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By Dr. Kate Gardner
Published: April 25, 2014

This month’s Champion of the Month is Ozzie Evans.

Ozzie is an 8.5 year old Shih Tzu that has been part of the Evans family for about 5 years and a member of our family at VCA University Vet Clinic since 2 days after he was adopted.

In January 2014, Mrs. Evans brought Ozzie in because his urine was very dark in color and appeared bloody. Ozzie also had a decreased appetite and just wasn’t acting like himself. Lab results showed evidence of hemolysis, or breaking of his red blood cells. Over the next 48 hours, Ozzie became increasingly depressed, very pale, and anemic. Ozzie developed blood in his stool and became dehydrated from the vomiting and diarrhea. He was hospitalized to receive IV fluids and treatment for his new symptoms. Meanwhile, lab results confirmed primary Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Despite treatments for his IMHA, vomiting, and diarrhea, Ozzie continued to get sicker during the first week of treatment.

Finally, on the 7th day, Ozzie’s red blood cells stopped breaking and his anemia started improving! He started eating, getting stronger, and his gums even started to regain their normal pink color. He has continued to do great since his big turn-around in early February. He is still on medications for IMHA, but we hope we can wean him off of them all by July. Some dogs with IMHA need to be on medications for years or even for life. We are very hopeful for Ozzie, our little CHAMPION!

For more information on IMHA or other topics relating to your pet’s health, please don’t hesitate to contact us.