IMT in dogs is a canine epidemic. My dog survived an autoimmune disease called IMT (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia). I learned as much as I could about IMT, and I decided to journal my dog’s journey with this life-threatening disease. It is my hope that you will find comfort, information, and learn from our experience.
Don’t let anyone tell you IMT in dogs is a death sentence. Many dogs survive IMT, and we are one of the fortunate ones. In fact, some studies report nearly 90 percent of dogs survived IMT to discharge with 31 percent relapsing. My dog survived an autoimmune disorder because we acted fast, and his care was in the hands of a skilled internal medicine veterinarian and his team.
This blog post outlines my Cocker Spaniel’s battle with IMT day by day during hospitalization and on discharge. If you want the TL;DR version: He beat IMT and has not had a relapse in four years’ time. What follows is our dog’s comprehensive journey with IMT.
I’ll share other links to posts I’ve written on the topic. Our story has been documented in Dogster magazine and AKC Family Dog magazine. My first piece of advice: don’t panic. Learn all you can about this disease and help your dog fight it with every fiber of his being.
IMT in Dogs: My Cocker Spaniel’s Battle With Autoimmune Disease
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day One
Saturday, October 7th, 2017
My dog is living a natural, more organic, less chemical life. He consumes a healthy diet, gets titer tested for vaccines, and he never gets any sort of chemical put onto his coat or skin.
On Saturday, October 7th, my wife and I packed up the car and headed out of town for a day of fun on the beach with the dog in New Jersey. Dexter p[ayed, ran, displayed tons of energy, ate snacks, and there were no signs of any problems.
Later that night, around 11:30 pm, I performed a flea and tick check on Dexter. I noticed he had some lumpy-looking reddish marks on his inner ear flap. I immediately checked his gums. They were normal in color and capillary refill time was good. However, he had some bleeding along the gum line, and in particular between two teeth on the right side rear portion of his mouth. I noticed splotchy red marks on the inside of his upper lip flaps, too.
My spouse and I rushed our dog to the emergency vet/hospital located about 10 minutes from our house.
He looked like this when we rushed him to the vet:
Panic and Autoimmune Disease Diagnosis
We met with the emergency vet on call and went through the gamut: Discussions, tests, and more. Dexter had a platelet count of zero. Yes, zero. None. His own body’s immune system attacked platelets as if they were a threat and thus, he was starting to bleed. The tentative diagnosis of IMT was made.
They did a chest x-ray and abdominal x-rays. Both normal. They do not do transfusions. We were told he would need to be hospitalized for 3 to 10 days and will be getting steroids and a chemotherapy drug to boost his platelets, among other things.
This came out of nowhere. All his other levels are fine. When I sat down to write this, Dexter was not anemic. When a dog is anemic in this situation, a diagnosis of IMHA (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia) is made. When IMT and IMHA are both present, the diagnosis of Evans Syndrome is made.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Two: Morning Update
Sunday, October 8. 2017
We are told Dexter cannot be discharged until his platelets stabilize. They generally check platelets when they first see the dog and then not again for 48 to 72 hours.
We are told the reason for this testing pattern is because whether the platelets read zero or 7,000, low is low. A dog’s platelets should be in the 40,000 and up range and eventually over 200,000. Just as a side note, Dexter’s platelets at the end of June of this year were 459,000. They went to zero platelets that fast.
Dexter’s red blood cells are good and so far, with no signs of anemia. They are picking him for a small blood amount for in-house smears. I checked his gums while there and they looked good, but yes, they are bleeding. We are told that is to be expected. We are in the early stages of IMT.
No rectal or urinary blood. We were allowed to visit him twice today.
Dexter ate his food and some treats for me, wagged his tail, peed and pooped for us outside, and then we snuggled together on the exam room floor. I curled up with him and sobbed until my eyes felt like they may fall out, for an hour at least. I couldn’t help it. He had no idea. He fell asleep, and he definitely is feeling the effects of what they are giving him.
