
Her cyclosporine was increased from 35Mg to 70Mg a day. She immediately lost all appetite and on August 30, threw up once and didn't look well at all.
On Sunday, August 31, we thought she was going to die. She was completely anorexic,
refused all water, and was extremely weak, could hardly stand up. We called
again for her to be put to sleep. She was only given prednisone the entire day and that evening she rallied again and started to eat some food!
She had a good night and in the morning we talked to Dr. Junkas.
September 1st, Nancy was doing great without any meds. Dr Junkas felt it was one of the meds making her very sick. Nancy ate very well this entire day. At bedtime, we gave her the Imuran and Baytril and by morning, she was competely anorexic again!
On September 2nd, we had an appointment. Her PCV had dropped from 19 to 13 and we were not surprised. She was prescribed Cerenia and only pepcid, prednisolone and 25 Mg Cyclosporine for the remainder of the day, provided we could get her to eat something. It was agreed that Nancy would have a 2nd transfusion on September 3rd. She was so lethargic and nauseated, we were not able to get her to eat anything this entire day. We gave her some water with a syringe.

We never got the chance to transfuse a second time. We reluctantly gave Nancy back to God at 11:45AM and ended her suffering. It is possible that she had another attack of Pancreatitis at this time due to more bloody diarrhea.
Rest In Peace Nancy

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Last Updated June 5, 2012

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