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What was wrong with my dog?

(16 Posts)
Oldname Fri 12-Jun-15 06:10:30

Hi my lovely boy was pts yesterday and I'm trying to understand the cause of his illness - hoping maybe someone has experience of similar.
Three weeks ago he was diagnosed with immune mediated haemolytic anaemia. He was put on a massive dose of steroids which really knocked him - uncontrollable thirst, incontinent.
Due to the unbearable side effects, plus the fact that his blood tests showed no further damaged red blood cells, his dose was reduced over time.
On Monday he started pooing blood, rang vet who said his bowels could be irritated and reduced steroid dose further.
From Tuesday he was passing pure blood and clots. Thursday morning he was bleeding uncontrollably from his bottom. Took him to the vet and he was pts.
I told vet from day one that I felt there was something worse wrong with him but they didn't even consider that or try to find out. I'm devastated at the way he had to die, and I'm looking for answers as to what would cause such a horrific thing to happen.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 12-Jun-15 09:47:06

Must have been such a shock yesterday, would it be worth booking an appointment with your vet to discuss what happened to help you understand?

I'm not sure anyone here could provide the answers you are looking for when they haven't examined him. Without a post mortem (which I am not even sure they do on dogs and how much it would cost) its unlikely exactly what happened will ever be known.

You might have to accept that you did everything you could for him by taking him to the vet as/when needed and the vet did the best he could by treating the symptoms as they were presented to them.

So sorry for your loss and the traumatic circumstances.

BurningBridges Fri 12-Jun-15 10:24:24

Copper what a terrible thing to happen - how old was he/what breed?

My dog died after many interventions over a period of 6 weeks. The only way I can describe it is that we could not understand what had happened even though we were there all the time to witness it and had many conversations with the vet. We went in to see the vet twice after he died to try to get some closure - most vets would be pleased to discuss it with you. Just my take on it - I suspect that the damage was already done before he started the steroids.


BurningBridges Fri 12-Jun-15 10:27:32

BTW I found this article which I thought was helpful, if you scroll right down it has a bit about blood clots - I wonder if this rings any bells?

Oldname Fri 12-Jun-15 11:43:37

He was a cocker spaniel, at least ten years old.

Oldname Fri 12-Jun-15 11:45:12

BurningBridges I have read that article thank you. A lot of it sounds just like Sam, I'm devastated that he went so horribly and wish I'd known so he could have been pts sooner.
I thought he was going to recover from this.

VandaDarkFlame Fri 12-Jun-15 18:44:52

I'm so sorry for your loss copperbuzz, what a beautiful dog he was flowers

Oldname Fri 12-Jun-15 19:57:24

Thank you.
I just feel empty. He was a funny little thing, hated anyone new but if you were in his circle of trust he was fiercely loyal.
He's left his companion behind but she seems to be happy enough.

SunshineAndShadows Fri 12-Jun-15 20:07:20

Hi Copper no one really knows what triggers immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) but steroids are required in the initial stages to suppress the immune system and stop it destroying the red blood cells, which is usually fatal. If this therapy is successful then the dose can be reduced and eventually weaned off or replaced with other less aggressive medication.

Unfortunately steroids aren't without risk either and it sounds as if your poor pup may have suffered from haemorrhagic gastroenteritis as a side effect of the steroids. This side effect is unpredictable and it sounds as if your pup had an unlucky but severe reaction to the steroid medication that was necessary to control his IMHA.

I'm sure this was a terrible shock to you but it would be impossible to predict that this type of reaction would occur flowers

brunette123 Fri 12-Jun-15 20:42:31

So sorry to hear about your lovely dog how dreadful for you and your family.

Oldname Fri 12-Jun-15 21:58:45

Sunshine thank you for that info. It pretty much sums up what the vet said, except they didn't mention that this end result could have been caused by the steroids.
The vet said there may be something else going on, I assumed they meant some sort of cancer, due to his severe weight loss (5kg in two weeks, almost a third of his original bodyweight).
Do you think he could have been saved somehow? If we'd stopped the steroids? I guess if we'd stopped them the IMHA would have taken him.

SunshineAndShadows Sat 13-Jun-15 08:13:36

Hi Copper - remember I'm just going on the info in your OP and haven't seen your poor dog - if he had other clinical signs then there may have been other things going on - your vet would be able to advise you on that better than me.

It's an awful situation but it sounds as if you did everything you could. IMHA can be a very challenging condition to manage

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 13-Jun-15 09:18:30

As Sunshine said both the disease IMHA and the immunosuppressive treatments for it are pretty awful.
In some cases of IMHA it is actually a more profound form called Pure Red Cell Aplasia where the immune system not only kills red blood cells, but also the cells in the bone marrow which make red blood cells.

Oldname Sat 13-Jun-15 13:40:44

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. I don't suppose I'll ever know for definite whether it was the IMHA or something else. I don't suppose it matters now, I think I was just questioning it in my grief.
Thanks again.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sat 13-Jun-15 13:59:28

Sorry to hear about your dog. We had a cocker spaniel and we lost him last year. At least he's not in any pain now. flowers

BurningBridges Sun 14-Jun-15 00:29:32

Copper if you need support in RL can I suggest Blue Cross pet bereavement - I used them and found it very helpful (I used the e-mail service):

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