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anemia, red blood cells dropping rapidly in my pit bull :(

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July 24th, 2007, 02:15 PM
over the past 2 months there has been 2 blood tests done, both confirming a steady drop in her red blood cells.
my holistic vet told me that a normal range of cells is at around 40%...
last month my dog was in the 27-29 range...
just got the latest results back today and she is at 19%
i am devastated because he said this could potentially be a very difficult case to crack...and at her rate of drop, it is already becoming extremely concerning.
he said anything below 15% is very dangerous and i dont know what to do, she is very close to that now.....

we have setup an ultra sound on thursday with a speacialist and from there my vet will hope to find something that can be pointed to as being the cause of all of this.
if nothing shows, he said a bone marrow test would be another step we can go for,

some history on my dog...
she is a pit bull, 6 yrs old and has had an very troublesome environmental allergy problem for over the past 2 years.
she has been on cyclosporine and allergy shots for the better of the last year or so.
...the cyclosporine caused major digestive tract issues with her so she was taken off them completely about 6 weeks ago. would assume the cyclosporine might be the culprit for the blood cell loss but it has continued to go down even weeks after being taken off completely.

she currently is on a vitamin 'advanced-cell' or something along those lines, as well as the medication 'cypro' for a urine infection.
both of which i was told to stop, as of today...

this is my dog:

if anyone has any info they can provide, ideas, or just hope, i would be indebted to you.

thanks for reading.

July 24th, 2007, 04:17 PM
I don't have any help to offer,just wanted to say,she's a sweetie and I hope all goes well:pray:

July 24th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Has your vet considered Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA aka IMHA) ?

Here's a link..

or renal disease ?

Dr Lee
July 24th, 2007, 07:29 PM

Not only is anything under 15% dangerous but a steady fall in red blood cells at 19% is VERY DANGEROUS. This requires aggressive medical attention.

Did the veterinarian mention a concern regarding IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia)? Bone marrow disease? How are the platelets?

I urge you to continue an aggressive diagnostic plan until a cause is found with a veterinarian immediately. The plan of an ultrasound with a specialist is an excellent idea. I would recommend that between now and then you have another red blood cell percentage (called a PCV, packed cell volume or hematocrit) performed prior to Thursday.

With that said. What causes low red blood cells in general:

Main causes
Blood loss - trauma, bleeding out, intestinal hemorrhage from medications such as aspirin or viruses like parvo, third spacing (blood loss that remains inside the body) - such as rupture of splenic tumors, blood clotting issues such as rat poison or liver disease leading to bleeding in the abdomen or chest which is unapparent, and IMHA which is a auto immune disease where the body has an 'allergic' (to keep it simple) reaction to its blood cells for unknown reason and begins to destroy them suddenly. Other causes are possible but these are some common ones.
Lack of production - bone marrow disease such as cancer, and bone marrow suppression from certain types of toxins, hormones, medications, etc...

Note on the cyclosporine. If is was in the form of Atopica, then its interference is low. With some IMHA patients, cyclosporine is acutally used to treat. GI upset is common because the carrying agent is castor oil which some dogs get an upset tummy on. Other side effects can occur but are less common, kidney and liver disease, etc....

Best of luck. Let us know the results of the specialist examination. :pawprint:

Dr Lee
July 24th, 2007, 07:30 PM

It is sometimes frightening to me how we think alike!

July 24th, 2007, 09:49 PM

July 25th, 2007, 02:14 PM
thanks for the responses...
to give you guys some more information.

yes, i believe IMHA is one of the cheif concerns or assumptions...
my vet mentioned that as a possibility but wants to do the ultra sound to see if there is a specific thing that would be directly causing this.

dr. lee-
bone marrow testing was something they said would be done down the line if nothing was pin pointed from the ultra sound she will be getting tomorrow...
as far as the PCV is concerned, i dont think that is what sway got because the results were sent out and returned a few days later...
everything ive read on a pcv is that it can be done in the office on the spot.
correct me if im wrong, because i certainly could be...

i also read that cyclosporine was used as a treatment for this type of situation in some cases.
sway was originally on Atopica and then switched to the a generic brand because it was cheaper.
this was done last year as a plan of attack against her severe environmental allergies.
(she literally chews her padding from her feet, causing extreme rawness for weeks till they grow back.)
after about 6 months on the cyclosporine, she began to stop chewing all together...this lasted about a month and then just all of a sudden the digestive issues began.
these digestive issues were horrrible, she would go poop uncontrolably in the house, loose stools, like once every 5 minutes...
this happened within a 2 hour period one night (January) and i rushed her out for care...
by the time i got her to the 24 hour vet, it was running out of her behind in bloody water like fashion...portions/chunks of her intestine lining were coming out as well.
months down the line after cyclo was stopped, a food change was done and they put her back on it to make sure it was the cause of the digestive issue.
sure enough, after a week it began to happen again...
from that point the cyclosporine was stopped all together and that issue (allergy) is yet to be solved either.

she goes in for the ultra sound 2morrow in the morning, i need to drop her off before work and wont know the specifics until i get off afterwards.

as far as her demeanor...she is very laid back but she definately has been a few levels low on the energy/interest for sure.
her gums are definately white in spots, and i know that is a tell tale sign of blood drop.
she still is eating fine, but that could be due to me lately feeding her skinless chicken breasts & veggies...she hogs those down.
also, she is still capable of running around, as i take her to the beach and she is pretty active there atleast.

i am very concerned as well with the rapid drop, because i dont notice anything from the exterior about my dog that is any different than the last 6 months to a year.
my vet, who does incorporate holistic into his practice, has said that she should be okay for the next step to be the ultra sound on thursday.
he didnt seem to think the drop would go much lower by 2morrow but it worries me that you think it very well could?
he has however told me that this is very serious and didnt give the impression it was being treated as anything other than very serious.
so i took him at what he suggested...
do you think they are not being assertive enough?

thanks for the interest for those who responded, i appreciate it and will update you with any news i find out.

July 25th, 2007, 03:30 PM
OMG,both you and Sway have certainly had a hard time,so sorry:sad:
She's probably had enough of vets by now,:fingerscr that she'll do ok tomorrow and you'll have some answers:fingerscr

July 25th, 2007, 05:48 PM
^^^thanks chico2...i hope so as well, we will get thru this!

July 25th, 2007, 09:50 PM
I just wanted to wish you and your sweet pup the best of luck. :fingerscr :fingerscr :fingerscr I know exactly how you feel, we are in a wait-and-see situation with my dog and it is killing me.

Keep an eye on Sway until tomorrow and trust your instincts. I hope you find the answer to her problems. :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

July 25th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Good luck with the specialist tomorrow, sway's bodyguard! :fingerscr

I've got no advice for you...just wanted to send some :goodvibes:s and let you know we have four hands of :fingerscrs and 28 crossed :pawprint:s here, all sending you the best of luck! I hope they find something easily treatable!

So sorry you and sway have to go through all this :grouphug:

July 25th, 2007, 10:09 PM
Wow Sways has been through so much :grouphug:

You are right about the hematocrit ~ it's done ons-ite with a centrifuge. This is a link to the Merck explaining the blood work Sways has likely had so far.

Has your vet done a Coombs test yet or is that happening tomorrow along with the ultrasound ?

:fingerscr for tomorrow

July 25th, 2007, 10:36 PM
God I wish I knew what to say. I will see if I can look into it for you and we are going to our vet tomorrow so maybe we can ask her if she knows what might be going on. Such a beautiful dog! I really hope and pray everything goes up for her from now on. Pretty scary situation :frown: My thoughts are with you and your baby.


July 26th, 2007, 01:38 AM
One of my previous huskies had the same drop in his red cells and he got down to 18%. We live in a small town with no access to ultrasound. As he was also not eating my vet suspected a stomach or intestinal tumour was causing the blood loss. She phoned the vet school in Saskatoon and they said time was of utmost importance and suggested she just open him up and have a look.

I agreed to let her and she found a four inch tumour in his intestine just past his stomach. She removed it and had to stretch his intestines to sew it back together. She sent tissue samples from his intestines on both sides of the tumour as well as his stomach. The results showed the cancer was spreading through his lymph system and his prognosis was 8-10 months. I was lucky enough to have him for 22 months after his surgery.

Good luck. :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

July 26th, 2007, 10:26 AM
thank you all for your kind words and concerns...
i dropped her off an hour ago so i should know something by this afternoon.
unfortunately im at work now so shes gotta spend all day at the vet :frown:
we are going to make i thru all of this...staying positive!!!

Dr Lee
July 26th, 2007, 11:09 AM
In house or sent out PCV:

Most all veterinarians should have hematocrit in house capabilities and most have in house CBC (complete blood count) machines. However your veterinarian may have wanted to send the blood out for a variety of reasons: reticulocyte counts can be helpful to see if the anemia is regenerative, blood parasite evaluation, higher white blood cell differential ability, etc....

Also another possible reason to send it out is that all machines (in house or different out sourced laboratories) have slightly different ranges. So when trending a lab value, using the same machine can be very important.

Wishing you both the best!

July 26th, 2007, 12:06 PM
^^thanks dr. / thanks everybody...

July 30th, 2007, 11:59 AM
an update on my pup...
on friday 27th i went to pick her up and the ultra sound was getting ran while i got there...
i didnt receive difinitive word about the results until the following day because the specialist ran late and my vet had to leave...
it came thru pretty much clear of any red flags (internal bleeding/tumors), which is great and i thank God, but it also gave us no answers so we are continuing in the dark...
her % also dropped another point, down to 18%.

this is the wording exactly off the report:
they noted that the liver & spleen were mildly abnormal...
impression: diffuse hepatic and splenic parenchymal lesions were present.
differential diagnoses include steroid hepatopathy, inflammatory hepatopathy, splenic hyperplasia, rickettsial disease, and immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA).

so with that, my vet thought it would be the best use of our resources to proceed with a prednisone treatment...
she now is taking 3, 5mg prednisone tablets twice daily,
as well as 100mg of doxycycline twice daily.

we also are running lab tests on a specific type of tick that could have been laying dormant in the blood.
my vet said it was a longshot but he thought since sway was originally a stray as a baby and we are from ohio, that it wouldnt be a bad idea to have her tested just to make sure.

on saturday the 28th her red blood cell % had dropped again to 17%
she was given a steroid shot in vet office on saturday morning,
i was given, and started all the meds on saturday night...

for dr. lee----
these are some of the stand-outs from the results of the full blood panel that was originally ran on the 17th of july-

reticulocyte count: 12.5 (very high)
absolute reticulocyte: 470,000 (very high)
retic production index: 2.9 (high)
amylase: 1542 (high)
albumin: 2.3 (low)
tc02 (bicarbonate): 14 (low)
chloride: 121 (high)
RBC: 3.76 (low)
HGB: 5.6 (very low)
HCT: 21.2 (very low)
MCV: 56 (low)
MCH: 14.9 (very low)
MCHC: 26.4 (very low)
AUTO PLATELET: 991 (very high)

July 31st, 2007, 04:03 PM
:sleepy: ...

July 31st, 2007, 04:09 PM
:sleepy: :laughing: :laughing:
Sorry nobody has answered you,I know nothing of what you are talking about,just :pray: your pup will be ok..
Dr Lee is not on the Forum like we are,but I am sure he'll get to you as soon as he is..

