"The Willow Veterinary Clinic Taking General Practice to a Higher Level"
A case of immune mediate thrombocytopaenia and haemolytic anaemia in a Bichon Frise. "Daisy's Story"
Daisy presented to us as an emergency case as she was vomiting large quantities of blood, and had black tarry diarrhoea. Shaun, the on call vet that weekend also noticed that she had bleeding into other areas of her body, visible here in the whites of her eyes.
Blood sampling revealed that Daisy had very few platelets in her circulation (the building blocks which form blood clots) so that she was bleeding from various places. She had also started to destroy her own blood cells, a condition known as immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA). The slide shows what happens to the blood when the immune system starts to attack blood cells, clots form within the circulation and a severe anaemia develops. IMHA is a very severe condition and can be fatal in many patients. Treatment is based on preventing the body attacking its own cells with medications before the anaemia becomes life threatening.
Daisy’s anaemia became so severe that we had to provide a blood transfusion to keep her alive whilst we fought to prevent her body attacking more red blood cells and platelets. A blood donation was made by Lisa’s dog, Alfie, who has been a regular and reliable blood donor to us.
After two weeks of hospitalisation, Daisy’s blood parameters began to normalise, she was discharged from the practice. She returned
home to her owner and although she will require ongoing treatment in the months to come, she was very happy to be home.