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IMHA dog - Help with treatment

October 12th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I have a 7 year old mixed female who is like our child. First of all, we will do anything short of torturing her to help her. Money is not an issue. She is approximately 36 lbs and last Friday starting getting weak and not eating as well as usual. About 2 yrs ago she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that was attacking her muscles. After initial critical treatment, she was able to resume a very happy normal life on 10mg pred every other day and levothyroxine (for thyroid 2x daily). Last Friday she began not eating and acting a little lethargic. She has had minor relapses before, so we gave her a day to "snap out of it". Sunday she started treatment as she is now destroying her red blood cells. - Packed cell 12-14% depending on the lab results. She is on 30mg pred 2x day, carafate for her stomach, 20mg baby aspirin 2xday to prevent clotting, and her levothyroxine for the thyroid control. My dad is an emergency vet and is her primary caregiver. I trust his judgment, but am becoming overwhelmed with all of the treatment options available. She is regenerating blood cells and has many platelets. She received a very fresh transfusion from my dad's dog yesterday, as her breathing was becoming more labored.. That made her feel much better, although the affects seem to be lessening slightly as her breathing has picked up, but is not bad yet. I am looking for any advice that could help her in the short term that will lead to her survival long term. We are battling with whether or not to add Azathioprine to the regime, as it has done well in trials, but are hesitant given its many other side affects. She is still eating, although very selectively. I love her and want to help her in anyway I can. Please respond ASAP if you can help!!!

Thank you

October 12th, 2005, 04:17 PM
I am sorry I cannot help,but be patient I am sure someone else will.
I just wanted to commend you for doing everything you can for your pooch,if love was a cure,she would be a very healthy dog :love:

October 12th, 2005, 04:40 PM
I would trust your dad.He seems to be doing his best for this doggy. I'm so sorry this doggy has to be born with all this stuff. Poor doggy. Chico is right about the love. Despite everything this doggy is unbelievably lucky to have found a home with you. :)

October 12th, 2005, 04:56 PM
I guess since your dad is the primary care-giver, it's difficult to suggest consulting another vet, perhaps a specialist?

October 12th, 2005, 05:32 PM
Thank you for all of your support. We have considered taking her to Purdue University, but don't want her to be a "guinea pig". I do believe that my dad is doing the best possible for her, with not too much stress to her. Right now she just finished her "salmon & barley" dinner (cooked fresh), that she enjoyed very much. :) She is doing as well as can be expected at this point, I am mainly wrestling with what to do next if the prednisone alone cannot get control of the situation. If anyone out there has experience with this disease/treatment, please share your thoughts. I am particularly worried about the clotting right now, as it seems to be the main cause of death in IMHA(Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) cases.

Thank you again and I look forward to more replies!!
Heather and Belle (my puppy)

October 12th, 2005, 06:09 PM
The following testimonials are independent of the company who manufactures the product mentioned :

Subject: Dog's recovery from Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA)
Date: Sunday, October 12, 2003
From: Dave Burrows in Eastbourne, United Kingdom
My dog Arnie had been given up on by the vet. He had acute anaemia caused by his white blood cells killing his red ones and quite honestly we were making arrangements for his funeral. After one week on Transfer Factor Plus we noticed a dramatic improvement. Three months later, after finishing the entire course, Arnie is doing so well that he no longer needs Transfer Factor . He now has so much energy on his new diet (James welbeloved) that we have to restrict his intake or we could be pulling him off the ceiling. He is putting on weight steadily as is his partner Heidi, She has been on Transfer Factor also and it has cured her scaly flaky skin condition on her back.

Definition of AIHA:

Canine autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) is a disease characterized by increased destruction of red blood cells (erythrocytes) by the dog's own immune system. Though much attention has been given recently to AIHA due to evidence linking the process vaccinating with the manifestation of this sometimes life-threatening disease, immunization is only one potential cause for this condition. Another potential cause is the heartworm medication, Proheart 6..

