Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

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MKTheVintageBloke
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Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 26th 2019, 2:19pm

For the last few days, I had quite a bit of hell - first, I had to take Angus, my Bernese Mountain Dog, to a vet under the suspicion of babesiosis. For those who don't know it, it's a disease carried by ticks, not dangerous to humans, but often fatal to dogs.
After a blood test, it turned out that there is an issue with red blood cell production, but...it's not babesiosis. He has received a drip to keep him going.
Today, in the morning, he had another blood test. Turns out, that his immunological system has turned against his own body, and targeted the red blood cells. The symptoms are wildly similar to babesiosis - overall fatigue, no appetite, pale gums and inner eyelids.

So, as I'm writing this, the dog's at a vet clinic, getting a blood transfusion. His case is curable, but hard. He is being taken care of by a very capable team of vets, who have previously saved pooches with similar - and even one identical - illnesses.

Guess there's not much more to say. Just needed to share. Suppose keeping that stuff to myself wouldn't be the healthiest thing to do, it never is.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by AlbertaTime » August 26th 2019, 2:46pm

foghorn wrote:
August 26th 2019, 2:42pm
Hoping for the best here. There are no better people than our pets.
That's about as beautifully put as this can be.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 26th 2019, 3:00pm

foghorn wrote:
August 26th 2019, 2:42pm
There are no better people than our pets.
That's as true as it can be. Dogs are - in many ways - superior to people. They never fail to let us know when they need us, and they simply know it when we need them. And they can let you know what they think or feel in just a look, while the human being would need hundreds of thoughtfully chosen words to express the same thing.
Plus, I don't think there's any form of trust as true to the nature of the word as the trust between a dog and a human.


Thanks for that, chaps. As of now, all I can do is sit and wait. The most debilitating thing in this world is not being able to do a thing about what we feel like we should be doing something about. Then again, what is there that one can do, when there's nothing that one can do? Angus is being taken care of by a really dedicated and young team - when I was there with him for his first blood test, they were taking care of a certain cat. Talked to the owners of the cat - the furry thing had a terminal diagnosis given by another vet, and supposedly was unlikely to survive two days. It's been two weeks, and while that cat is still weak and connected to a drip, he's quite alive. They also did manage to save dogs with the same illness as the one that Angus is going through, so I suppose that they're the best chance he's got.
Last edited by MKTheVintageBloke on August 26th 2019, 3:07pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by Thunder1 » August 26th 2019, 3:05pm

AlbertaTime wrote:
August 26th 2019, 2:46pm
foghorn wrote:
August 26th 2019, 2:42pm
Hoping for the best here. There are no better people than our pets.
That's about as beautifully put as this can be.
+1..
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by TemerityB » August 26th 2019, 4:00pm

I'm with ya, man. Earlier this year, the senior dog we adopted came down out of the blue with canine idiopathic vestibular disease, which in layman's terms means "he's got vertigo and we don't know why." He got so sick instantly - the symptoms mimic a heart attack or stroke. But after about two weeks, he got over it, but good lord, was it scary. So many bad symptoms, all at once. We honestly thought we had lost him.

So now I sit here and hope for a great outcome for your pooch as well. My meager words likely won't help, but that won't mean I'm not trying like hell, Bloke.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 27th 2019, 6:14am

Thanks, guys. He's still at the clinic today for further tests and observation, and soon he'll start receiving immunosuppressors and steroids. Will be a long way to recovery, but I hope it goes swiftly.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by koimaster » August 27th 2019, 9:12am

Sounds like Canine Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Good prognosis for this though. One of our cats had it back in 2013-15. She survived it after treatment but later passed from cancer but she was quite elderly.

Hopefully Angus will make a quick recovery.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 27th 2019, 10:27am

koimaster wrote:
August 27th 2019, 9:12am
Sounds like Canine Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Good prognosis for this though. One of our cats had it back in 2013-15. She survived it after treatment but later passed from cancer but she was quite elderly.

Hopefully Angus will make a quick recovery.
Thanks, Alain - from me, and on Angus's behalf.
I can't remember the scientific name they've mentioned, I focused more on what are his chances. Which, I suppose, is only natural.
He's doing better after the transfusion, but he's still monitored at the clinic.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by gerdson » August 27th 2019, 12:30pm

Oh je. Keeping fingers crossed here as well. About 3 years ago similar thing with one of ours. Never found out what exactly went on, but her liver was heavily infected. Lots and lots of antibiotics helped, in the end. She was so fed up with eating pills, she woul barely want to eat anything anymore (and we are speaking about a dog that will swallow just about anything without even sniffing at it.) Sounds as if Angus is in very competent hands.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 27th 2019, 4:01pm

OK, so the reason behind the illness has been nailed. Like babesiosis, the source was a tick - one infected with a bacterium of the Anaplasma genus.