July 31st, 2007, 05:04 PM
I'm really no help, but I had to tell you that that's one of the cutest dogs I've seen. I wish you luck in figuring out what's going on.

Dr Lee
August 1st, 2007, 02:31 PM
I am sorry that I haven't responded, I have been out of state and without my laptop (it was hard to be away from the website!) I hope your baby is doing better.

The high reticulocyte count is encouraging. It means that the bone marrow is producing red blood cells in response to the anemia. It rules bone marrow disease out and allows her to avoid bone marrow biopsy which is not comfortable.

It sounds like your veterinarian is doing a good job! The doxycyline covers for rickettsial diseases and the steroids cover IMHA and other inflammatory diseases. Wasn't Sway also on azathioprine? Is she still?

I am encouraged to see the platelet numbers as being high. A common complication with IMHA is Evan's Syndrome which is a combination of IMHA and IMT Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (just like IMHA but it destroys platelets too). So this is good to see.

The waivering in the high teens of the HCT/PCV is acceptable. Granted high teen percentage is still life threateningly dangerous but in light of her status it is far, far better then it dropping into the low teens. Often the cycle of inflammation takes a bit of time to start to reverse so initially there is some variation. Clearly continued rechecking of the blood % is necessary. Your vet may want to do the PCV in house but may also want to send out in order to get a better count on the platelets (remember Evan's Syndrome). He may also want to continue to check the liver enzymes and albumin level.

I hope this helps! I am not going anywhere for a while so should be accessible. :pawprint:

August 1st, 2007, 04:09 PM
oh no need to apologize dr!
i appreciate you even taking the time to consistently respond and check in :)

as far as sway being on azathioprine, no...she isnt taking that one and hasnt in the recent past.
is that something that would be of better benefit than what she is on now?

for the last year the only things she has really been on were her allergy shots, cyclosporine on and off, and then from february to june she was on chinese medicine as a different approach to treat her crazy allergy issues...
the 2 she was on were 'gui pi tang' & 'external wind'
ive been thinking in my own mind that maybe the chinese medicine caused this...:frustrated:

for comparisons sake...
back in december of 06' this is what her bloodwork looked like:
RBC – 7.7, HGB – 9.6, HCT – 36%, Platelet – 569

is a large increase in platelet (to 991, 6 months later) any cause for concern?

she is still eating pretty good, stools are consistently ok, seems to be a litttttle more energetic than she has been...
so hopefully this will reflect a rise in the % when she is tested later in the week.

thanks to all who keep checking in!

August 1st, 2007, 10:51 PM
Sways_BG. Did your Vet make up your Chinese medicines ? Please understand, I'm a supporter and user of homeo and naturopathic remedies but as their composition is largely unregulated and unmonitored I worry about their use in combination with Western medicine and most particularly for people and animals who are ill rather than as preventatives.

Any chance you can provide more information about their composition ? And the info about the allergy shots Sways was getting ?

I'm just wondering if it's all too coincidental...

Dr Lee
August 1st, 2007, 11:30 PM
[QUOTE=mummummum;458688]Sways_BG. Did your Vet make up your Chinese medicines ? Please understand, I'm a supporter and user of homeo and naturopathic remedies but as their composition is largely unregulated and unmonitored I worry about their use in combination with Western medicine and most particularly for people and animals who are ill rather than as preventatives.QUOTE]

IMHA can be triggered by many different medications including vaccinations and certain antibiotics such as cephalexin (Keflex). Also onions and garlic cause a similar, albiet more transient problem of anemia. Any members of the genus Allium (onions, leeks, shallot, chive, garlic) contain n-propyl disulfide which causes oxidative damage to the red blood cells which leads to red blood cell loss.

Obviously not every dog on cephalexin or other antibiotics comes down with IMHA - so it is plausible that some compound in a homeopathic remedy may have a propensity towards triggering IMHA in only a small percentage of dogs. Hard to tell. I would say, that even if an herbal remedy was proven to trigger IMHA, it wouldn't make it a bad remedy - just one that needs to be given with prudence. (there is hardly a drug on my shelf that I don't have some possible consequence with). Take home tips: Many homeopathic remedies help and improve quality of life, nothing is without risk or cost, and do NOT blame yourself.

When dealing with any serious immune mediated disease - it is my firm belief that ALL homeopathic medications and ALL other 'regular medications' need to be stopped until the matter is resolved - unless otherwise specified by your doctor. I like homeopathy and belief strongly in the potential of holistic treatments but ANY and ALL medications can potential interact with autoimmune diseases.

Azathioprine. This may be a drug which could help your pet out. It is an immunosuppressive drug used in a variety of autoimmune diseases. (cyclosporine is also used but less likely for IMHA). Many specialists recommended days to week on prednisone alone and then will institute azathioprine if the body fails to respond in that time. The advantage to azathioprine is added suppression of the body to stop killing RBC's. The disadvantage to azathioprine is 1) it has a greater lag time to start working than pred (one reason why some vets start it immediately. I am not one of those). 2) it makes the tapering of the medications later more complex and 3) it is more medication in the system that may not be needed if the prednisone works. If you are wondering about it, ask your vet. I am sure that your vet has her/his own time table for when to institute this drug.

Keep us posted!:pawprint:

August 2nd, 2007, 09:17 PM
How is Sways today ?

August 3rd, 2007, 09:44 PM
Any news ?

August 4th, 2007, 05:40 PM
i just got back from the vet...

after a week of being on the prednisone we ran another PCV and her count had dropped again :(
it was 16.5 last saturday and today it was 15.5
i know there is some instances where it takes more time for it to kick in, so that continues to give me hope, but i was hoping they would rise :sad:

dr. prescribed me some aziathioprine (imuran), 50mg per day 1x daily to mix in with the prednisone in hopes that this might help make these suckers rise.

my doc is concerned because sway is showing really no signs of being hymolytic...she isnt running a fever, her energy level has been up since being on the prednisone, stools are normal, from the outside she seems mighty ok.
he is concerned it might be in the bone marrow but we have held off on running bone marrow and auto immune tests to verify because the treatment for it would be the same as she is already on anyways...
and with the expenses of those tests, there is always a chance they could come out inconclusive and we are at the same spot.

the babesia titer came back negative so the internal tick has been ruled out as a cause...

anyways, we are giving the prednisone another week or so to make some improvements before an additional step is taken.

i have also started her on hemoplex pills which was suggested for anemic dogs in martin goldsteins book...

sway will be PCV tested again next saturday barring any emergency and i pray to God something turns this constant drop around:pray:

Dr Lee
August 4th, 2007, 05:53 PM
Sounds like you and your vet are doing everything possible...
I will hold out good thoughts and prayers.:candle:

August 6th, 2007, 11:18 AM
random question dr...
with sways platelet count being so high (991), is she then at a higher risk for blood clottage?
or is this something that shouldnt be of concern in her situation...

August 6th, 2007, 12:35 PM
Blood clotting is definitely a concern when a patient presents with thrombocytopenia. With that said, the prednisone and azathioprine that Sway is on right now can cause a temporary elevation in platelet count. Also an underactive spleen can cause it, which sounds like Sway might have right now.
Have the doctors ruled out some type of lymphoma which is normally not seen on an ultrasound. Did your vet mention lymphoma at all?

As to herbal and homeopathic medication. I always get frustrated when talking to customers about these two topics. Just because someone says it is natural or you can buy it over-the-counter does not mean it is not harmful. A prime example of this is Ma Huang, aka ephedra. This is a herbal/chinese product that has caused countless amounts of deaths and is now banned in most countries throughout the world. I always recommend that before you put yourself or your pet on any natural product that you investigate each ingredient carefully. Do you know what was in your holistic vets chinese preparation for Sway? Also most prescription products that many people think are evil and bad are actually from a natureal source, eg is digoxin from foxglove or penicillin is from mold.

Dr Lee
August 6th, 2007, 05:16 PM
That is a very good question. Typically with protein factor imbalances, clots can be a concern but with platelet numbers I have not seen this to be an issue. :pawprint:

Dr Lee
August 6th, 2007, 05:21 PM
Also an underactive spleen can cause it, which sounds like Sway might have right now.

What makes you think this???

August 7th, 2007, 02:24 PM
dr. lee-
what is your opinion, if any, of dr. jean dodds?
she is located pretty close to me and seems to be very knowledgeable concerning the AIHA issues.
i have reached out to her in email and she is going to be evaluating sways bloodwork probably tomorrow.
do you think it would suit me better to see her or an internal medicine specialist, or is there any difference?
i am thinking of taking sway to get another PCV today at lunch and taking the 2nd half of work off, because i have a bad feeling in my gut

Dr Lee
August 7th, 2007, 10:20 PM
While Dr. Jean Dodds does not know me; I have the utmost respect for her. Her work in immunology has been invaluable. Since IMHA is a disease of the immune system, this is right in Dr. Dodds line of specialty. I also think that most all internal medicine specialists are well suited for a challenging case of IMHA.

August 8th, 2007, 12:22 AM
her and my vet are going to go over the bloodwork 2morrow.
sways % was remaining at 15.5 as of today.
her white blood cell count has almost doubled however :/
she also is having her retic count tested, and the results will be in 2morrow morning.
as i type this her breathing is quicker than normal.
my vet said earlier that we wont need to transfuse as of right now, altho we are right on the brink of it and im curious if there is any glaring red flags to watch out for or be worried about during a transfusion.
what is the level of risk with your history and knowledge base?
that decision might need to be made as soon as tomorrow and i hope to have some educated questions and concerns because i am officially very scared.

August 8th, 2007, 12:37 AM
Sways BG ~ DR. Lee is not going to be here. It's heaven's knows what time of the morning ~ or evening.

Get on google. If you need links to medical d-bases I can help with that. If you need help with translating I may be able to help.

Otherwise, go to sleep. Put your self to sleep if needed. That's your best defence ~ being awake and aware. And I can post a list of basic questions for you by morning.

August 8th, 2007, 12:44 AM
:fingerscr :grouphug: :goodvibes: for good news tommorrow, & yes you def need to get some sleep so you can remember all the questions you want/need to ask

Dr Lee
August 8th, 2007, 01:27 AM curious if there is any glaring red flags to watch out for or be worried about during a transfusion.
what is the level of risk with your history and knowledge base?
that decision might need to be made as soon as tomorrow and i hope to have some educated questions and concerns because i am officially very scared.

You want to transfuse when there are no other choices. With regard to your earlier question about too many platelets creating clots - clots do happen with IMHA often but platelets are likely not the cause. The cause seems to be multifactorial with regard to protein clotting factors, the high level of inflammation, etc... Thus introducing a foreign red blood cells into the mix can be a serious problem! Just continue to monitor the PCV.

The level of risk. Unfortunately the risk is high. This is a dangerous disease. Once the red blood cell levels are back to normal, the prognosis improves. But Sway is in a dangerous situation.

Officially being scared. I hear that you are scared, however with you as an owner I am sure that Sway know she is in good hands - you are doing a great job! Dr. Dodds is great - I am sure she will provide most of the answers whether you remember all of your questions or not, so don't stress too much.