The vet explained her concerns and that Dexter requires close monitoring these next three to four days, which she calls critical. We have to be certain that there is no bleed into his brain or heart. He remains hospitalized where he belongs, given his condition.
He is receiving IV fluids, injectable prednisone, got one vincristine injection, doxycycline in case the IMT is tick-related. At this point, they don’t think it is. He receives Baytril for infection, melatonin, and Tresaderm for an ear infection.
The vet did a quick standing-up abdominal ultrasound of him today and that was normal. The more in-depth one will take place Tuesday with the internist. They are checking for internal bleeding. His vitals were normal.
They see at least one diagnosis a day of this dreaded disease. The internist is well versed in this. If we feel good about that, we will keep his care for this disease at that vet and then our regular vet for everything else. (spoiler alert: we are pleased with his care).
At some point, if none of this works, he can be transferred to a vet hospital for immunoglobulin infusions – but we do this first and see what helps.
This will need to be treated aggressively and with frequent blood work, so I prefer this hospital that is within 10 minutes of our home. They do both emergencies and hospital care plus have specialists on staff.
The vet also said she sees dogs come in with this diagnosis and they are so much sicker outwardly, but Dexter is still guarded.
Nothing unusual precipitated this crisis. Dexter had no recent vaccinations, nothing unusual, and chest x-ray and abdominal x-ray are normal. All of his bloodwork is normal except he had zero platelets. No tick-borne diseases based on SNAP 4DX Plus testing in the hospital. He’s been bright, alert, and responsive, has an appetite, and drinks water freely.
IMT Medications as of Day Two
- Tresaderm for ear infection
- Dexamethasone injectable steroid once daily
- Doxycycline in case tick mediated disease, but everything coming back negative on that end
- Melatonin: Something to do with helping boost platelets
- Omeprazole: Gastric care
- Vincristine: One time shot
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Two: Afternoon Update
Dexter’s vitals are stable. His red cell count is stable. He can’t come home until his platelets are stable. Normal low-end is 200,000. They want him to have at least 40,000 before he is “out of the woods.”
As of this morning, he has a grand total of four (yes, only 4) platelets on his smear. It can take three to seven days before the effects of the medications they are giving him take effect.
There is so much that has happened in the course of 48 hours, that words fail me. Me, of all people: Failed by words. I have decided to arm myself with as much information as humanly possible and stop listening to the negativity and sad/bad stories.
Every dog is different. Every treatment plan is different. This is the one thing I have learned. I am really feeling like millions of shards of broken glass. We got permission to see Dex at noon today and feed him. He will be in the hospital for at least a week, maybe more. Let’s pray he shows improvement sooner and we can bring him home to recover once platelets are stable.
Of note, Dexter’s poop was black. We are told it is not internal bleeding, but rather, the blood he is swallowing from the gums bleeding. He has no internal bleeding and his urinary system is fine. Small victories. I’ll take each one.
Why Isn’t My Dog With IMT Getting a Blood Transfusion?
Our friends and loved ones keep asking the same question: Why is Dexter not receiving platelets? I wondered the same thing: Why isn’t my dog receiving a blood transfusion?!
I found this nugget on a reputable veterinary website called dvm360:
“Most dogs with primary ITP usually present with peripheral platelet counts less than 20,000, and often less than 10,000. Although these dogs are theoretically at risk for spontaneous bleeding, in truth this is rarely noted.
As mentioned above, petechiae or ecchymoses or epistaxis are not uncommon, but bleeding into the lungs, pleural space, or CNS (central nervous system) is very rare without concurrent trauma.
Routine transfusion of ITP dogs with ultralow platelet counts is not recommended for several reasons. First, the amount of blood that would be required to increase a patient’s peripheral platelet count is huge and unrealistic.
