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IMHA in Lemming (cancer survivor warrior)


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Hello, some of you may remember I posted about my trooper of a girl, Lemming, who had a nerve sheath tumour and was very close to passing over to the other side. Miraculously, she had surgery and radiotherapy and reached a no evidence of disease state. We had 2.5 months of bliss with our happy girl back, before it all went pear shaped just before Christmas. She wasn't eating and we presumed the cancer was back with a vengeance. Of course it was Christmas so impossible to see her regular vets, and half of them are off with Covid too, not helping matters. It has been a real struggle to get vet appointments or even to speak to anyone over the Christmas period, it's a real mess for vets in the UK at the moment. 

 

Anyway, to summarise, she has been diagnosed with IMHA. Another disease with a terrible prognosis. Poor Lemming! Her body is really out to get her. 

17th December she had a PCV of 34%.

28th December (when we finally got the diagnosis as we saw the good vet) PCV of 26%. By this point she wasn't eating at all, her gums were snow white, she was completely lethargic and we had actually brought her in to euthanise her as we thought the cancer had got her. Fortunately an experienced vet was in and he diagnosed IMHA and put her on 2mg/kg pred and anticoagulants. 

31st December PCV = 25%

2nd Jan PCV = 24%

4th Jan PCV = 24%. However, she seems a bit brighter and is eating more now. 

The Oncology clinic in Edinburgh reopens after their Christmas break next week, and we have an MRI and CT scan booked on Thursday (this was booked several months ago). Our goal at the moment is to keep her stable until then so we at least know if this is primary or secondary due to a recurring tumour. 

Her reticulocyte regeneration is high which indicates it's unlikely to be bone marrow related but you never know. 

 

Has anyone any experience of IMHA and any comment on the PCV percentages? I was expecting her to either die or improve after a week of treatment, not this stable half way house we are in. 

The vet has suggested adding in more steroids on Friday if her next scan is the same. I think we are just buying time until the vet hospital in Edinburgh reopens and we can potentially get some answers. I'm hoping that her body is just taking it's sweet time to respond to the steroids and by Friday her numbers will be up, but I know her luck has to run out at some point. 

 

Thanks for your help!

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Dr Couto is a world renown greyhound expert. Your vets or you can send test results and history for him to review. There is a fee but well worth it.

coutovetconsultants@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook, try posting on this page but note their format that you must start your post with “Vets only please”.

“Pet Vet Corner (ONLY APPROVED VETERINARIANS COMMENT)” is the full name. Other pet owners are not allowed to respond, so the info you’ll get is from professionals.

 

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Unfortunately it is a huge tumour on her spleen. It seems horrific bad luck to survive one cancer and then come down with another one a year later, but the likelihood is that's the case. They are performing a spleenectomy today. She is not in great condition so we will see how that goes. There was no sign of spread, but if it's a sarcoma then the prognosis is weeks. If it is a benign hemangioma then we're back on track. Poor Lemming. We weren't sure whether to put her or ourselves through this again but she is in good care. Fingers crossed we are lucky and she lives to see some better weather at least. She doesn't like winters. 

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Just now seeing this. Paws crossed for your sweet girl.  Please update us when you can. 

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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Thanks everyone. The surgery went well. No sign of any metastasis that they could see. The adjacent organs looked ok, except for the pancreas which is inflamed. They want to keep her in extra days for the recovery due to the pancreatitis which is fine by us. Hopefully she behaves herself as she is quite feisty and doesn't like strangers. Now it's just fingers crossed that it's benign and the pancreas recovers...

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9 minutes ago, okslater said:

Thanks everyone. The surgery went well. No sign of any metastasis that they could see. The adjacent organs looked ok, except for the pancreas which is inflamed. They want to keep her in extra days for the recovery due to the pancreatitis which is fine by us. Hopefully she behaves herself as she is quite feisty and doesn't like strangers. Now it's just fingers crossed that it's benign and the pancreas recovers...

That's good news.  Fingers crossed here for a quick recovery and a benign test result. She'll be back to making demands in no time at all. 

rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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Thanks, Remolacha, and sorry to hear about your dog's experience. I think the inflamed pancreas must also be partly to do with the horrible diet we've had her on for the last month, as the only thing I could get her to eat was cheese and greasy pork sausages. 

I can't believe how much unwanted education on disease I've had over the past year. I guess this is something you have to get used to as a dog owner. I've only had cats before and they seem to just drop down dead in their old age with no warning, there's none of this heart wrenching agony of diagnosis and decision making the deal with! 

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It is wonderful that there are so many more options for treatment now, but yes, after a few years it can seem like you are half way to a medical degree :lol In my case probably more so since I have always (except once) adopted older dogs. My cats always started with me young and luckily lived long lives before passing of old age, so I know more dog diseases/injuries/treatments.

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5 hours ago, okslater said:

Thanks everyone. The surgery went well. No sign of any metastasis that they could see. The adjacent organs looked ok, except for the pancreas which is inflamed. They want to keep her in extra days for the recovery due to the pancreatitis which is fine by us. Hopefully she behaves herself as she is quite feisty and doesn't like strangers. Now it's just fingers crossed that it's benign and the pancreas recovers...

Good news.  Keeping Lemming and your family in our thoughts.  Here's hoping that the tumor is benign.  Just over 24 years ago our greyhound, Icabod had a tumor rupture on his spleen.  It was hemangiosarcoma.  He made it 11 months post tumor rupture.  Sending lots of positive vibes.

Annette, mom to Banjo (AJN Spider Man) & Casey (kitty), wife to Roy. Mom to bridgekids: Wheat (GH), Icabod (GH), Scarlett (Cab's Peg Bundy), Rhett (Kiowa Day Juice), Dixie (Pazzo Dixie), Pogo/Gleason (Rambunctious), and Miriam (Miriam of Ruckus) and Spooky, Taffy, Garfield, & Lefty (kitties)

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Unfortunately it seems she’s having post operative bleeding. Her blood pressure is down as is her blood count. They’re doing a blood product transfusion but it’s not looking good. She’s so weak. Poor lemming. It’s going to be a long night. We’re trying to remain positive. Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts. 

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1 hour ago, okslater said:

Unfortunately it seems she’s having post operative bleeding. Her blood pressure is down as is her blood count. They’re doing a blood product transfusion but it’s not looking good. She’s so weak. Poor lemming. It’s going to be a long night. We’re trying to remain positive. Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts. 

Are they giving Amicar (aminocarproic acid)????

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Hi! Panic over. It wasn't a bleed in the end, it was just her albumin levels were too low and she couldn't hold fluid. They gave her a transfusion of some blood product (without the red blood cells) and she stabilised, and started eating again yesterday. The vets said they've never been so happy to see a dog eat. They are looking to discharge her tomorrow if she continues to be stable. We're looking forward to getting her back although also dreading the state she'll be in. Thankfully we're working from home these days due to covid so can tend to her. Thanks again for calming me down. I really hope if it is cancerous she at least recovers enough to go on her favourite walks before it's game over again. But at the very least she wont be dying in a hospital, I hope. I want to make sure of that. 

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