I wish you and Sway the best.:pawprint:

August 8th, 2007, 10:36 AM
dr. dodds is going to want to transfuse if sway drops below 14%, she told me that thru email, and she mentioned her hemopet product.
that could potentially happen at anytime so that is why i am asking such random questions.
i am in a terrible bind right now within myself,
i moved out here to california on my own 2 yrs ago, from 25.
i need to be at work everyday or else im in the red on my rent/sways med bills, bareeeeeely getting by month to month as it is.
my biggest fear however is that something will happen to sway while im at work and she will be alone in my apartment to have whatever is to happen play out.
this thought haunts me on a daily basis :sad:
thats why im always asking questions about blood clots, and etc, is because i worry myself sick that i wont be there for her if an emergency came up.
i cant board her up in the hospital because, for 1 i cant afford it, and 2...and more importantly, it will stress her out completely because she is very anxious and attached as is and putting her in that environment instead of my place would actually be a detriment when battling this disease, due to the massive stress she would be under.
i have hope for the best of course, but the fear crawls in, sway is literally the most important thing in my life. she is my family out here.
its tough.

thanks for everyones comments and posts, i appreciate that you invest time to check on things...

August 8th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Sways_bodyguard,I think we all understand your fear of leaving her alone+the probably huge vet-bills..
We just hope at the end of all this,Sway will be a healthy happy doggie,:grouphug: and best wishes to both of you:pray:

August 9th, 2007, 03:52 PM
an update on sway...
yesterday dr. dodds actually called my vet, whom was a student of hers back in the day...
they went over sways blood tests from the past 3 weeks.
she said that the path we are currently on is a good one and that obviously the stabilizing of the 15.5% was a positive sign for now.
the retic test showed that very few new cells were being re-generated but they thought a bone marrow test would probably be in-conclusive and it was better to focus on getting sway the treatment as opposed to running more tests.
she did suggest we add some soloxine to her medication and then put sway on a new diet built around protecting the liver.

the recipe can be found here, if anyone else is interested:

sway will have another PCV given on saturday to see if we have made a jump.
imuran was added last saturday and i know that takes about 2 weeks to kick in, so im hoping to see some kind of increase in the next week, and if not we will keep on fighting it till she is better, no matter how long it takes.

August 9th, 2007, 04:00 PM
:grouphug: and best wishes to you and Sway:pray:

August 11th, 2007, 03:19 PM
sways blood count dropped to 12% and she is being given a transfusion as i type this :(((((((((((((:sad:
pray for her.

August 11th, 2007, 03:24 PM
It's so sad,we have quiet a few critical dogs lately,all we can do is hope for the best:pray:
I :pray: the transfusion will help..

August 11th, 2007, 03:29 PM
:pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

I hope this helps Sway turn the corner! :pray:

August 11th, 2007, 03:49 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Sway. :sad: :grouphug: I hope the blood transfusion helps. :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

August 13th, 2007, 12:04 PM
lil update here-
24 hours after the transfusion, sways % was 6 points higher at a 17%.
her breathing had some rough spots last night, it quickened and her belly was visibly rising more animated than usual.
she was okay this morning and im at work now.
i really hope this starts a rise :pray:

August 13th, 2007, 12:54 PM
We've got all our fingers and a bunch of paws crossed here for sway that she's turned the corner now and will start improving! :grouphug:

August 13th, 2007, 01:08 PM
:pray: :grouphug:

August 13th, 2007, 01:58 PM
Sounds like you and sway have been through a lot! I really hope she continues to improve!! :pray: :goodvibes:

August 13th, 2007, 02:57 PM

WooHOOT !!!!! Sways !!!!!... keep on getting better little darlin' !

August 13th, 2007, 03:41 PM
C'mon Sway. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug: :pray:

August 13th, 2007, 03:57 PM
That is great news we all :pray: that this will be it for Sway,maybe when he and you feel like it,we could see a picture:pawprint:
OOPS,sorry I forgot we had already seen your pretty pittie in your first post..

August 15th, 2007, 11:28 PM
Any news ? :fingerscr

August 16th, 2007, 07:02 PM
i just got news today that since the transfusion bump of 11 to 17, sway has dropped back down to 13% with still no signs of regeneration of cells :sad:
she will require another transfusion of packed cell volume blood 2morrow morning :sad:

August 16th, 2007, 07:17 PM
I haven't posted in this thread at all but I've been following Sway's progress and I'm praying for her health! :fingerscr :goodvibes:
I'm sorry you have to go though this, I know how hard it is, I had to go through liver failure with my pitty 2 years ago. Sway's lucky to have someone like you and I'm sure she knows how much you love her. Hang in there!

August 17th, 2007, 06:41 AM
Swaysbodyguard,:pray: for Sway today..
I may be way off in asking this,maybe I missed something:confused:
Would not whatever is causing Sway's problem in her system,do the same with any new blood she recieves.:sad:
I am not beeing negative I wish both you and Sway all the luck in the world and can certainly understand trying everything possible to save a wonderful friend:pray:

August 17th, 2007, 01:36 PM
thanks everyone...
sway is getting her 2nd transfusion right now while im at work, hopefully a count rise is on the horizon this time.

yes, but the transfusions allow us more time for the medications to work...
the meds have yet to kick in, and in some cases it has been weeks before anything rises.

August 17th, 2007, 01:42 PM
More prayers and wishes for good luck heading your way, swaysbodyguard! :pray: :goodvibes: :fingerscr

It's time you and Sway got a break! :grouphug:

August 17th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Sorry for the setback. :sad: :grouphug: I hope the second transfusion buys you the time she needs. :fingerscr :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

August 17th, 2007, 04:27 PM
Thank you for explaining,hopefully Sway will be on the right track soon:pray:

August 29th, 2007, 12:28 PM
just an update on sway...
about 10 days after her 2nd transfusion she had dropped back down to 12%
there is still no re-generation happening as of yet. :sad:
she got a 3rd transfusion yesterday, the 28th.
its been about 9 weeks now so hopefully we will start to notice something kick in shortly. :fingerscr

August 29th, 2007, 12:41 PM
Hopefully it will be "third time lucky" ......c'mon Sway. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

August 29th, 2007, 03:31 PM
That goes for me too,we are all rooting for you Sway,you have a wonderful mom,get better,please:pray:
Thank's for the update!!

August 29th, 2007, 08:55 PM
We've got four hands of :fingerscr and 32 crossed :pawprint:s here hoping that this last transfusion will be the one to get Sway over the hump and on the road to recovery!

August 29th, 2007, 09:39 PM
Hopefully this will be "the one" that sees results. :goodvibes:

August 30th, 2007, 12:57 PM
im her dad!!! lol. not a momma!

a bunch more of her pictures here:

thanks for the well wishes, she will get another pcv test on sat:pray:

August 30th, 2007, 01:15 PM
:pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :pray: :goodvibes: :goodvibes: for Sway all the same to us ;) :D


August 30th, 2007, 01:17 PM
OMG what a precious picture. :pray: it all goes well.

August 30th, 2007, 03:40 PM
OMG,sorry about that DAD:laughing:
She is sooo sweet,as are you for doing everything possible for her :pray: for good news Saturday!
Those are great pics,she seems like such a clown:dog:

August 30th, 2007, 03:50 PM
OMG, she's gorgeous! :lovestruck:

How is she doing today? :fingerscr :pray: :goodvibes:

August 31st, 2007, 11:08 AM
OMG, she's gorgeous! :lovestruck:

How is she doing today? :fingerscr :pray: :goodvibes:

She is having a rough time, its definitely not fun for her at all...
the minimal times she is having fun is when we are cooking in the kitchen or maybe playing around in the evening...
For the other 20 hours of the day they are prolly spent with her laying on the ground trying to keep as cool as possible and just not having the energy to do much.
Her breathing is labored at times too.
Plus the cyclosporine is giving her consistent diarhea.
Its just not fun for her, I really hope something happens soon to make things a little better. Its not fair at all that this ravages so many dogs.
she will be tested 2morrow to see where we are after the 3rd transfusion she got on tuesday.
hopefully a change for the better is soon. :fingerscr

August 31st, 2007, 12:08 PM
Sways certainly has the peekaboo game down pat! She's lovely SwaysBG :fingerscr that her tests show she is on the mend ~ she's a very brave grrrrl.

August 31st, 2007, 12:16 PM
OMG! she is a beauty! You are a wonderful Dad for taking such good care of her! Lots of great vibes coming your way from this site!! Hope shes on the mend!
:thumbs up


August 31st, 2007, 02:21 PM
I'm really hoping you guys get some good news soon, both of you totally deserve it.

August 31st, 2007, 03:35 PM
I am sorry to hear she's not doing is sooo difficult,knowing you can not explain to her why she's suffering,why she cannot run around and play,why she has to suffer at the vet.
But that's what happens,we can only love them,keep them comfortable and hope for the best,it certainly is heartbreaking:cry:
:grouphug: to you and poor Sway:pray:

August 31st, 2007, 04:18 PM
:goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:

Come on Sway you can do this!

I'm really rooting for her.....


August 31st, 2007, 06:19 PM
I just wanted to let you know I am pulling for you and your sweet girl. :fingerscr :grouphug: Her pics are SOOOO CUTE! :goodvibes: I know exactly how you feel, it is so hard to watch them suffer. Just keep your head up and keep hoping that you find the answer for her. It sounds to me like you are doing everything you could be doing. I really hope you see some improvement soon.

August 31st, 2007, 08:01 PM
We're all still stumbling around with our fingers, toes and paws crossed for Sway! I hope all is going well! :grouphug: :fingerscr :pray:

September 1st, 2007, 06:51 PM
That's a great pic of you and Sway......the bond between you both certainly shines through. :lovestruck:

Looking forward to some positive news. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

September 5th, 2007, 02:41 PM
well, it has been 10 weeks and we have still gotten no proof of any re-generation.
on tuesday the 28th of august she received her 3rd blood transfusion,

by that friday night she had gotten to the point where she could barely breathe or walk and i had to take her into 24hour vet care.
her PCV came back at 9%...
a double transfusion was given on friday night and by the morning she was up to 28%
one night in, 1200$ it cost :/

i took her home on saturday afternoon and the rest of the weekend was HOTTER THAN HELL out here in cali.
my apartment has NO AC, and my nazi landlords wont even allow window ac's because 'they look bad from the outside' :wall:

we spent our entire labor day laying out under a shade tree just so her breathing could remain at a good pace.

on tuesday (yesterday), her PCV had dropped from 28 (sat) to 17%.
she is also currently not eating and her stools are dark brown, almost black.

my vet has thrown a few suggestions at me...
a potential anabolic steroid shot (barry bonds kind)
also, maybe adding 'flunomide' to her meds...which i guess is VERY xpensive.

if anyone has any experience or knowledge directed at those 2 ideas, id love to hear them...