Second, transfused platelets are likely destroyed more rapidly than the patient’s own cells because, in addition to being targeted by the anti-platelet antibodies causing the ITP, they are also inherently more antigenic (we do not cross-match for platelet compatibility).
Finally, platelets have a relatively short half-life, and repeated transfusions would be necessary to maintain the peripheral platelet count above 20,000. Despite these limitations, transfusions are definitely indicated in those rare patients with ITP that present with or develop life-threatening hemorrhage. Whole blood or platelet-rich plasma is required in these cases.”
His care will remain local at the veterinary emergency and referral hospital unless he needs to be transferred elsewhere and/or if we feel his care is compromised or they aren’t able to best serve his needs. We have access to Philadelphia, New York, etc but they are several hours from us. I’d really like a local internal medicine vet to provide care, direction, med adjustments, and the frequent blood draws we faced once Dex is discharged. I will know more by Tuesday evening to that end.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Three
Monday, October 9, 2017
Specialized tick-borne disease testing was sent out (blood) and that will be back in a week. The in-house tick-borne disease testing was negative. More waiting.
Dexter’s platelets have not changed, still a total of 4. His red blood cells are low normal at around 35 (41 on admit) but he is not destroying red blood cells: He is on IV and the red cell slight drop is probably from loss and not destruction. So that’s good news.
The vet called his gums “rosy pink.” The petechiae (splotches) are still there but not as prominent. I did not see heavy bleeding in or on his gums.
They are testing his blood on a smear twice a day, but they may do a full draw tomorrow with the IDEXX machine in-house.
He will see an internal medicine specialist at some point tomorrow, Tuesday, whose protocol for treatment that Dex is on was designed specifically for dogs like Dexter with IMT.
No transfusions yet of anything but time will tell. Again, it takes 3-7 days to see any sort of platelet increase. My mind is racing, my prayers are many, and our friends support us emotionally.
His vitals are good. Dexter’s regular vet said this is a great protocol, stay with it, and he manages a lot of patients with ITP. We plan to go back tonight at 9 PM to visit.
So things are steady, and the one thing the vet said today is she is surprised that he does not have petechiae on his abdomen or on his skin elsewhere. The fact he doesn’t is good.
Our vet said acting fast saved Dexter’s life. The internal medicine vet agrees. Here is a photo from today’s visit and the critical care vet talking to us while Dex just chills. He is disoriented a bit and I know he wants out. He has to get these platelets up.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Four: Morning Update
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The hospital called and I talked to a vet tech. The internist wants to see me at 11:30 to go over everything. She says Dex is stable but that the doctor would talk to me in person. She wouldn’t answer any questions and I understand. So yes, my heart is in my throat. In the meantime….
I have a theory. Cockers have long floppy ears and are notorious for ear infections. Dex only had one ear infection in his entire life.
So Dex had this junky stuff for weeks in his ear. I worried about a brewing ear infection. Dexter’s e his right ear canal is super narrow, and the vet told us that and recommended curettage to open the canal more at some point. Dex always gets things on the right side of his body it seems. I digress.
In any case, I was flushing his ears with a veterinarian-prescribed cleansing solution twice a week for weeks.
The vet looked in Dexter’s ear on September 22 and said it was waxy but saw no signs of infection. At that time, he didn’t examine the wax under a microscope to specifically see if there were any bacteria or yeast.
Fast forward to Saturday morning, October 7th. I looked at Dexter’s ear before we left for the beach and it looked disgusting, so I started him on an ear antibiotic. I now believe that was dried blood and wax coming out. It was gross. I was going to call his vet Monday.
I felt comfortable at the time because I had an ear antibiotic to use. I thought the red bumps on I saw on his ear flap that morning were bug bites or infection-related. It was petechiae I have since learned from IMT.
I wrote to the famed veterinarian, Dr. Jean Dodds, and paid $150 for an email consultation. She got back to me today. She gave me some recommendations I will discuss with the internist today but also said that stress or infection can cause IMT in dogs. So I went looking for more on that note. A bell went off. This bell may mean nothing, but it’s the first bell that went off since this nightmare began.
