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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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thanks Eva a really sensible response and I whole-heartedly agree with you
Sorry if I struck a nerve, I just felt the discussion was going in the direction of 'don't vaccinate if you want a healthy dog' rather than discussing the actual problem, ie AIHA which can have many causes, some as yet unknown, and yes: sometimes triggered by vaccines.
And no, I don't have shares with the chemical industry...;-))

Maybe we should also be looking into the effects inbreeding can have on the likelyhood of developing autoimmune disease...

For owners of dogs suffering form autoimmune disease, there is an excellent support group on Yahoo - see here
Thanks Susan don't be sorry for having a view! I can see why you thought it was going in an 'Anti Vaccinate' direction. As with everything associated with our beloved best friends a sensible approach is the way to go. I hadn't come across AIHA until Sunday of this week and I have had my dogs for over 14 + years . So I thought it would be good to see what I personally could find out and so far have found the subject fascinating although distressing to those that have lost there 'babies'. That said I must not be the only person not to have heard of this so I thought it would be good open this on here for anyone interested.
Any open discussion is good for all kinds of reasons, fact finding, informative and just being able to add support to each and everyone affected or not by this condition.

The article Susan is talking about is the one I have just mentioned on the other discussion.

Sorry to hear that you have noticed things are not going as well as expected with Tallulah, I hope that you get to the bottom of the problem/s
I was interested to learn of the Vitamin D3 thing...very interesting, how do you find out if you or your dog is deficient/depleted in this vitamin???? is it a blood test???
I know that too much Cod Liver Oil can deplete both us and our pets in Vitamins. I know that some people do give C.L.O. daily to their dogs, and I do try and tell them not to give it every day. Like most things 'in moderation' is the name of the game...
I have to go dig up my papers but I am almost postive my dog hasn't been vaccinated against Lepto and Cornona virus.
I believe those are the two my breeder told me NOT to have done. Due to the fact both would be treatable and both are most likely to cause reactions. I also did each one seperately. We will start our three years rabies next time. I waived the lyme vaccination as well. I think they said lepto was like the flu shots they give people in the sense that there are so many strains and the shot won't cover but a few of them. My vet of course wanted it done, but I decided to follow the breeders advice on it. I agree most dogs won't need to be revaccinated for years if at all on most of these things.
I lost my first Irish Scout to SLE. Vaccines are one of the many triggers for Auto-Immune desease. I joined a wonderful support group K9 Auto-Immune Support and have learned so much from them. I will never again give my dogs the combo shots, Hawk had indivdual shots as a puppy. Then I do titer test yearly. I do not vaccinate during the summer months because hot weather and vaccinating together can cause stress on the immune system. The more we learn about the Auto Immune desease the better for our dogs. There is nothing worse than to watch your love one suffer from these illnesses and not being able to help them.
I knew of a child that had the MMR vaccine, (although the government say there is no connection) who after his injections had a bad reaction, but his parents continued with the cause, and he is now very retarded, (I know it isn't PC to put it that way but I am not sure of how to put it...perhaps severe learning difficulties) But this was reported for many children yet it is denied by government, Perhaps this is or isn't connected with vaccinations, we probably won't know for many years, but even vets agree now, that we vaccinate far too much, I am deffinately not saying that we shouldn't vaccinate, because I do vaccinate my dogs, but I only do it every 2-3 years. and my vet agrees with me...
Hi Maggie,
I would just like to say I am so so sorry to hear for your loss of Scarlett. I lost my little girl Eva at only 11 months old to this dreadful illness. To this day I have no idea what causes it but I know how heartbreaking it is. I got to the stage of diagnosis and Eva was so far gone we had her put to sleep there and then as her deterioration was so fast. Much as it pained and broke my heart I said to the vet if there were any tests they could do on her after she passed away to help find some more information or a cure for this dreadful disease then it would help other owners not go through what we did. I hope that Scarlett and Eva are playing at the rainbow bridge and they will be forever in our hearts.
Much love to you,
Scarlett wasn't mine I just bred her but was quite devastated as how awful this debilitating disease is thanks for your comments sorry to here about your loss maggiexx
What a devastating thing to happen,
I have often wondered about why dogs and cats are vaccinated yearly.I believe,in America,this doesn't happen as owners can opt for a blood test that proves the animal is still covered by vaccines already given.I sometimes think that the yearly vaccine is more of a benefit to the vet (financially) than the dog.Insurance companies often require a yearly vaccine to make the policy valid.

I know that this is an old post but my boy Devon is in the vets with this horrible condition now. Has been there for 3 days, was diagnosed very quickly after only 24 hours of being ill. He hasn't been recently vaccinated and i can't see any reason for this to have happened. I'm told it is far more common in bitches than dogs.

I am very hopeful that he will be ok as is my vet but the progress is slow to start. I am hoping that once the drugs start to work the improvement will be dramatic. Fingers crossed. 




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