September 5th, 2007, 03:38 PM
I was almost afraid to open your post,but hoping for some good news,I am so sorry,poor you and poor Sway:sad:
I know nothing of what was suggested to you,hopefully someone else does:pray:
If love alone could cure Sway,she would be a very healthy dog..but unfortunately it does not..
Yes,your landlord is a jerk,do you at least have some fans,even I would have trouble breathing in the heat..much less a sick dog..
So sorry for the struggles,both for you and poor Sway:sad:

September 5th, 2007, 03:56 PM
I'm sorry Sway has had another set back, SwaysBD. :grouphug: I'm wondering if you shouldn't start a new thread asking specifically about the new suggestions from your vet--it might get you more replies from people who have some experience with the new meds? :fingerscr

Best of luck to you and Sway! :grouphug: :goodvibes: :pray:

September 5th, 2007, 04:54 PM
Oh Swaysbg...another set back? she is a touch girl! I was searching around the internet about the flunomide (which I know nothing about!) and found an article that may have some info for speaks about effects on animals about 1/2 way down the article....Lots of good vibes coming your way from this site!!!!


September 5th, 2007, 06:45 PM
Sorry to hear about Sway. I was really hoping from some good news. It sounds to me like you are somewhere near where I am in so cal, cuz it was soooooo hot here this weekend, but finally cooling off today. I hope Sway gets some relief from the heat. I am sending good thoughts your way :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:


September 5th, 2007, 08:33 PM
Sways BG, I thought of a couple things that may help. First, ask your vet to call all your prescriptions into Costco if they are also used for people (this saved me $$$ with Shade), it is the cheapest pharmacy I found. Also I found a few websites with info about IMHA and leflunomide and I have loads of information about leflunomide (this is what you meant right?) in people if you are interested. Good luck, and let me know if you want the other info.

September 7th, 2007, 06:36 PM
How is Sways ? :goodvibes:

September 12th, 2007, 12:09 PM
thanks guys.
Sway had to get ANOTHER 2 bags yesterday on transfusion...
that follows a double transfusion she received on the 6th, and another double she got on the 31st...
she has had 6 thus far.

dr. dodds said normally a transfusion like that should hold almost 3 weeks before they would need another one, even if there is minimal re-generation...

each one sway gets it seems to hold for less and less amounts of time...

she is INCREDIBLY weak with her energy...the medications are really taking a major toll on her and it is heartbreaking.
she can no longer jump onto anything lifted off the ground, bed/car...her legs give out and she falls down when doing simple things like turning when she is outside to pee.

her breathing, this morning, less than 12 hours after her transfusion was abnormal...
she had a vocally loud grunt that went alont with every breath.

my life is consumed by this and i would take it all away if i could, i just wish her disease would transfer onto me instead.

my vet combo are recomending i drive across the border to mexico and get an anabolic steroid for Sway that is only available there.

i ask God to throw us a bone everyday. hopefully things will get better. :pray:

September 12th, 2007, 01:16 PM
sways_bodyguard, I can't even tell you how lucky Sway is to have you. I can only imagine how hard this is on both of you, but truly, the strength that you are showing in dealing with an unbelievably hard situation makes it so clear that Sway is in the best possible hands.

I really hope you guys catch a break soon.

September 12th, 2007, 04:07 PM
OMG,yes I agree,Sway must be an extraordinary pup and you an extraordinary young man and you certainly deserve a break:pray:
It breaks my heart just to read about your struggles,I can only imagine how you feel:sad:
Are the vets encouraging you,do they think there is hope she'll recover from this?
If you are going to Mexico,please be careful..
Still hoping for a miracle:candle:

September 12th, 2007, 04:57 PM
Motion 3 made me cry. :sad:

im sure there are untold folks here following this and pulling for you guys.


September 12th, 2007, 06:43 PM
I am so sorry to hear that the transfusions are not helping. :sad: What exactly are the anabolic steroids supposed to do? :confused: Poor Sway :sad: ....I hope they help. :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

September 12th, 2007, 09:43 PM
:grouphug: We've still got all our fingers and paws crossed--and you're in my thoughts and prayers daily!

September 20th, 2007, 04:49 PM
just wanted to give a quick update...
we are still in the same spot, and still fighting.

she had to get another transfusion on monday (her 7th) and we stopped the cyclosporine totally last night.
its ravaging her stools so i said enough.

i was also able to get the anabolic steroid Durabolin, so she will now get a small shot of that once per week.
it is something that was used in Dr. Dodds' most extreme case of AIHA so we are hoping that it makes some sort of a difference.

sway is so fragile. she can barely raise herself up from a sitting/laying position.
it is disheartening.
we are still fighting tho, have no plans on giving up.

September 20th, 2007, 05:12 PM
You are both fighters and I am pulling for her :fingerscr:fingerscr I keep hoping that when you post you will have better news, I can only imagine how difficult these times have been for you. Sways has a great dad! She must be one extraordinary girl...

Keep fighting Sways :dog:

September 21st, 2007, 12:41 AM
All :fingerscr & :cat: :pawprint: are crossed here for good news for Sways

:pray: :goodvibes: :grouphug:

September 21st, 2007, 09:35 AM
i just read through this entire post and i hope your pup comes back strong soon!:pray:

September 21st, 2007, 06:52 PM
I hope the Durabolin works magic for her. :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

September 22nd, 2007, 05:01 PM
over the last week ive made a blog for sway,
to basically give a visual to what AIHA is, with pictures and info, & to track what weve been through and what lie ahead...
maybe it will help someone else who has a dog dealing with this awful disease.
i know i am a very visual person, so just seeing pictures and knowing what to expect can be of some benefit.

September 22nd, 2007, 09:02 PM
:sorry: Have just read through all your updates on sway, I lost my own dog Bobby on the 18th of July to this same dreadful disease . Bobby was the light of our lives and we miss him dreadfully. He had everything done that could be done to try and save him but he wasn't producing platelets and transfusions were not helping as his immune system just attacked again
Bobby was a Crossbred and had standard poodle in his breeding ,we believe there is a genetic link to this disease via his Poodle ancestry.
Had a few tears about Sway, do hope things improve for you both soon.:candle:

September 22nd, 2007, 10:15 PM
I just read your blog and I still have tears rolling down my cheeks. :sad: Josh, you are a great person and a wonderful dad to Sway. :angel: I think about you and her everyday and I so hope that she has the strength to overcome this. My thoughts and prayers are with you. :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes:

September 23rd, 2007, 12:38 AM
I hope Sway is doing better today :goodvibes::fingerscr :pray: :grouphug:

The pictures made me :cry: poor girl & you too :grouphug:

I'm sure this has probably been suggested to you before: has the vets mentioned Iron Supplements? Feeding Steak? - lots of iron & protein there too.


September 23rd, 2007, 12:49 AM
Wow, I have also just read the blog and I wish you every courage and joy imaginable in this difficult journey with Sway.


September 23rd, 2007, 07:45 AM
There is not much to add after reading yours and Sways blog,the pictures of Sway says it all,poor,poor Sway and you:sad:
I :pray:your love and determination,coupled with Sways will to live,will work miracles.
I know she's very ill,but I am hoping she is not in constant pain :grouphug:you and Sway

September 24th, 2007, 01:17 AM
I forgot to mention Liver too, one of the other members has recommended it before for anothers' dog that had bled alot (toe injury) so I think there is also alot of iron & good proteins in it too.


September 25th, 2007, 09:30 AM
Hope Sway is doing better and going to be getting stronger.

September 28th, 2007, 02:57 PM
i almost lost sway yesterday.
when i came home from work i found her laying in her own vomit and gasping a mile a minute.
her tongue was swollen and she was lifeless.
she had a temp of 107 and i was faced with possibly having to put her down.

i chose to go on and we kept her on fluids the next 4 hours...
her temp dropped to 98 but she is in a bad state.
she is at the vet now for her 2nd day of fluids.

this last week hasnt been the best of weeks.
if your interested in the details you can surely check out the site i made for sways battle.

thank you for everyone who has thought of us, and i hope all of your dogs are doing good.


September 28th, 2007, 03:47 PM
You know Josh,like your mom,I would say,maybe it's time to let her go,she is suffering greatly:cry:of course it's your desicion to make..
You love her,she loves you,but all the love in the world is probably not going to help,I wish it would:pray:
Of course,I am still hoping,that by a miracle she'll get well:pray:
However letting her go,to have peace and no more pain,also shows your love for her..
I've had to do it several times,a totally unselfish desicion,we want our animals to stay with us forever,but it' just not possible,once an evil desease has taken hold.
I still hope Sway will improve,but even your vet says it's time to let her have peace and let her thoughts are with you and Sway:pray:

September 28th, 2007, 04:51 PM
I don't understand why you are putting your dog through this. You are blinded by love (and science), but he is the one who has to suffer. Please understand, I am not attacking you, I think you are incredibly brave. I just think you have lost your way.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

I'm sorry :grouphug:

September 28th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Whatever you decide I will be thinking of you and your beautiful Sway! Only you and her will know when it is time...until then I pray for a miracle!! Josh you are one strong person and Sway must know that!

Thinking of you and Sway!


September 28th, 2007, 05:57 PM
I am so sorry to hear of Sways continuing trouble. I know how scary it is to see your baby having trouble breathing and to see the weight loss as well. I had the same experiences with my girl. What do your vets say about her prognosis, are they hopeful? It is so hard to lose someone you love so dearly and I want you to know how much support I received through this board during Shade's illness and her death. You are the one who is with her everyday and you are the one who knows if she has fight left and is still living a quality life. If the time comes to say goodbye you are the only one who can make that decision, but it sounds to me like she is really having a hard time and if you need to talk about the final decision we are here for you. I know how impossible it is and how committed you are to fighting I just want you to know you are not alone, and talking about it doesn't mean you have to go through with it. I am :pray: for you and Sway and I truly hope that she get well :goodvibes::fingerscr:grouphug:

September 28th, 2007, 07:24 PM
Making a decision to end our animal's lives is for most of the us both the most difficult and the most selfless thing we can do. It is a testament to the completeness of our love for them and our deep sense of responsibility and commitment as their guardians that allows us to make this decision for them.

September 28th, 2007, 09:28 PM
I don't understand why you are putting your dog through this. You are blinded by love (and science), but he is the one who has to suffer. Please understand, I am not attacking you, I think you are incredibly brave. I just think you have lost your way.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

I'm sorry :grouphug:

words hurt, and the way you worded that was classless.
thats all i will say.
dont speak to me, who spends 24/7 with my dog, like you know everything that goes on throughout each day that WE live.

September 28th, 2007, 10:26 PM

How is Sway doing tonight, Josh?

September 28th, 2007, 10:40 PM
Josh, I hope Sway turns that corner soon. :cry: :grouphug: My thoughts and prayers are with you. :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes:

September 28th, 2007, 10:50 PM
I havent postes on here before but I have been in this very hard, painful and scary situation before with my second Husky that has some sort of tick fever. For some reason she developed a really bad case of anemia and just like ure sawy her breathing was almost forced.
The vet told me that the red blood cells as we know take oxygen to the different part of the body and by not having enough of these it was almost like she was suficating. It was horrible and we lost her. She was not even 2 years old. I feel for both of you and my best advice is truly to enjoy her as much as you can. I understand why you dont give up I didnt eighter. There still is hope and dont ever lose it. You are truly an amazing person. Good Luck to both of you
I send you prayers and lots of love...

September 29th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Josh,I was concerned you might take our comments the wrong way,you are right,only you know what quality of life Sway has.
We can only read what you write and draw our conclusions from that..:sad:
The final desicion is yours to make,every single person on this Forum has been there,it's a great responsability,one not ever taken lightly.

