Blood transfusion helps save dog with immune mediated haemolytic anaemia - Veterinary Practice
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Blood transfusion helps save dog with immune mediated haemolytic anaemia

A grateful dog owner has thanked a Yorkshire veterinary centre and national animal charity for saving the life of her precious pet with immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA)

Emma Harrison’s Border Terrier Tilly was struck down by a life-threatening attack of immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA), where a dog’s body destroys its own red blood cells.

Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia is often a death sentence, but ten days of intensive care at award-winning Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, and a blood transfusion, courtesy of charity Pet Blood Bank UK, earned 10-year-old Tilly a reprieve.

A relieved Emma, from Huddersfield, said: “I honestly thought I was going to lose her because she was so very, very poorly. I was devastated. Tilly was so weak, lifeless and wouldn’t eat so I really thought it was the end.

“She was in intensive care at Paragon for ten days fighting for her life and I can’t thank them enough for bringing her through it all safely.”

Emma singled out Paragon’s internal medicine specialist Andrea Holmes, who led Tilly’s diagnosis and treatment, for particular praise. Emma added: “This was a really complicated case as Tilly already had other health issues and didn’t present with classic IMHA symptoms but Andrea was fantastic.

“She carried out lots of tests to confirm it was IMHA and promptly arranged for Tilly to have a blood transfusion, which I’m sure saved her life. She was in touch all the time during Tilly’s ten days in ICU and I had 100 percent confidence in Andrea throughout this whole traumatic episode. We couldn’t have better care than from Andrea and Paragon.

“It was still an uphill battle, though. When I visited Tilly after she’d been in ICU for five days, she was so ill she didn’t even wag her tail. It was awful. She was just lying there, being fed through a tube and looked to be going downhill very rapidly.

“When I got home, though, I got a call from Andrea, saying that Tilly had eaten a tiny bit of tuna and I was elated. A few days later Andrea called to say said I could even take Tilly home for the weekend to see how she coped. It was a wonderful weekend. Tilly did a lot of sleeping but gradually she started to pick up and it wasn’t long before she was home for good.”

Emma is now using Tilly’s troubles to highlight the work of Pet Blood Bank UK, the charity which provided the blood for her pet’s life-saving transfusion. She’s urging more owners of healthy dogs to consider registering them as blood donors which will help save the lives of other sick and injured dogs.

Emma said: “There is no doubt the blood transfusion she received on her first day in hospital saved her life, for which we will be forever grateful. That’s why the work of Pet Blood Bank UK is so important. Dogs like Tilly need other healthy dogs to donate blood so it’s always there in an emergency like this.

“So please, if your dog is aged between one and eight, over 25kg in weight and fit and healthy, they could donate blood themselves and become a lifesaver too.”

Pet Blood Bank runs donation sessions across the UK. All would-be donors receive a full health check from a vet before donating approximately 450ml of blood. Every donation a dog gives can help to save the lives of up to four other dogs.

For more information on Paragon Veterinary Referrals, visit their website, and for more information about Pet Blood Bank visit their website.

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