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Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia - A really tragic case - Can anyone enlighten us!

This is an email we have received after puppy owners have come back to us! Is it due to over-vaccinations? Can anyone enlighten us and the dog owners everyone needs to be aware of this! We are not to blame as breeders but just really upset for the owners.

 

Hi, Daniel has asked me to email you to tell you about Scarlett.
 
I took Scarlett to the vets as she had been very lethargic the day before & would only eat if I hand fed her.  By the time we got to the vets at 10am she could/would hardly move and she was jaundiced.  They admitted Scarlett to the surgery and ran a series of tests and scans on her and later that day I was told that she was suffering from auto immune haemolytic anaemia.  The vets started the treatment of high levels of steriods to suppress the immune system.  When I went to visit Scarlett the next morning, she was completely unresponsive and I was very concerned.  I spoke to the nurse and the vet who were both hopeful that the treatment had a good chance of being successful as Scarletts PCV had increased from 15 to 23, so it seemed as though the steriods were having the desired effect.  The vet phoned us that evening at 9pm to say that Scarlett had gone downhill very rapidly and was now fitting.  The vet then said that there was little to no chance of the treatment working and we made the decision to have Scarlett put to sleep.
 
Having never heard of this condition before, I spent a lot of time researching this on the internet.  Some sites suggest that there may be a link with the vaccinations - when the body fights the vaccine, it triggers the immune system to react. http://home.comcast.net/~joan.ogg/aiha_info.htm   Scarlett was vaccinated at the end of August, so in my mind, this seems the most likely trigger, but the reality is that no-one knows why some dogs get it and some don't, much like most human diseases.
 
Scarlett was a beautiful girl in every way.  She had a lovely nature and has been a much loved part of our family for the last (nearly) 6 years.  We miss her very much.
 
Rose (the puppy) seems to be settling in very quickly.  She's met the other dogs and cats and the rest of the children, who are all besotted with this little whirlwind.  Hopefully being part of a busy household will stop her feeling homesick for her brothers and sisters.
 
With best wishes
 
Lynette Brown
 
Can I say a big thankyou to everyone who has contributed to this discussion it has been most enlightening thanks Maggie Mazan

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Kerry a site that I looked at hence the comment about poisonous plants. It is good to be able to rule out the vaccination cause as a starter. Our fingers are crossed too for Devon.

http://www.webvet.com/main/2008/10/07/hemolytic-anemia

Hemolytic anemia in dogs can be caused by a variety of problems, including infection with viruses or blood parasites (eg, Babesia), toxins,poisonous plants, drug reactions, and conditions such as diabetes or liver disease. However, the most common cause in dogs is autoimmune hemolytic anemia, in which antibodies of the dog’s own immune system attack the circulating RBCs.

However, the exact cause usually remains a mystery. The condition is most common in young to middle-aged dogs, especially in poodles, cocker spaniels, and old English sheepdogs.

Kerry, there is a great Yahoo K9 AI support group.  I have been a member for several years.  They are really supportive and are a great source of information. 

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