September 29th, 2007, 07:34 AM
Hey Josh! Cindy here! how are you and Sway doing today? I hope you and Sway had a better night....You and Sway are in my thoughts....By the way I love how you have documented this time with Sway on the website ...I think thats a great way to honor her!

Winston's Mom!

September 29th, 2007, 10:31 AM
HI Josh hope Sway is doing better ,I know how hard it is for u my Bud has cancer and some people I know say we are crazy and to just let him go , well I don't listen to them anymore and I listen to my heart and to Buddy's state of mind.
He still has chances and I take it day to day, just listen to your heart and if u feel he can make it then go ahead and keep trying , some will say the dog is suffering but don't we all suffer (human or animal) when we are extremely sick ,the doctor does not come in and say hey we have to put uncle Joe down he is doing bad today, u get what I mean.
I just have to say keep thinking with your heart and mind , and Sway might come out of it, I hope he does , things in life today are so unpositive, why not keep optimistic for a lovely dog like Sway.
I keep hope everyday for my Bud, I wish all the best for u and Sway.

September 29th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Josh, how is Sway doing? :fingerscr :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

September 29th, 2007, 11:53 PM
Hey, I have been thinking about Sway, how is she doing? I hope you are doing ok too. I really can feel your pain and I hope that you are one of the lucky ones. Give her a big a hug and kiss from me. :lovestruck: :grouphug::fingerscr:goodvibes: :pray:

September 30th, 2007, 09:27 AM
I am so so sorry for everything that has happened to Sway :sad: it it a terrible disease. And I aplaud you for going thru everything with her and getting her all the vet care. But I must say , I don't think I have read , in none of your post , that Sway was happy , or playing ..... I know all you did was because you love her , but I have to side with Badger on this. Please please look at Sway's quality of life , don't you think she has suffered enough already ? I know you heart is broken over this , I did have a very sick dog myself last year too .... but sometimes we have to love enough to let go. Please think about Sway , she seems so much in pain :sad: I am really sorry , I know you love her to death. :grouphug:

September 30th, 2007, 09:34 AM
I have to add this , about quality of life , it is not enough for a dog (or cat) to be loved. Here's a few things to consider

If a dog is not able to eat : they don't have quality of life

If a dog can't be clean in the house because they are sick : they don't have a quality of life

If a dog is too sick to play : they don't have a quality of life

If a dog has to go to vets too often , get tested for this and that , get blood transfusing to many times , always on meds : they don't have a quality of life.

You have to look deep into her eyes , can you honestly say Sway is happy ? Can you tell me she is not suffering ? I looked at pictures from your blog .... :sad:

October 1st, 2007, 11:19 AM
How are you doing, sways_bodyguard?

I lost my cat to cancer, very sad, I did everything but he went downhill so quickly there wasn't time to do any medical treatment, but just to make him comfortable. I now live with the guilt of putting him down about 1 week too late. If I had the checklist that Frency provided on this post, I may have done it sooner, don't know, I remember thinking I just didn't want him gone, I loved him so much and was not thinking clearly.

October 1st, 2007, 04:18 PM
first off i just wanna thank everyone for there thoughts and etc...
it really is appreciated because alot of you have been genuine and respectful and have held out hope for us and that is appreciated.

i just wanted to make it clear to a few of you specifically...
i did not make this thread asking for advice on how to handle my own dog in these rough times.
i made this thread as a support system, and most everyone has been respectful to that.
i highly do not appreciate someone who is not even knowledgeable on AIHA, immune diseases, the symptoms, the meds, the side effects, who has not been thru it themselves, coming in and telling me i am doing my dog a dis-service based around you looking at a few pictures.

i made my blog to address the tough realities of this disease,
the pictures are there for others going thru this, to give them a visual of what to expect.
i do not suger-coat this...this is real ****.
but sway is ok. and she will be ok.
she is going thru tough times right now, but to give up on her would be criminal and dont dare talk down at me like im hurting her or being selfish.
this is a disease, we treat it, it is hard, it can be beaten, thats how miracles happen and people come back from hard huge hurdles...
you cant see a picture and say, oh no, you have to put her down...her skull is sinking in...
this is a normal reality of what happens when going thru the fire of this disease.
and i personally speak on a regular basis to owners who have been there and got thru it with there animals...

sidebar...i live with sway, i know my dog.
you dont.
i sit in and pick my vets brains, sponge up knowledge and listen to professional opinions concerning sways case.
you dont.
ive spent over 10,000$ on my dog on a 30k a year salary and a single residency in the most expensive county in the country.
ive went to the ends of the earth for sway and she is working with ONE OF THE BEST vets in the entire country, in DR. JEAN DODDS.
google her.

there is hope for sway.
i WILL NOT, put my dog down based on the fact that her disease and troubles could be viewed by others as becoming 'an inconvenience'...
suffering is a funny phrase, people like to throw that around and take the guilt off themselves and it gets used as a cop out alot of the time.

sway is a fighter.
she is a beautiful soul and she is a strong girl who wants to live.
she is my dog.
again, i live with her...

just so you know, she has been holding a 22% for the last 9 days and she is now standing on her own and supporting her weight again.

this is an ugly disease, it takes work, it takes faith and hope and an animal that is an angel.
and mine is.

dont come in my f---ing thread and tell me that im making my dog suffer and 'only thinking of myself'...
that is bulls---.
i put sway above my own well being and have for the length of our lives.
i would be the last person to be okay with my dog suffering.

if you dont have nothing nice or supportive to say, then keep ur replies out of this thread.

again, to all that have been kind and wonderful, i thank you and please keep praying for us. :fingerscr


October 1st, 2007, 04:33 PM
Well,one thing I know for sure,you really love Sway and Sway loves you.
Believe me,I would want nothing more than for Sway to beat this desease:pray:
Seeing her emaciated body in the pictures,brought me to tears..I believed you were fighting a losing battle,but if there is even the slightest chance she can overcome this,then for sure do everything possible,she seems like a wonderful dog and you are an admirable young man.

October 1st, 2007, 04:52 PM
^ just for the record chico, my response was not aimed or directed at you...
you have been kind and respectful with your opinions and i appreciate that.

October 1st, 2007, 08:02 PM
I agree with Sway 100% , we have to respect his decisions and help him through it , this is also something I believe when I look at my Bud and there is a special friendship there and I know my Bud still has chances, and so does Sway.
Josh must see something in Sway that tells him(Josh) he can make it ,or Josh tells Sway we will fight this together.
We have to keep positive for our animals, there are alot of negative things going on im my life right now but I will never let that negative part go towards helping my Bud.
I understood everything Josh said because I could have written the same thing.
Anyways hope Sway is doing better and a big hug too him.

October 1st, 2007, 08:05 PM
dont come in my f---ing thread and tell me that im making my dog suffer and 'only thinking of myself'...

If this is how you are taking it , fine , I will keep out of your thread.

October 2nd, 2007, 04:29 AM
SwaysBG ~ I think you are seeing personal attacks where none are meant.

Everyone who has commented has done so with an open and loving heart. Whether we know Sways or not isn't meaningful because we're not talking about Sways here ~ we're talking about you. And whether you see it or not, whether you understand it or not and whether you accept it or not ~ it is all too easy to be so caught up in loving your dog, so psyched in wanting them to fight and win, so focussed on needing medicine to beat down and overcome disease that you can lose sight of what is really happening to you and to your dog.

And the reason we know this is because we've been there.
And the reason we are raising the flag on this for you is exactly that, because we arefor you and we are for Sways. The reason we are raising the flag here is because we know where you are now is a part of hell we never want see again if we can help it.

I'm gladdened that you believe Sways has it in her to battle this terrible disease and win. But you've had the wisdom of people who have gone before you given to you here ~ no one says you have to take the path but as Taj mahal says, maybe you need to "take a giant leap out of your mind" to put aside your self to understand and accept it as wisdom.

October 2nd, 2007, 07:07 AM
Josh,we are all friends here,friends because we have a common trait,we love our animals and others,although only in Cyberspace,we still somehow get close to each other.
When illness and tragedy strikes,we cry for and:pray: for each other and that includes you and Sway.
We hope to read,she is on her way back,is gaining weight and is beating this desease,but also that you,if you know in your heart Sway can take no more,you will do the right thing for her and give her peace.
That's all we wish for:pray:

October 2nd, 2007, 09:51 AM
I think we all wish for the same things but our opinions are just our opinions....I think we all need to remember "we do not walk in Josh's shoes!" until we have done that we cannot relate....

Yes we all come to this site to express our feelings and thoughts but we need to remember we have not been there with Sway, nor have we seen what she is going through, nor how she is feeling, we cannot look into her eyes like Josh can and see what he see's! how de we know what her spirit is like?

We cannot make judgements just because we saw some tough photos.

I respect everyone's opinions here and what they have gone through with their own animals but I think that unless you have gone through this disease how can we relate to Josh and Sway?

By the way..Josh did post that he was willing to let Sway go! he put that in his previous post but she is still fighting this disease...Josh has done more for this dog than some would ever do! It is too easy today to put a dog least thats what I think! Would we not provide care for someone in our lives that has Cancer? and please dont tell me that it is different for people vs animals because I dont beleive that!

I hope I dont upset too many people here but maybe we should be careful how and when we express our opinions??

Josh, prayers going out to you again! I hope Sway is feeling better today...It sounds like you are in the best of hands with Dr.Dodds....

Thinking of you and Sway


October 2nd, 2007, 11:06 AM
"i dont know why youre putting your dog thru this, she is the one that has to suffer" - sorry...that is a personal attack.

especially coming from someone that doesnt know my dog, doesnt know me, doesnt know her doctors, or any history on her case or the disease in general.

you guys dont know anything about when you choose to say things to me like 'i am blinded by love' or 'not going in with an open/honest mind'
please, you have no idea what im dealing with over here.

each case is different, each dog is different.

the fact that some of you want to debate whether i am doing the right thing or capable of seeing outside myself is bluntly insulting and not what this thread is for.

you shouldnt speak in a fashion where you are subtlely passing judgement onto me.....
youre not know nothing about me or my dog, havent been in our presence for one single second, havent seen a single lab test, havent heard a single word my doctors have said.
its not cool for you to then tell me that i am incapable of doing this the 'right way' because i am not 'thinking about sway'...
that is absurd.

so now, lets stop debating on whether i am fit for this.
because i clearly am, and i am doing more for my dog than most people ever would even fathom.

guess who is eating again? sway.
guess who is gaining her strength back due to a med adjustment? sway.
guess who's breathing has stabalized? sway.
guess who is coming home from the hospital 2morrow? sway.
-each of those is a minor miracle that became reality because of sways great spirit, God, her great doctors, and the person that some of you feel the need to question in this thread...

so lets stop.

