Meet Stu, Hulk, Leela, Brooklyn, Samson, Nala and Jamie! Stu presented to his referring veterinarian because he was acting lethargic and was not wanting to eat or drink water. After running some blood work, Stu’s veterinarian referred Stu over to us because his hematocrit (ration in volume of red blood cells to total volume of blood) was very low and he wanted a more extensive workup done and knew Stu was going to need some intensive care and monitoring to recover.
Stu was admitted to our internal medicine department where Dr. Trzil and her team took on Stu’s case. After some more diagnostics, Stu was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). This disease can be triggered by many factors including vaccines, drugs, infections, cancers and many other factors which have not yet been identified. When the immune system is triggered, the body targets its own red blood cells for destruction and begins removing them from circulation rapidly, causing anemia and sometimes jaundice (yellowing of skin or mucous membranes) as the body deals with all the pigments inside a red blood cell. This massive destructive process can also increase their risk for developing blood clots or other organs to fail.
With that in mind, our treatment was targeted at stopping the body from destroying those cells and waiting for the bone marrow to replace missing cells. Over the course of his time here, Stu needed 6 different blood transfusions! You can see some of Stu’s hero’s below: Hulk, Leela, Brooklyn, Samson, Nala, and Jamie! Without their life saving donations, Stu would not be here with us today! On top of his transfusions, Stu had endless monitoring, medications to help suppress his immune system’s inappropriate attack, and supportive care such as medications to prevent gastrointestinal side effects from the disease along with antibiotics and steroids. After a week, Stu was finally starting to show some progress! Stu was able to return home and come back on occasion for some outpatient treatment. It has now been a little over a month and Stu is doing fantastic! You can see him with nurse Erin at right celebrating his progress at one of his rechecks!
Without the help of Dr. Trzil, Stu’s nurses, and our Blood Donation Center, this successful outcome would not have been possible. We are currently running low on blood donors, and at one point we used our last donation saving Stu’s life. Luckily, we were able to get more donors in before more transfusions were needed, but we are in desperate need of more donors so we can have more successful outcomes like Stu’s. Help your dog become a lifesaving hero by signing up to be a blood donor today! Click here for more information about the blood donation center or email: firstname.lastname@example.org