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New Hope for Anemic Dogs

Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is a rare but frequently fatal blood disorder affecting mainly middle-aged female dogs.
Morris Animal Foundation, Animal News, Volume 5 Number 4

Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is a rare but frequently fatal blood disorder affecting mainly middle-aged female dogs. With IMHA, a dog's body produces antibodies that attack its own red blood cells, which leads to red blood-cell destruction and anemia. As anemia develops, the dog's gums become pale, and the whites of the eyes may become yellow with jaundice. IMHA often develops suddenly, makes the dog extremely weak and lethargic, and may, in some cases, lead rapidly to death. "We lose half our patients within their first week of diagnosis," says Dr. Steven Dow, a Morris Animal Foundation-funded scientist. Standard treatment consists of high doses of steroids that need a few weeks to take effect, creating a race against time. Dr. Dow's team at Colorado State University is testing a new drug called liposomal clodronate that temporarily stops the red blood-cell destruction in dogs with IMHA, which buys much-needed time for standard treatments to start working. The preliminary results of this study look promising, and Dr. Dow plans to submit a pre-proposal to the Foundation for funding a larger clinical trial to test the effects of the drug in more dogs with IMHA.

Co-sponsors: Meisha's Hope AlHA/lMHA Fund #338; Bull Terrier Welfare Foundation

YOU CAN HELP. To support studies that investigate IMHA, please go to www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org. On the online donation form, click Meisha's Hope AIHA/IMHA Fund #338

MorrisAnimalFoundation.org