Again, remember one cause of IMT is a bacterial infection. This is what petMD says on that topic, “Otitis media refers to an inflammation of the dog’s middle ear, while otitis interna refers to an inflammation of the inner ear, both of which are commonly caused by BACTERIAL infection.”
Now, are any bells going off? Was this brewing from the ear infection? And yes, Dex is on Tresaderm for ear infection and I think they are doing in both ears, even though one is only affected, and he is on oral antibiotics.
This could be something or nothing, I don’t know. But I know that he had this before the beach now.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Four: Afternoon Update
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
I met with the internal medicine doctor at the veterinary hospital today. They brought Dexter to be with me, I fed him, walked him, and then we hung out together for a while before the internist came in. Let’s have a drumroll because….
Platelets today are 98,000 and his platelet count is on the way up. They were zero on intake. 98,000!!!!!!!!!!!!! See my jumping up and down?!
This second and complete abdominal ultrasound today was normal. I fed him and he drank a lot of water, a known side effect of steroids. He is on an IV fluids line. He peed and pooped, and this time the poop was a nice brown color. Hallelujah.
The internist had me review what brought Dexter to this point.
The doctor says Dexter responded very quickly. Many dogs don’t, and he said we are very lucky. He has had dogs in the hospital for 2 weeks and 8 blood transfusions in-house, not a Cocker. He treats a lot of dogs for this. He said this could be way worse.
In most cases, dogs present because a groomer or pet parent sees a change. Those changes include bruising, bloody nose or ears, bloody gums, or bloody diarrhea because the dog is bleeding from his intestinal tract. Basically, anywhere the body can bleed from minimal trauma is where they are going to start bruising.
Belly, ears, gums most likely parts to bleed. Dex had bleeding from the ear and gums.
What causes it? Most of the time we never find out.
Anything can do it, including an ear infection.
Anything that stimulates a dog’s immune system can cause this. Even stress. We eventually do find out, so stay tuned.
The typical culprits are tick-borne diseases, so the vet added more things on the blood panel which was sent to an outside lab. He said IMT can be caused by any number of things, including a urinary tract infection, antibiotics such as sulfa drugs, and even vaccines.
Dogs can respond rapidly, which so far Dexter has done. Vincristine is the chemo drug and Dex had one shot of that. Some dogs he has seen have had to get two doses.
Steroids: Doxycycline and other immunosuppressants depending on how the dog responds.
He has responded better than most dogs. That is a direct quote and my favorite quote of the day!
The last dog he saw for this became anemic he bled so much. Would not stop. Another dog required lots of transfusions – he was bleeding into the intestinal tract. Dexter had no outward signs but that.
Dexter’s blood panel: On the 8th all was good, the alk phos was a little high but that was up since he was two years old. Vet says that’s weird but maybe a liver biopsy down the road to know what’s that about if we want. (Spoiler alert: We never had a biopsy and everything remained fine with that level).
He asked me what meds Dex was on at the time, including supplements. He advised me to stop giving Dex all those meds and supplements. They could be a culprit! Unlikely but possible. At this point, my head is spinning but I remain hopeful. He says to try another drug, so another form of glucosamine, for example.
Heartworm preventative – don’t use that one again. Try another one. Don’t give anything. It’s unlikely but it’s possible. No fish oil. Stop anything for now.
Most of the time we will never know what caused this.
We can treat this and it can come back, it can happen again. He teated one dog who had an IMT flare-up every time he got a urinary tract infection. His platelets would go down every time. I will be finding out about things like immune strengtheners and milk thistle. But I can’t add anything in that could make his tender immune system tank again.
He says this is like when we get the flu vaccine…it stimulates the immune system and you may get a fever. The vaccine stimulates the immune system and the immune system does things it is not supposed to do. Other pathways get stimulated and they start doing things like killing the platelets or kill red blood cells.
