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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24454
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Here is what I know thus far of my beagle... He is 9 yrs

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Here is what I know thus far of my beagle...
He is 9 yrs old. He recently (3 weeks ago), and still has blood in his liquid stool. We took him to our vet who ran tests and stated the main concerns, low RBC (1.13M/uL) and PLT (0 K/uL). They advised he was on the brink of death, at most 2-3 days to live. The vet mentioned a blood transfusion was necessary at the time and so we did the procedure. Further testings found his kidneys were fine also, emphasizing again on the low red blood cells and platelet. Total cost so far was around $1,800. They mentioned they don't know the culprit of the problem after the initial testings. They advised further testing (bone marrow, and then other?), as well as more blood transfusions ($700) were needed in order to diagnose the problem. All the while, we are losing spirit as the bill piles up. We stated we would take the dog home so that the family can enjoy the last couple days with him. A week has gone by now and I assumed that his status would deteriorate, as in he would soon loose appetite and want to be alone, but that is not the case. He has been more tired but still approaches when I come through the doors, wagging his tail. I also assumed he would be sensitive to the touch. I am no doctor but I do not see that he is in pain. He recently has a lump (noticed two days ago) on his right mid section. he also began to close his left eye as there is some secretion from it.
At this time, I am questioning what he may have and am seeking more professional advice. Anything helps. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I, too, am amazed that Odie has made it this long. When both red blood cells and thrombocytes (blood platelets) are nearly nonexistent, severe Evan's syndrome (autoimmune hemolytic anemia/AIHA + thrombocytopenia) is the usual finding. Transfusions, immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids + other immunosuppressive drugs such as azathioprine or cyclosporin are administered and we still lose 20-60% of these patients. Thromboembolism (blood clots) is a major complication of IMHA. Approximately 20% of these dogs may relapse after successful treatment within 1 year necessitating reinstitution of immunosuppressive therapy. One reason for relapse is inadequate duration of treatment before tapering medications. Aplastic anemia is the major differential diagnosis. This describes a failure of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and thrombocytes. Hence, the recommendation for a bone marrow analysis - a procedure in which anesthesia would be necessary but Odie isn't in any shape for anesthesia. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.