Subject: Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia - Transfer Factor to the Rescue
From: Sylvia Boyd-Brown

On the 6th of February 2004, my dog, a lurcher called Marmite, collapsed and was diagnosed with Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA). When I looked on the internet for information about the condition, I was horrified to find out that there was no known cure and the outlook was not good. The only treatment for the disease was very high doses of steroids (Prednisolone) which has very bad side effects. Marmite was however very ill, so the steroids had to be given. She spent six days at the vet’s on drips and having blood tests and scans. While Marmite was at the vet’s, I began my research on the internet, trying to find something which would help her to recover. In my search I came across shirleys-wellness-café.com, a website which I must say, is fantastic for all types of health issues. Here I found a testimonial from Dave in Eastbourne who treated his dog’s AIHA with Transfer Factor, and six months later his dog was still fit and well.

Marmite had been on such a high dose of steroids that it caused her to develop Pancreatitis and Cushing’s disease. Once again, we had to rush her back to the vet’s because she was in so much pain. Things didn’t look good for Marmite; it was heartbreaking to see her so ill. I told my vet that I wanted to try Transfer Factor Plus on Marmite and although he wasn’t convinced that it would work, he said it wouldn’t do her any harm. I found Helen-Kimball Brooke in London a homeopath and distributor of Transfer Factor and within a couple of days, Marmite was taking three capsules per day. I also gave her Omega fish oils, Cascading Revenol (a powerful antioxidant from Neways) plus three different homeopathic remedies from Mark Elliott, a homeopathic vet, for the Cushing’s disease and the pancreatitis. Marmite had also been on lots of antibiotics so I also gave her probiotics to put healthy bacteria back into her system.

Well, four months later, Marmite is now looking great: her fur is soft and shiny and she has more energy. Her pot-bellied appearance has gone and I have my beautiful healthy dog back again. She is now off all the steroids and her blood count is fine. I am convinced that Transfer Factor combined with Cascading Revenol helped in Marmite’s recovery and I am continuing to give her both of these supplements.

Online reading:

Article about the benefits of Transfer Factor in DVM, the Magazine of Veterinary Medicine Transfer Factor Plus Advanced for immune system support for...
Clinical studies show Transfer Factor Plus & transfer factors can support a weak immune system.

Duane Townsend, MD - says he uses the Transfer Factor Classic because it helps to modulate the immune system(autoimmunity-over-active immune systems).

Directions for giving the human formula Transfer Factor to animals, as suggested by veterinarians at the 4Life Company:

Transfer Factor Classic:
1 to 25 lb. 1- 4 daily
26 to 50 lb. 2-3 daily
51 to 100 lb. 3-4 daily
100+ lb. 4-6 daily

Transfer Factor Plus:
1 to 25 lb. 1- 2 daily
26 to 50 lb. 2-3 daily
51 to 100 lb. 3-4 daily
100+ lb. 4-6 daily

Some veterinarians start animals on a small amount of Transfer Factor Plus for 3 consecutive days and then gradually increase the dose. . The content of the capsule can be mixed with pet food or treats (sardines, cheese, etc.) Some pet owners find it easier to put the capsule itself down the pet's throat or to mix the content in a little broth and use a syringe to inject the product into the animal's mouth. Although Transfer Factor Plus and Transfer Factor Classic are best given throughout the day, it can also be given in one dose once a day. The 4Life company recommends to double or triple these amounts if the animal is ill in order to increase the efficiency of the immune system further. There is no report of overdosing on TF or TF Plus even when consuming massive amounts. You can buy it at some stores and over the Internet.

Lucky Rescue
October 12th, 2005, 06:23 PM
hhuck, I have no idea if there are any similarities here, but I had a cat with immune deficiency problems. He was also put on Prednisone.

A vet finally suggested Interferon, but by that time the prednisone had done so much damage he was beyond saving.

Maybe you could inquire about the interferon?

Good luck!