October 2nd, 2007, 11:11 AM
and thanks cindy :) and 90% of the other posters in here who know how to comment in an appropriate fashion...
i appreciate it :)

October 2nd, 2007, 12:57 PM

I have been following your posts on the vetnet site (although have not joined to comment) and I am so glad that you finally got in to see Dr. Dodds. I'm very happy to hear that Sway is doing better, her pcv is holding and there is some colour returning to her gums. I had to smile when I read that her tail was wagging when you last visited her in the hospital. I really hope that you have turned the corner with Sway. You have both been through so much together. :grouphug:

AIHA is a horrible disease and I appreciate all the information you have listed through the links on your blog. I feel so sorry for all the heartbreak you and others have had to go through. :sad: :grouphug:

Sending lots prayers and good wishes your way......I hope when Sway comes home tomorrow that it will be to stay. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :fingerscr :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

October 2nd, 2007, 03:39 PM
Josh, How are you and Sway doing today? I am so glad to hear that she is eating and regaining her strength. I am keeping my fingers crossed :fingerscr for her. :pray: I know how expensive it is in orange county, because I live here too... I am glad though that you live here and have the access to specialists who can help you through her impossible illness. I know how emotional these times can be and I hope you can keep an open mind and heart and know that everyone here is wishing the best for you and Sway. I know your pain, as most of the people here do. I hope you can continue to come here for support, as I have said before, this board helped me immensely and continues to help me after the death of my girl. She was my soulmate and I would have done anything for her, so I understand your commitment. What does Dr Dodds think about Sways improvement?


October 2nd, 2007, 03:46 PM
Josh,that is wonderful news for Sway,maybe she'll do even better once she gets home:dog:

October 2nd, 2007, 06:03 PM
sway is coming home today :)))))) ;)
she is holding strong to a 25 count and is eating full cans of dog food.
her ears and gums are also flushly bright red...both good signs for a dog in her condition.
im so proud of her, my hero!

& shreddy-
about dr. dodds thoughts,
she is one of sway's biggest supporters and 100% on board with keeping her around to overcome this...
she has restored even my 'faith in the process' on numerous occasions

thanks for all prayers, they help!!! :angel:

October 2nd, 2007, 06:07 PM
Josh, I am so happy to hear the good news. :highfive: I think of you and Sway every day and pray that she has finally turned the corner. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: Has she started any regeneration yet? :fingerscr

October 2nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
Josh, I am so happy to hear the good news. :highfive: I think of you and Sway every day and pray that she has finally turned the corner. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: Has she started any regeneration yet? :fingerscr

she has been bouncing from 20-25 over the last 3 days...
no solid sign of regeneration but she has held her last transfusion for 10 days now, without even slipping below 20.

prior to that, the last 4 transfusions were lasting an average of 4 days before she was falling below 10%

she is now holding her count steady, which is a great sign.

October 2nd, 2007, 06:38 PM


October 2nd, 2007, 06:55 PM
What great news, Josh! :grouphug:

We're still crossing our fingers and paws here and keeping you and Sway in our prayers! But what excellent news! :thumbs up

October 2nd, 2007, 07:18 PM
Ya know, I check this thread every day, and it's so good to read something positive. You guys are have my very best wishes.

October 2nd, 2007, 07:27 PM
More good thought coming your way :goodvibes::goodvibes::pray: I am so glad to hear of her improvements. I am so glad that you found a vet to support you and Sway. I had a hard time finding a good one here when I moved from Lake Tahoe, I had to change a few times until I found a vet with his heart in the right place (ie not $$$ but what was best for her) I truly am hoping that it is all uphill from here on. Keep us posted and since we are neighbors please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

:highfive: Go Sway!!:dog:

October 3rd, 2007, 01:27 AM
Wanted to send some :goodvibes: & :pray:ers your & sways way :fingerscr

October 5th, 2007, 06:30 AM
How is Sway doing? Any updates?

October 7th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Josh, I keep checking for news are you and Sway doing? :grouphug: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

October 8th, 2007, 06:54 AM
Josh, you and Sway have touched my heart and I am worried that you have not said anything for a while, I hope that no news is good news and that all your determination and Sways bravery will pay off. On behalf of myself and all the dog lovers in the UK my thoughts are with you.

October 8th, 2007, 08:26 AM
If you read Sways Blog that Josh will see Sway has made some huge progress...I am sure Josh is just busy tending to his beautiful girl! Boy she has beautiful eyes! I am sure he will be along soon to update us further!


October 8th, 2007, 10:36 AM
hey guys, thanks for the good helps and sway has really had a good week since getting her out of the hospital on tuesday-

a few episodes of vomiting on wed but since then its been really steady.
she is eating happily and seems to be gaining minimal strength...
she still cant walk on her own but can sort of shuffle back and forth and can lift her butt up from a squatting position now, which she couldnt do last week.
the prednisone was decreased by a good clip and i think she will slowly start gaining some of her frame back.

we got the bone marrow aspirate results back,
that was my vets/our biggest fear.

she is also still holding strong to a PCV of 24!

tough girl i tell ya!

there is still no regeneration in the bone marrow, so we still have lots of work to do and its still a critical situation, but she is doing great compared to where she was just 10 days ago.
and the fact that her blood count has remained the same thru all the valleys we fought this last week & a half shows me that the durabolin shot seems to be helping greatly.
sway has got a big heart.

i updated the blog last night with a few pictures and more detailed posts if anyone is interested.

October 8th, 2007, 01:55 PM
That's great news, sways_bodyguard!

I have a really slow connection and I have trouble getting out to the blog--so although it's probably mentioned there, I still have to ask: how do you know the marrow is not regenerating? Is that also apparent from the marrow aspiration?

:pray:ing and sending :goodvibes:s continue, with all :fingerscr and :pawprint:s crossed, too! Give her a gentle hug from me, Josh! :grouphug:

October 8th, 2007, 03:32 PM
Josh,although I have a hard time looking at the pics on your blog,her eyes have hope,beautiful eyes.
I have to say,although I had my doubts,Sway is a very lucky pup to have you,I :pray:you will be rewarded for your love and dedication and I hope one day Sway will be back to her normal self:pray:

October 8th, 2007, 04:22 PM
may i ask why you have trouble looking at the pictures?
its the reality of the blood disease that she has. just like when someone with cancer loses there hair, you cant ignore it or sugarcoat what they are dealing with if you are truly trying to educate about said situation...
that is what i made the blog for, to show people what happens and the stages you go thru, and to show that this disease isnt and should never be a death sentence.
im not gonna post just the good/positive things and not the "bad"...
i want to visually show people what to expect, and i fully believe that she will eventually make it thru this.
regardless of how things end up, this case is an extreme one and i would hope that my blog would inspire folks who have dogs with this to continue to fight and hope for healing...
but it sounds like you would be the type that would look at a few pictures and put ur dog down out of fear that she would turn into that picture.
correct me if im wrong but it feels as tho that is what affect it has had on you-
the photos are just there to show the peaks and valleys, this will be a success story.

and im not sure what u meant by you had your doubts about me, sorta sounded like an insult in a way but i will just say that ive done more for this dog than alot of people would do for there own families.
thanks for your prayers...

& hazelpack,
its not regenerating because they can track the level/amount of new cells thru examining whatever they took from my dogs bone tissue, sway is producing baby cells but they are not mature normal cells like a standard dog would produce.

October 8th, 2007, 05:16 PM
Josh! thanks for updating us! I want to say that although your blog about sway is showing the cold hard reality of this disease I think some would have trouble viewing and also understanding.....I guess its like the old saying "we have not walked in your shoes!"..Anyway, I really think that your openness on the website showing others what you went through is truly an inspiration and education to others! If my dog was diagnosed with this disease I honestly would be thankful to finding your blog about Sway because it is "truthful" and shows us all how desperatly difficult it must have been the past little while!

Hey Josh! tell us more about Sway? I read somewhere that you rescued her? what is her story!

I have said it before but she sure does have beautiful eyes! Sending good vibes your way so that you can get back to enjoying some time with your girl !!


October 8th, 2007, 06:08 PM
Josh! thanks for updating us! I want to say that although your blog about sway is showing the cold hard reality of this disease I think some would have trouble viewing and also understanding.....I guess its like the old saying "we have not walked in your shoes!"..Anyway, I really think that your openness on the website showing others what you went through is truly an inspiration and education to others! If my dog was diagnosed with this disease I honestly would be thankful to finding your blog about Sway because it is "truthful" and shows us all how desperatly difficult it must have been the past little while!


I agree. :thumbs up

I am so glad to hear that Sway has shown some improvement. Have you looked into using chlorophyll to help with the anemia?

Chlorophyll is also effective against anemia and stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body. Several researchers have suggested the use of chlorophyll as a medical therapy for anemia.

Perhaps it is something you could talk to your vet about.

Sending lots of good wishes your way. :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :grouphug: :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr

October 8th, 2007, 06:15 PM
^^^well, i am originally from ohio and my dad had a house out in the country.
i found sway when she was about 4 months old, wandering thru a cornfield on the edge of the country road.
she was scared to death and malnourished, and it took me awhile to get her to come close enough to me.
someone had probably dumped her, she was very small, probably the runt of the litter.
she had definately been abused because she would cower anytime a persons hand was raised.
she is very sweet, became really attached to me rather quick, probably because i was the first person to actually be nice to her. shed follow me everywhere and would require i was in her line of sight at all times lol.
and that was that...
she literally spent everyday with me for 3 years...
i ended up driving out here to california, but i didnt have a place to stay or a job in place so i had to leave sway with my mom.
after i got settled sway was flown out to me and she has been here about 2.5 years.
she is the best dog ive ever been around and ive had some great dogs.

October 8th, 2007, 08:31 PM
Hey thanks Josh! Nice to know more about you and your little girl! Its amazing the trust they put into people eh? I am glad that Sway found you that day because who knows what her life might have been like! I still cannot believe the tragedy's that happen everyday with abuse...people so freely dump animals...We recently had a German Shepherd in rescue that was a breeding girl...she was left in a garage with about 20 dogs...but her problem was that she was confined to her cage for such a long time her ability to walk on her feet was minimal at best...she would walk on the bend in leg...anyway, with alot of help she is doing fine...but it is so sad that someone can get away these horrific things...and pay no price for what they have done!

I hope your week continues well....How long will Sway need the steroid?


October 8th, 2007, 10:13 PM
YAY for Sway :highfive:

:goodvibes: :grouphug: :fingerscr :pray:

October 9th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Thanks for the update, Sway. You have done more for you dog than 99.9% of people would have done. Autoimmune diseases are very hard to predict and you are on her side 110%, don't know if I would have the fight in me like you do!

October 9th, 2007, 06:37 AM
Josh,I am not sure what you found insulting,it was certainly not what I meant.
I have a difficult time looking at any animal in emaciated condition,whether they are from a puppymill,abused,or like in Sways case very ill.
I've had many sick animals,mostly cancer,whom I've loved very much and taken care of,so please do not judge me,as someone who would put an animal down as soon as their is trouble,you don't know me.
I am happy Sway is doing better and hope she will continue to improve.

October 9th, 2007, 12:27 PM
im not judging you, i was speaking in a sarcastic hypothetical.
first off, you dont even have a dog that is sick to my knowledge and when and if you ever do, i would be the last person that would ever comment on telling you what to do with it.
...its interesting to have you respond that way to me tho when just a week ago you were one of the ones making noise because you saw my blog pictures and then had to chime in with an opinion on why i chose to keep sway alive.
and now your talking about me judging you...weird.

October 9th, 2007, 01:14 PM
I think some people, me included, have such overpowering empathy for them, that it does make some pictures difficult to look at because we just want to cry for them and their families who are suffering too and know we are helpless to do anything.