If cancer were causing this, usually the dog is very sick. Dex is not and has no evidence of cancer on scans and xrays (bone marrow cancer, leukemia); it’s rare he finds cancer.
He looked up Dexter’s blood panels to date: He has responded quickly and he doesn’t see that happening dogs very often. Not that fast. Dexter is a warrior!
His red blood cells are a little low and that is okay. His white cell count is high and that is because his body is responding to the low platelets and saying “hey I have no platelets, the bone marrow needs to be active” so they start shooting out white cells at the same time.
His red cell count is 29.9, and when Dex came in it was 47. It has come down quite a bit. He says when dogs have the immune-mediated disease to one cell line, it can also go to the other.
He says IMHA can happen. I told him I don’t want to hear it. I really did say that.
He says IMHA has a similar treatment and can’t really separate it sometimes. He says Dex has not bled enough through his gums for his red blood cells to have gone so low. So it could be IMHA. He would not be surprised. It will be watched. He is just seeing Dex for the first time today so he said we will monitor this. So now, the platelets need to keep rising and the red blood cells need to stay steady and not drop!
For IMHA, if that is what it ends up as, and with IMT that is called Evans syndrome. We aren’t going there yet. You give vitamins, iron, and a couple of other things. He would handle it. Right now he is adding B12 and folic acid to Dexter’s regimen.
He has to be on steroids and if he becomes too anemic, they have to transfuse him and he is not at that point.
The meds are making him tired and they are watching his red cell count close. He is sending out a blood smear to a lab so they can look under a microscope and he will look to see if evidence of IMHA is there.
In terms of discharge, if his platelets keeping rising and he wants his red cell count to be stable and not dropping. If he gets to 15, they are going to transfuse him with whole blood.
When the critical care doctor saw Dex over the weekend and Monday, she felt the red cell count was dropping from loss and not from destruction, so I am hanging onto that.
The internist will be in the rest of the week every day and will see Dexter. I will go back tonight at around 9 pm to feed him and see him.
Oh and while there, he had a sneezing fit. He sneezed like 20 times. Not sure what that was about.
I firmly believe the power of prayer and love is working. Whatever this is, we have to manage it. He said it will be a roller coaster, he can end up with more episodes and anything can trigger it. We have to be diligent and have blood draws and watch him. We shall.
In all honestly, it is you, the ones who care and are praying and sending love who are watching him. Thank you a million times over.
Oh and on the way out, I stopped at the reception area to tell them I’d be back later. The gal says to me, “I see Sexy Dexy is back.” I started laughing; she loved him and remembered him from the ACL leg surgeries performed at the same hospital years earlier. She shared that this is a roller coaster of a disease but can be handled. I needed that.
And Then This News Comes Crashing Down
I received a note from Dr. Laurie Coger who asked, “Is he autoagglutinating?”
You can see the red cells clumping together, she explained, with the naked eye. Here’s a pic of a slide agglutination test — see how the red cells look grainy and clumped:
Dr. Coger says treatment is very similar for both IMHA and IMT. She suspects the drop in Dexter’s red blood count is fluids and some blood loss. Plus, he’s shifted to making platelets and WBC — his body can only churn out so many. The pathologist’s review of the slides will be a good way to see what cells he’s making.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Four: Afternoon Update
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Dexter is discharged today.
His platelets at 6 am came in at 197,000! He was at zero on admission. We spoke with the Internist on discharge today. He said that Dexter was doing great. He was sent home with multiple medications.
One of them is melatonin, a nutriceutical, and he will keep him on it for a long time, even after this crisis has passed down the road. It helps platelet production. He is also taking the steroid, prednisolone; doxycycline, an antibiotic; and Baytril, an antibiotic in case he has something called Bartonella, for which the blood test is pending.
