Saturday, November 21, 2009

We love this dog

Vlad has been very sick. Two Thursdays ago, he was diagnosed with Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia which on its own is often fatal. His white blood cells are trying to kill his red blood cells, and they had gotten dangerously low. His tongue was completely white by the time we got him into the vet. Not knowing to look for paleness, all we knew was that he was lethargic and had stopped eating. (Most dogs don't stop eating. I'm glad he did - Vlad lethargic is about as active as Gustav, so it didn't seem like we needed to worry that much other than the lack of eating.) Within a few days after his diagnosis, he also had pancreatis (pancreatitis? something bad.) and his blood proteins were way off. It turns out that when you have low protein in your blood, fluids seeps out of the blood vessels and collects in the belly. Vlad gained 5 lbs in fluid. (Normal weight: 30 lbs) There was so much fluid it was pushing on his lungs. After two transfusions (one of plasma, one of a plasma substitute) we are now treating his kidneys with a special diet and yet another pill.

The low protein and the pancreas problems are not usual complications of the auto immune induced anemia. He's just special.

So now we're giving him steroids and a human immune supression drug. We did a round of antibiotics. And he's got drugs for his kidneys. And antacids to try to keep the steroids from giving him ulcers. He's down to 31 lbs.

He still may succumb to the anemia pretty quickly, but for now, it looks like it's under control.

If your dog becomes lethargic and you think his tongue/gums are pale - get to the vet!

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