Treating Canine Hemolytic Anemia
Posted by Sally Ann Cavanaugh
In January 2009, my Boston Terrier Rose became very sick. We took her to the veterinarian on a Tuesday and I expected to get a call the next morning that she had died. Fortunately, we had an excellent veterinarian who found a way to save her life.
Depending on the severity of the case, your dog may receive a blood transfusion. (My dog – Rose received a transfusion that was donated by a bull mastiff. Actually the unit of blood was split between my Boston Terrier and a poodle.)
This will probably be followed up by IV steroids. (My dog – Rose had these and they left an IV access in her much they do humans for several days.)
Other treatments include the use of immunosuppressant medications.
With hemolytic anemia, the dog’s own system is destroying red blood cells and these medications are used to slow down that destruction.
Switching the dog to oral steroids (and removing the IV) occurs after several days and the dog can go home when they are no longer losing blood (or destroying their own red blood cells).
It is now several months later and I still have to give my Rose oral steroids, an immunosuppressant, a blood pressure medication (the hemolytic anemia caused her heart murmur to become worse), liquid and tablet forms of multivitamins with minerals, and a CoQ10 (also for heart support).
If I had not caught this anemia and got treatment for my dog, she would have died.
Please pay attention to the list of symptoms above and again if you recognize any of them in your dog – go to the veterinary immediately!
Do not delay treatment. Any delay could cost your dog their life.