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Dr. Kelly
Dr. Kelly, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 129
Experience:  3 years small animal medicine, primary interests include feline medicine and behavior
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Our 7 year old Chihuahua had Knee surgery and ended up with

Customer Question

Our 7 year old Chihuahua had Knee surgery and ended up with hemolitic anemia. She is on pregnesone and has had a blood transfusion when her numbers got down to 10%. Our vet who we do trust has offered the use of intravenous Human immunoglobulin treatments that are very expensive with no good answer if it will work. Any thoughts on her chances with or with out the treatment
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kelly replied 7 years ago.

Hi, I am very sorry to hear about your dog. I have a few questions for you.


When was she diagnosed with IMHA?

When was the blood transfusion performed?

What was her response to the transfusion (what did her PCV % go up to)?

What is her PCV % right now?

What dose of prednisone is she currently on and how frequently is it given?


Thanks for the info, it will surely better help me give you a more accurate answer.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She was diagnosed on Monday March 29th her levels on Monday were at 15 % her surgery was on Friday the 26th and she was fine until Sat night, Sunday she was very lithargic and by Sunday evening she was peeing blood. Called our vet and she thought it must be a bladder infection and bring her in the morning. She was given Clavamox and Metacam for drug therapy after surgery. I know she receives prednisone twice a day and was also given some other similar intervenious drugs on Monday and Tuesday. The blood transfusion was given Tues after she crashed to 10% and by Weds she was up to 20% But today back to 16 %. She is a large Chi weighs about 12 lbs and we know she is heavy we watch her diet carefully. She was 22 lbs when we got her. The knee surgery (tight rope) was to fix a failed surgery that was done before we got her almost 5 years ago. She is pure love and would hate to lose her but we dont want her to suffer either.

Expert:  Dr. Kelly replied 7 years ago.

Okay, excellent.


Last questions.


Is she still hospitalized?

How is she feeling today?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes she is still at the hospital and I do have to say they are very highly rated and people come from all over to use them. She seems about the same. Very lithargic just lays there does know when we come see her but is very quite. Her eyes do seem better for the first couple of days her eyes were very glazed.
Expert:  Dr. Kelly replied 7 years ago.

Good. It sounds like she is getting excellent treatment!


Her response to the blood transfusion was really fantastic. A drop afterward is to be expected so don't focus on that to much.


Treatment and recovery for IMHA takes a lot of time. For many owners it is almost unbearable because they are so very worried and of course confronted with making a ton of difficult decisions.


The human immunoglobin treatment has been successful for some dogs. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between success rate and severity of symptoms. It is definitely a treatment of choice if the dog is not responding well to therapy after seven days.


From what you have told me, it sounds like your little one is slowly improving (16% today is good!). You have a long road ahead of you but I do encourage you to not give up yet. I have seen these dogs make a full recovery. I would hold off on making a decision on the immunoglobin therapy for a few more days.


I also encourage you to check out this website for more information about IMHA. About 1/2-3/4 of the way down the page there are links for more scientific information about the immunoglobin therapy.


Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding your little one and thanks for asking. I will keep her in my thoughts!

Dr. Kelly and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you for your help we will just try to wait it out
Expert:  Dr. Kelly replied 7 years ago.
You are very welcome. I wish you luck and patience.