I think there are many people who honestly felt that your fight for Sway's health may have been a losing battle. We only see the pictures and as humans we assess and analyse from those pictures which are a snapshot in time. You on the other hand live with Sway day in and day out and see her "up" days along with her "down" days so please forgive those, including me, who thought Sway would not make it.

IMO, your blog will definitely give people hope and perhaps keep trying to find a medication that will suppress the immune system.

I suffer from an autoimmune disease so I am familiar with the unpredictablilty of them and know they are chronic and there are no cures.

October 9th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Josh,you think of me what you want,it's really not important to me,Sway is the one who is important and I hope she recovers and has a wonderful life:pray:

October 9th, 2007, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the explanation about the blood cells, S_BG. Are the cells stem cells that are not maturing for some reason? Is it a good sign that she's at least producing the 'baby cells'? :fingerscr

We're still rootin' for you as hard as ever :goodvibes: I hope her marrow kicks in soon!

From your story, she obviously had a hard beginning, but her luck changed when she found you. :pray:ing for a successful fight and that you have many more years together! :thumbs up

Is her last transfusion still holding? :fingerscr

October 9th, 2007, 06:56 PM
I have been following this thread and just today read your blog,
I Don't cry easy, But your blog brought overwhelming tears,

There is no words I can say to express my admiration of you and your beautiful Puppy, You both are truly an exception pair,

Something I wrote for you and *Sway*

You both won my heart

My shining light of Love

From riches to rags and rags to riches
I walked my path for all to see
I begged and pleaded, whimpered and cried,
You heard me not
As you rested contently upon your pillow
I shivered in the cold

Thru the mists and winds of many raging storms
I dreamed of hope, love.
Caste out in a world so big
In desperation I searched,
My heart was breaking.

My eyes lifted
Before me a stranger,
An outstretched hand
Trust me you said

I released my restrains
You said forever,
Come rest upon my Love
A heart so true,

You are my strength,
That’s always there.

Thru trial & many tribulations
We held tight to each other

Together we will always be

You will know us
By our name


My shining light of Love

October 9th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Chicklet.....that was made me cry...but good tears dont worry! Sway and her Dad have won many hearts on this site and many many good vibes have been sent their way! This certainly is such a great gift to Josh! I have learned so much from his blog about Sway..I had no idea what AIHA was until I started to read...and yes my heart went out to both of them seeing the pictures but I think it is reality unfortunately....When I look in Sway's eyes from my distance I see her willingness to I beleive she will make it.......God works in mysterious ways! and so does medicine sometimes....never giving up is what it takes...

Great poem for Josh and Sway!


October 10th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Chicklet that's a beautiful poem and so sweet of you to take the time to write it.

:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: :fingerscr :fingerscr To Josh and Sway

October 10th, 2007, 11:27 AM
I have been following this thread and just today read your blog,
I Don't cry easy, But your blog brought overwhelming tears,

There is no words I can say to express my admiration of you and your beautiful Puppy, You both are truly an exception pair,

Something I wrote for you and *Sway*

You both won my heart

My shining light of Love

From riches to rags and rags to riches
I walked my path for all to see
I begged and pleaded, whimpered and cried,
You heard me not
As you rested contently upon your pillow
I shivered in the cold

Thru the mists and winds of many raging storms
I dreamed of hope, love.
Caste out in a world so big
In desperation I searched,
My heart was breaking.

My eyes lifted
Before me a stranger,
An outstretched hand
Trust me you said

I released my restrains
You said forever,
Come rest upon my Love
A heart so true,

You are my strength,
That’s always there.

Thru trial & many tribulations
We held tight to each other

Together we will always be

You will know us
By our name


My shining light of Love

wow... thank you so much for that, that was great! :thumbs up
i appreciate greatly that you took the time to write that, i love it and i will post it on the blog for sure.
thank you again chicklet. :angel:

October 10th, 2007, 12:04 PM
chicklet, what a beautiful poem, you are very talented indeed!

October 11th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Chicklet, that is a beautiful poem you wrote and it was so nice of you to do that for Josh and Sway. :angel:

Josh, how is Sway doing? :grouphug: :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

October 16th, 2007, 05:11 PM
sway is still hanging in there strong...
count was 23 on saturday so she still has no regeneration but it hasnt dropped off either.
every couple of tries i will have very hard times getting sway to eat, but she comes around and eats when she is ready.
just not as much as she should be eating and that is difficult considering the state of her body.

October 16th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Hang in there Sway!!!!!!!!

October 17th, 2007, 06:18 AM
Hang in there, We all ain't forgotta ya,
Were still thinkin of you & *Sway*

No updates on your blog for 5 days now, :shrug:
Check it every night, I do.
praying for some great news.

October 18th, 2007, 12:23 PM
Glad to hear Sways count is still holding. :thumbs up Does she get to eat anything she wants or does she have some restrictions ?

October 18th, 2007, 04:46 PM
^^^ahh i let her have anything she wants...she is very picky so its always a constant rotation of like some AD, turkey, chicken breast, salmon, yogurt, zucchini, hot dogs etc.
one day she will be all about something and the next day she will refuse it.
its a challenge!

October 18th, 2007, 05:49 PM
^^^ahh i let her have anything she wants...she is very picky so its always a constant rotation of like some AD, turkey, chicken breast, salmon, yogurt, zucchini, hot dogs etc.
one day she will be all about something and the next day she will refuse it.
its a challenge!

I can imagine that it is quite a challenge but she has a great dad :angel: that's up to it. :thumbs up Have you tried the canned green tripe? I've heard that it is pretty irresistable to dogs. :o

October 18th, 2007, 06:00 PM
If you're interested Trippet and Solid Gold have canned green tripe.....

October 23rd, 2007, 01:15 PM
Josh, are you and Sway okay? I know you're close to those horrendous fires and have been thinking about you due to all the evacuations. :eek:

I read on your blog that Sway was standing on her own last Friday. :highfive: I hope she is continuing to do so well. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

October 24th, 2007, 04:12 PM
From what I can find out, Josh & Sway live in Casa Mesa, California which is just south of Los Angeles. The fires aren't right there but are both north and south of there and they are getting a LOT of smoke pollution. This is bad enough for Josh but must be really hard on Sway. :eek:

Josh, I hope you are somehow managing to cope through all of this. :grouphug: :grouphug:

And I hope both you and Sway are safe. :pray: :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

October 24th, 2007, 06:32 PM
yeah we are ok...
the air is realllllllllly bad out here but we are out of the way of all the fires for now, it is crazy tho...LA & SD are really getting beat up :sad:
sway is doing well, she iss standing on her own indeed, so we are just taking baby steps in the right direction.
still no regeneration of new blood, but no drop in current blood either.
she is also eating well and gaining a lil' weight.

October 24th, 2007, 06:38 PM
I'm so glad you updated us and you aren't really close to the fires. Do you get much of the smoke inside your place that affects Sway?

I am so glad she is able to stand now :thumbs up and gaining a little weight too. :highfive: Is she still on the Durabolin?

Give her a "gentle" hug for me and I hope she continues her improvement. :grouphug:

October 24th, 2007, 08:15 PM
SWAY!! I am going through the EXACT same situation with my Mally and I am heartbroken!!! I am trying to keep on keepin on as long as she will. Shes trying real hard and is eating and drinking and chewing on her bone and doing some of the "littlte" things that Mally does. She is right now at a 20. Shes had 1 transfusion. The doc said today that her bone marrow wasn't regenerating red blood cells either. What does your vet say about that? Is there anything we can do? Does the bone marrow start up again? As crappy as this all is I am glad to be able to share info with someone going through the same thing. Also what is DURABOLIN?

October 24th, 2007, 08:24 PM
Also how long have you two been going trough this? We have been doing this for 2 and a half weeks.

October 24th, 2007, 09:30 PM
Glad to hear she is getting better. :fingerscr:fingerscr that it is all good news from here. Stay out of the smoke, I know I am! My car was covered in ash this morning :eek:

October 25th, 2007, 12:23 PM
Also how long have you two been going trough this? We have been doing this for 2 and a half weeks.

go here>>>

that is a message board dedicated specifically to people with dogs dealing with AIHA, auto immune diseases...

we have been dealing with this for the last 5 months...
i welcome you to read this whole thread because its went the distance from the beginning of the time when sway was diagnosed.

also you can check out my blog which tracks what sway has been thru.

durabolin is a human steroid injection that is used in extremely difficult cases that wont regenerate or hold using regular meds.

go to the vetnet board i gave the link to tho, post a thread...everyone there is dealing with the same thing as we are and they are very nice.

i wish you and Mally luck, its a horrible disease but it CAN be beaten so dont give up hope or listen to people who arent educated about what you are dealing with.

October 29th, 2007, 12:13 PM
So is Sway on Azathioprine? My Mally was on it and now we took her off because it was surpressing the red blood cells and me took her off of it and now she is up to a 29! So her bone marrow is working...Azathioprine is an antibiotic so maybe its the same thing if your dog is either on Azathioprine or another antibiotic....hope this helps. What all medications is Sway on? Mine is on cyclosporine, prednisone, pepcid (for the stomach), lixotonic, metoclopramide. Let me know if I can help because our plan is working like a champ!!!!

October 29th, 2007, 02:47 PM
she was on imuran/aziathioprine, but isnt any longer and hasnt been for over a month.
she is just on prednisone/cyclosporine every other day, soloxine daily, carafate/pepcid for stomach coating and then pet tinic and a powder for supplements-
im glad your dog is doing better, that is good news :) :) :)

October 29th, 2007, 04:03 PM
Josh, is Sway still on Durabolin? :)

October 29th, 2007, 08:08 PM
Every other day?? Mally is on 15mg of prednisone twice a day and 50mg of cyclosporine twice a day too. Why is Sway only taking it every other day?

November 8th, 2007, 10:36 AM
How is Sway doing?

November 8th, 2007, 04:41 PM
Sway is showing so much improvement. :highfive:

Josh, I hope Sway has finally turned the corner. :grouphug: :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

November 12th, 2007, 05:37 PM
Josh, is Sways progress still continuing? :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

November 12th, 2007, 05:37 PM
Every other day?? Mally is on 15mg of prednisone twice a day and 50mg of cyclosporine twice a day too. Why is Sway only taking it every other day?

yup...sway is STILL on the durabolin for sure, and will be on it for the forseeable future... 1x per week.

as far as the pred and cyclo...
she is on 10mg of pred every other day, 50mg of cyclo every other day. given in combination so she has a full day off from both.

shes only taking that small of dose because she has tolerated it and her count has stabilized.
sway's case is unique really and hard to figure out.
when she was on raised amounts of meds she was doing far worse overall.
it just kind of worked out that way. every dog is different i guess.

November 12th, 2007, 05:45 PM
So does that mean her progress is still continuing? :o

November 13th, 2007, 01:02 PM
oh yea,,,
stable is GOOD considering what we have been thru, so ill take that :)
eventually the hope is to have her 23 climb into the mid 30's atleast.
that is the goal.
but the fact that it is not dropping, and has held for almost 6-7 weeks is a great thing.
her retic count at last test was 7.24 which is extremely high and shows that blood cells are being regenerated out of her bone marrow FINALLY.
it hasnt reflected yet in her % count but the hope and thought is that it eventually will.
time will tell!