A tick has caused the death of my previous dog - this is why whenever I find a tick when combing the dog's fur, I sentence the little fucker to death by Zippo lighter. The boot is counterproductive, these things are relatively tough, and once I did see one still move after I stepped on it. I love animals, but a tick deserves no pity.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by foghorn » August 27th 2019, 4:14pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
August 27th 2019, 4:01pm
OK, so the reason behind the illness has been nailed. Like babesiosis, the source was a tick - one infected with a bacterium of the Anaplasma genus.

A tick has caused the death of my previous dog - this is why whenever I find a tick when combing the dog's fur, I sentence the little fucker to death by Zippo lighter. The boot is counterproductive, these things are relatively tough, and once I did see one still move after I stepped on it. I love animals, but a tick deserves no pity.

We had ticks galore this year. In June I contracted Lyme disease because of one of the little bastards. I didn't even know it was there until I saw the dreaded bulls-eye rash. 3 weeks of Doxycycline and good to go. (knock on wood)
Hope your pal returns to form soon.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » August 28th 2019, 7:54pm

It's hard for me to write this, but the worst has happened. While it seemed like he was going to get well, just two hours ago he went into some seizure, with howl-like barking, blood vomit, and shallow breathing. It's not clear what exactly happened, but... There's no saying it lightly - he's dead. Bene vale, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Nothing they could have predicted, nothing that we could have predicted.

We tried to get him to the clinic, and we did, only he passed minutes after arrival. The vets did all they could, we did all that we could. But when you've done what you could, and there's nothing more that could have been done, I suppose that any question that we may ever direct at ourselves - one related to whether there actually was something that we could do - will always have just one answer, that being nothing.

When I got back home from today's 12h shift, he was OK. He was still walking, still welcomed me as he used to. After his time at the clinic he wouldn't want to get inside, just wanting to stay on open air, so while it was raining, I stayed with him as long as I could, in spite of having a debilitating infection that has me coughing to the point of the muscles just hurting.

I don't know how will the next few days go. It isn't easy to get over losing one of the very few living things I've ever trusted. Well, I'm not a trusting kind of person, so when one of the few exceptions from the rule is gone, this hits hard.

Feeling like I need a drink, only I guess I can't even get myself to do that.

Someone once said, that caring is not an advantage. At times like that, I'm inclined to agree. Because when all we've done just fails, we're kicking ourselves, because we cared. Caring tends to hurt. But it also reminds us that we have a heart.

Not sure what I'm going to do now. Take a rest from the forums? That'll just have me dwell on what happened, in absence of a distraction. Hang around, and do the usual thing to forget? That's just running away. Then again, I suppose I've always been running. I've been running from my depression, and I did so by getting into what has us all here - watches. I did research to forget, I did all the investigative work to help others, just so that I could forget. Guess the moment I'd stop running, I'd lose the sense of purpose, and one loss is already one too many.

Not sure why I'm writing it all. Guess that at this point, there's so very little else I can think of doing, and so, I'm doing one of the few things I'm good at - trusting my thoughts to writing. Feels like...it helps. Not much, but it gives just a little of that one, much needed bit of relief.

Suppose I'll just have a tea, take a xanax, and try to sleep through what's left of the night. And try to get my mind, well, somehow patched up in the days to come. If "patching up the mind" is even a thing.

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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by TemerityB » August 28th 2019, 9:05pm

Bloke.... I am so, so sorry.

There is nothing I can write that can help, but I have been where you where you are. A best friend dying is so beyond any pain I have ever experienced.

Yet, we have to move forward. Tonight, I will pray to the heavens for you and your best friend.

Just remember...there are more friends who need you. And I can tell they would be lucky to meet you.

You're a great member here. All the best.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by conjurer » August 28th 2019, 9:36pm

I don't have the words, Mr. Bloke. All I can say is that I'm very sorry to hear this, and to hear of your pain.

Leave it to be said that you did the best you could do for your dog; your towering pain is testament to this. I hope, as the days pass, that your pain lessens, and is replaced with the wonderful memories that our pets bring us.

They make us better humans.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by biglove » August 28th 2019, 10:03pm

Am so sorry, Bloke. I know too well the loss of furry family. Still to this day I cried more over my daughter's 13 year old Shih-zhu passing than when I lost my own mother.

Honestly, I cared more for the dog and he was a true friend.

I am hurting for you and will say a little prayer for some semblance of peace.

You are one of those God has placed on Earth to care for animals that most greatly reflect godly love. It is painful when they leave us but our love is what made their whole life worth living.

May you find comfort in the coming days remembering his good friendship.

And lean on us here.
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Re: Dog fell ill - autoimmune disease

Post by AlbertaTime » August 29th 2019, 9:02am

Very sad news.

Your pooch had the very good fortune of having a loving home. There is nothing more you would ever have needed to do.

Sorry for your loss.
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