He is taking omeprazole, which acts to coat the stomach while Dex is on steroids. He is also sent home on Liqui-Tinic, which is a vitamin and iron supplement for mild anemia. His red cell count is in the low 30s, which is fine.
At some point, he had some blood (melena) in his stool while there. The steroid will make him eat, drink, and pant more. Not all dogs experience the symptoms, but many do. He can be lethargic from it.
Activity-wise, he is not allowed long walks or anything extreme for a while. He expects things to continue to improve. Back to his regular diet. He will be seen again on Friday the 13th (my favorite day and lucky number) with a CBC check, too.
Dexter came in with an ear infection and is going home on Tresaderm, which was used in the hospital.
I can continue teeth brushing. If he bleeds, I need to alert the internist. The diagnosis of IMT is confirmed.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Four: Evening Update
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Dexter is home, where he belongs. He rested, buried his bone, ate a bit, is now having a treat. We have to give him a bunch of meds and my spouse made a chart. Our internist visit is Friday morning for a blood draw.
Dexter was discharged with platelets of around 197,000. Mild anemia but not IMHA. He has IMT. We found out he started bleeding internally on day two but we had him in the hospital so meds caught that. His poop was black. Thank Dog and God we got him to the hospital when we did.
I’m encouraging all of you to know what is normal in your dog, look now. Take photos. Pink gums. Earflaps. Eyes. Then if abnormal happens, you act. Know that any change in urine or bowel movements Should be checked. Don’t wait. Moments matter. Don’t judge someone else’s dog’s illness with your own dog’s issues. Every dog and every treatment plan is different. Trust your gut. Don’t wait. I share to help others and so you feel better prepared as a pet parent and questions to ask, things to watch for.
Log them into a journal like the Dogminder I created. It’s under $10 bucks on Amazon.
On another note, today is the day our first Cocker Spaniel, Brandy Noel, left this earth and crossed over the rainbow bridge on October 11, 2008. I do not think this is a coincidence And I truly feel she watched over her brother.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Five
Thursday, October 11, 2017
Dexter is holding steady, had a good night, and has a long road ahead, but day by day. He sees the internal medicine specialist tomorrow.
We are waiting for some special blood tests to come back, too. Dex has bad gas and is not too thrilled to eat so I tried to put some plain cooked turkey atop his food. It worked! He ate lunch and then a treat. His tracheal scarring cough has flared big time. I will talk to the internist about that tomorrow. I was up six times last night – just bolted up out of bed to check him and his gums, etc. He is on nine meds and several things a day.
Results of IMT Consultation: Dr. Jean Dodds
For a fee, Dr. Dodds would do an email consultation. I wrote to ask her a ton of things about IMT. She is the founder of Hemopet and one of the best veterinarians in the world for me and millions of others. I am excerpting a few items of interest in her reply to me:
Question: Any thoughts on reasons for ITP?
Answer: Does he have bad gingivitis or dental disease? One of the most common causes of ITP is bacterial gingivitis and tartar – as platelets end up being mopped up as so-called “innocent bystanders” in the bacteria + cell-based immune response. Recent stress? Any physical, physiological, or emotional stress event can trigger an episode of ITP in genetically susceptible animals or breeds. Is he a parti-color or buff?
Question: What is a typical post-emergency protocol to treat this?
Answer: She gave me an extensive answer, agreed with the protocol, but she insists the vet runs a complete thyroid antibody profile. As a Cocker, she wants to be sure he doesn’t have underlying autoimmune thyroiditis or familial hypothyroidism.
Note: Dexter can’t have this tested right away because he is on steroids and that would affect the test results.
There is much more, but I highly recommend you look up Dr. Dodds for email consultation. She is located in California.
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia: Day Six
Friday, October 13, 2017
Dexter saw the Internal Medicine veterinarian today who is handling his case. More blood tests came back and we are waiting on a few more. He also had a blood draw today. Here is where things stand:
The diagnosis is definitely IMT: Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia with mild anemia. He does NOT have IMHA. YAY! His platelets today are 539,000!!!!! (He was at zero six days ago, friends.)
