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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16836
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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Hi my Mums dog is a 5yr old Lhaso Apso (sorry about spelling).

Customer Question

Hi my Mum's dog is a 5yr old Lhaso Apso (sorry about spelling). He had been very tired and lethargic for weeks. Mum took him to vet and she noticed his gums were pale. Tested his blood and red blood cell count was 20. Next day it was only 11. Talked of doing blood transfusion but didn't. Gave him steroids and couple of days later blood count had increased to 18. Still no transfusion. Loads of tests were done and after lots of research on internet we asked whether she had identified the cause. She thinks its primary IMHA but he's now on more tablets (plus steroids) to stimulate red blood cell production and there's no improvement almost a week later. We are so worried and don't know what to do. Shall we get a 2nd opinion?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about Frankie.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

This could be IMHA. Some cases do respond to steroids, but others do not. Sometimes we have to add in other drugs to get the red cell destruction by the immune system to stop. What is the new medication he is taking?

There are other causes of anemia in dogs: tick borne illnesses, bone marrow disease, certain toxins, cancer (fortunately he is young for that). I always put anemic dogs on doxycycline in case of tick borne diseases.

A second opinion might be a good idea. I would consult with an internal medicine specialist as a next step, if these were my own dog.

Please let me know what else I can answer, or help with.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Rebecca


Thanks for your response. The other medication the vet put him on we don't know because she had to hand the tablets back in this morning sorry.


My Mum took him back to the vet about an hour ago and has now referred him to the emergency vet in Leeds. She has just rung me from there and he has been admitted. They are starting all the tests again today and giving him a blood transfusion later on tonight. He is in the best place now, they are really good, have all the equipment inc scanners etc. She has just rung me again to tell me there is a slight heart murmur and a cardiologist is going to look at him later as well.





Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. It sounds like he is in good hands now.

Let me know if I can be of any help.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
How is Frankie doing?