Heidi, a 9-year-old female Dachshund, was referred to our Referrals’ emergency and critical care service in February this year due to a history of progressive lethargy and exercise intolerance. Her oral mucous membranes were white and she was severely anaemic (PCV 10%; normal range 35 – 55%). This warranted a blood transfusion to increase her circulating red blood cells to an acceptable level.
Heidi required 2 blood transfusions to raise her PCV to 31%. Additional diagnostic tests performed by our Referrals’ internal medicine service diagnosed her with non-regenerative immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA). This is a condition in which the body destroys red blood cells and prevents the bone marrow from producing new red blood cells to replace the ones being destroyed. Heidi started immunosuppressive treatment for her medical condition.
Although Heidi has required regular check-ups with us, her bone marrow has started to produce new blood cells and her PCV has stabilised at 38%. Four months later Heidi was able to stop all medication. Our internal medicine service is thrilled with how her condition has responded!
Thankfully in the UK, the Pet Blood Bank are able to work similarly to the human blood bank. They collect blood from donor dogs to distribute across the country for dogs like Heidi. This vital service is life saving for dogs who lose excessive blood due to medical conditions, challenging surgeries or serious injuries such as road traffic accidents. They have over 11,000 generous canine donors registered to aid in saving lives; however, stocks are currently in high demand. Please contact our Referrals’ blood transfusion nurse Leanne Price (Leanne.Price@EastcottVets.co.uk) if you are interested in find out whether your own dog could help contribute to saving the lives of other critical dogs like Heidi.