A blood panel came back from an outside lab, testing for specific tick-borne levels in his blood.
While his in-office SNAP 4Dx Plus Test that screens for six vector-borne diseases came back negative, he had outside lab serology studies. POSITIVE for A. phagocytophilum (E. equi). WHATTTTT?!
“Anaplasmosis in dogs is caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It used to be known as Ehrlichia equi and Ehrlichia phagocytophilia. The more complete name for the disease is “canine granulocytic anaplasmosis.” It commonly affects the platelets in the blood, which are small cellular components found in the blood which help clots to form. Anaplasmosis causes thrombocytopenia, which is a lower than a normal number of platelets in the blood.”
Dexter has immune-mediated thrombocytopenia which is likely tick-borne. A tick caused ALL of this! Thankfully, Dexter is being treated with doxycycline that was started last week in the hospital on admission. The vet says it can rear its ugly head after sitting in the bone marrow.
Today Dexter also received an injection of Imizol and will get another in two to four weeks to treat this. The only way to know if a tick caused Dexter’s IMT is to re-infect the dog, and no, that is not happening. The internist explained that would be the only way to be absolutely certain of the cause.
Other things could be contributing to this, even his ear infection that he had on admission to the hospital. That is only the second ear infection he ever had in his life.
The Internist tells me that they see IMT rear its ugly head with the change of seasons and have no idea why.
Of all the cases the Internist sees at a very busy veterinary hospital in one week, half of his patients are diagnosed MT or IMHA or both. Paying attention to your dog’s normal so that you can act on abnormal is crucial.
Nothing you can do to prevent it but just be an aware pet parent. Trust me, we are aware.
Dex lost one pound over the past week, which is okay.
I will continue to use what we use on Dexter from a flea and tick perspective, as there is nothing that is 100% preventative. I will screen him more closely with a flea and tick comb. I will not use toxic chemicals, as they harmed our last Cocker Spaniel. Extra due diligence will be our course of action.
Dexter has a cough and that is from tracheal scarring from his previous episode of kennel cough. When he pulls, gets excited, or drinks too fast it flares up. We will address that down the road.
He will be on steroids for months and slowly wean down. Plus a ton of other meds. My credit card is on fire, but he is well. We have vet insurance but I’d work 10 jobs for the dog if I had to. He goes back in a week for a blood draw and recheck, pending any unforeseen circumstances.
How My Dog Beat IMT
On Friday, October 13, I went live on Facebook with Dexter. Here’s what you need to know and how to watch for this and any other diseases in your dog: (click the video to watch and learn more)
My Dog’s Battle With IMT: Years Later Update
It’s been nearly four years since our dog was admitted to the hospital and nearly died from IMT. He is thriving and surviving and has not had a relapse. Here are several articles I’ve written that I highly recommend you read. We made some changes to his lifestyle and more.
One thing I highly recommend is to get your dog to a vet asap if there are any sudden changes like this. While I adore my dog’s veterinarian, I recommend your dog with IMT is seen and treated by a qualified internal medicine veterinarian. An experienced internist sees these cases all the time and knows what to do. He or she can consult with your dog’s regular vet.
If you don’t have a qualified veterinary internist in your area, drive to a veterinary university hospital and seek one out. It’s that important.
Finally, my dog’s littermate, Ricky, was diagnosed with IMHA several years later. He is a survivor and his mom still battles some related issues years later. He is alive. My dog’s nephew, Sonny, battled IMT as well. He was rushed to the same hospital and saw the same internist. He’s alive today as well.
Helpful Links About IMT In Dogs
Help for IMT: Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia in Dogs: The best post to read if you need more information about IMT in general.
Journey of a Dog with IMT: Four Years Later: Read to learn what we’ve done, how Dexter fared over the years, and get the most recent update.