November 13th, 2007, 03:32 PM
that's great news, Sways_BG! :grouphug:

November 14th, 2007, 06:29 AM
That is great news, sway, you are an amazing doggie guardian:angel2:.

November 18th, 2007, 06:50 PM
Wow I am gald Sway is stabilizing!! We have gotten my Mally back up to a 41!!! Her lowest was a 14. Shes doing great! Shes still on all the meds too but now every other day also! Since Mally got sick my other Cocker Trixy has been diagnosed with another autoimmune disease of her orphuses (not sure if thats how you spell it) which means disease of the mouth, eyes, anus, and vulva. AWESOME! But I think we caught it in time and now its under control as well. We may have to now treat both of them for the rest of their lives. Anyway good luck to you and keep everyone posted on Sway! I am now total proof that you can fight this UGLY UGLY disease and win!

November 26th, 2007, 12:17 PM
just wanted to give an update...
sway is still good-
been 65+ days and she is still holding at a 23%
relatively low compared to a normal dog but it has been stable for her, and i am thankful for that.
keeps getting a lil stronger day by day

^ happy to hear that mally is back up to 41%, that is a great # :thumbs up
...weird about trixy, glad she is recovering from the issues that she had also.

November 26th, 2007, 12:20 PM
Oh Josh! that is still great news! How is she doing with her eating? Still getting spoiled and allowed anything she wants?? Has she put some more weight on? Sounds like things are getting better day by day!

How about an updated picture for all of us here?


November 26th, 2007, 10:05 PM
Great to hear that Sway is holding stable, Josh! :goodvibes: for continued improvement! :thumbs up

November 29th, 2007, 01:39 PM
i took some pics of her last night...
will post tonight :D

November 29th, 2007, 01:45 PM
you mean we have to wait for tonight????:sad:

November 30th, 2007, 07:22 PM
You didnt say 2 nights?? :rolleyes: waiting to see that beautiful girl of yours!! ::shrug:


November 30th, 2007, 08:03 PM
Darn, thought the pictures would be posted. Sway where are you?

December 12th, 2007, 09:34 PM
new pictures >

December 12th, 2007, 09:51 PM
She has such a sweet look in her eyes! :lovestruck: She's looking better, Josh!

December 12th, 2007, 10:09 PM
She's looking so good, Josh :thumbs up . I often come to read this thread and am always so inspired by your love and commitment to Sway. Always praying for you both.

December 12th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Josh, Sway is looking much better and the pics are great. :lovestruck: Glad she is holding her count. :thumbs up When will you know if it's the mature or immature cells that are being destoyed? Do dogs with AIHA sometimes stay at a plateau level for awhile? :confused:

Have a wonderful Christmas together and hugs for Sway. :grouphug: :goodvibes:

December 13th, 2007, 06:26 AM
Thanks for the update, Sway, this thread is one that I open first as I am always thinking of you and her.

December 13th, 2007, 08:08 AM
Best of luck to you and Sway.
I have had nothing to the extent of what you are going through, but my 7 month old puppy has had her share of health issues to begin her life...including blood tests watching her alk phos and red blood cells. We are still monitoring, but they show regenerative to this stage.
I know how attached you can get so fast, so I just want to say that what you have done for sway is amazing...keep strong bud...the world needs more people like you.

December 17th, 2007, 12:40 PM
thanks everyone, hope you/family/dogs/cats/animals all have great holidays :)

January 12th, 2008, 03:22 AM
Josh, how is Sway doing? :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

January 13th, 2008, 01:02 AM
When Geronimo's red blood cells was at 13, they gave him a blood tranfussion, and then put him on prednisone with other meds to keep from upsetting his stomach. He had IMAH (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) with ITP (deals with the Protein)His immune system was litterly eating his red blood cells.Hope they can figure out what the problem is. Thank God the doctors at Kalamazoo's SW Mi Animal Emergency Hospital gave him the care he needed to put him on the road to recovery. A week ago he was at 39+ with 6+ for ITP. Good luck. Teardrop

January 29th, 2008, 11:08 PM
I just read this entire thread, and :cry: for the last 3 pages. I wish life wasn't so hard for Sway. I also own a Pit (cross), and I'm the same age as you. I am amazed at your perseverance, and even though I don't know you I am proud of you, and you give me hope that there really are great people out there that are our age! I have also had troubles on these forums with people being quick to judge. I think you're doing the best for your dog.

I :pray: that life gets easier for Sway.

February 11th, 2008, 03:43 AM
Any updates on Sway? :fingerscr :goodvibes:

February 11th, 2008, 11:58 PM
Here is Josh & Sways' blog:

February 12th, 2008, 12:11 AM
He also posted about her here....

March 8th, 2008, 05:58 PM
I was checking in on Josh's blog spot for sway and saw this wonderful update!!!!!! I thought I would post it ...hope you dont mind Josh?

since my dog was diagnosed with AIHA she has not had a net gain in her RBC % ...
and since june she has battled through different phases of this disease,
the 8 blood transfusions and in-ability to hold any kind of count,
the complete breakdown of her body,
the stroke followed by a weekend of near literal death,
the anabolic steroid and miracle hold,
the continued hold but with no re-generation,
the continued hold with signs of re-generation but no RBC gain,
the months of waiting with no RBC gain,
and now the first signs of building up her cell base!
this is the greatest thing for us, thank you God.

Posted by josh


Yipee!! Way to go Sway....

March 8th, 2008, 06:16 PM
Thanks for the update, Winston,

Way to go Sway:thumbs up

March 9th, 2008, 01:31 AM
YAY Sway :highfive:

Josh, I hope you come back to share your joy with us. :o

April 4th, 2008, 06:24 AM
I just read this entire thread, and :cry: for the last 3 pages. I wish life wasn't so hard for Sway. I also own a Pit (cross), and I'm the same age as you. I am amazed at your perseverance, and even though I don't know you I am proud of you, and you give me hope that there really are great people out there that are our age! I have also had troubles on these forums with people being quick to judge. I think you're doing the best for your dog.

I :pray: that life gets easier for Sway.

thank you,
give myka a hug for me!

April 4th, 2008, 06:32 AM
hey guys,
sorry for the lack of updates...
glad to see some actually checking my blog and posting for me :)
thanks for everyone who is thinking of sway!

she had her first actual PCV rise since being diagnosed with AIHA back in july,
now at 28% which is still low but great for us considering where we have been...

here is a comparison image that i posted at my site-

here is us like a month ago or so,


April 4th, 2008, 06:32 AM
OMG, I can't believe the difference in Sway! :thumbs up

April 4th, 2008, 06:45 AM Yay!!!!!! I can only imagine how happy you both are, Josh. What wonderful news and fantastic updated photos! The biggest hugs to you and Sway :grouphug: .

April 4th, 2008, 06:58 AM
Josh,I was one of those people who doubted Sway could ever survive,even thought you were beeing unfair to let he suffer.
You have certainly proven me wrong and I am really happy to see her looking so good:thumbs up

April 4th, 2008, 09:15 AM
^thank you

April 4th, 2008, 05:04 PM
WOW....Sway is looking sooo much better. :lovestruck: :thumbs up

All your effort and dedication has made an amazing difference. You are certainly one devoted dad. :angel:

Thanks for the update and I hope you will continue to post here. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 4th, 2008, 05:39 PM
Sway's dad, I know that finger is for me too, because I didn't believe it would end well. I don't often get tearful but those two pictures bring home how hard you have fought and the results are plain to see. Bravo for both of you, long may Sway's good health continue.

April 11th, 2008, 09:58 PM
Great news...glad to see Sway is doing good. I'll keep checking back for updates.
Cheers to you.

April 12th, 2008, 10:09 AM
It's so awesome to see those pictures. Sway is such a lucky dog to have you.

April 30th, 2008, 03:14 PM
I was hoping to see a post so I hope Josh wont mind.......Please send your prayers his way for Sway...she has had a is a post from his blogspot

Monday, April 21, 2008

sway's latest PCV revealed a drop of almost 10% points :(
at the beginning of march she was at her highest level since diagnosis, 28%
friday's spin showed she was now at 19% was an office spin and not a sample that was sent to the lab, so it's always possible there was a mistake made,
still is devastating though.


April 30th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Winston thank's!
Let's hope the results were not accurate:pray:

April 30th, 2008, 04:14 PM


April 30th, 2008, 07:54 PM
:pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: FOR SWAY :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

May 28th, 2008, 07:08 AM
how is Sway doing Josh?? no new update on your site...


May 28th, 2008, 10:14 PM
I was sooo excited to see the good update above and really hope that the latest setback is a short, easy one for you and Sway :fingerscr.

June 10th, 2008, 03:47 AM
Josh updated on the other site on May 28/08 and Sway is showing improvement again. :thumbs up

Posted 28 May 2008 at 22:16:59 UK time
josh, california

since the backslide down to 19 she has came up a few points to 23
a lil' at a time but still positive none the less...

in a month or so it will have been a year since this disease came into our world, crazy how time flies.

I hope she is continuing to do well. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

June 10th, 2008, 06:16 AM
Thanks Rainbow. I hope Sway continues to fight this horrible disease.:fingerscr:pray:

June 18th, 2008, 02:19 AM
hello yall,
we are still hanging in there...
last test was about a month or so ago and she was in the low 20's and holding.
we are just playing the cards that we were dealt and hoping that they will improve.
im just thankful she continues to hold this number.
her number is very low compared to a 'healthy' dog, but it is not dropping at all and i am thankful for that.
point is, it could definately be worse. we have been there and fought thru it and i dont ever want to be back in those darkest days.
she gets another test on saturday so i will let you know if her numbers have improved.
thanks for thinking of us.

June 18th, 2008, 06:11 AM
Thanks for the update, Sway! I am glad she is holding her own. We would love to see more pictures of her :D

June 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM
here is about 115 pictures of her from my flickr
alot are from before AIHA, about the last 25 on page 2 show her within the last 2 months

June 18th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Sways is looking so much better :grouphug:

:goodvibes: for good results on Saturday :fingerscr

June 22nd, 2008, 03:28 AM
She is looking good. :lovestruck: :thumbs up

Looking forward to your update with todays results. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

June 22nd, 2008, 06:56 PM
:lovestruck: she is so lovely!! give her lots of kisses from us too!! :lovestruck:


July 3rd, 2008, 01:27 PM

I just read an update on Sway's blog.

July 3rd, 2008, 01:36 PM
Thanks for posting the update, L4H.

Josh, I'm so sorry to hear the Sway's count has dropped again. My heart goes out to you and I hope that your appt. with Dr. Dodds can shed some more light on the situation.

Give a gentle hug to Sway for me. :grouphug:

My thoughts and prayers are with you :grouphug: :pray: and sending lots of good wishes your way. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

July 8th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Sway's newest blood panel revealed a hematocrit count of 26% which is 10% higher than it was just a week ago.
...and it is almost the highest she has ever been since being diagnosed back in july of 2007.
so really good news on that front :thumbs up
thanks for the :pray:

July 8th, 2008, 04:48 PM
What a great update, sways_bodyguard!!! :grouphug:

:goodvibes: for another 10% increase the next time you have it checked! :thumbs up