Sophie-dog's red blood count is down

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Our dog Sophie, an almost 8 year old cairn terrier, has been very lethargic, eating snow, and losing weight the past couple of weeks. And her hair looks funky, not full and fluffy like normal - it's tufted and strange looking, almost greasy. She's peeing and BM-ing okay, but despite upping her food intake, she is always ravenous.

    Today she went to the vet to get checked out. One look at Sophie's gums and our vet said she was severely anemic. After some initial bloodwork, the vet said that Sophie's red blood cell count should be between 30-35 and her's is only at 13, less than half normal. By all rights, the vet said Sophie should've collapsed by now and was amazed at her stamina (because she's barking, walking and eating). This is where the confusion comes in - she has an appetite.

    They took a lot of blood and made her drink water by putting treats in it. They gave her two handfulls of treats and she ate them and was looking for more. They also took two stool samples from her. They have checked preliminarily for certain parasites and those tests came back negative. They also checked for a parasite that is related to lymes and since she has had lymes, they figured it was worth a shot.

    The final blood work will determine whether or not her body is battling something that is preventing her bone marrow from producing normal red blood cells or if it's not making it at all, which leaves us on the edge of our seat. If her body is not making it at all, they can try a few things, but basically, it means she likely has cancer and will decline rapidly. The vet said rapidly only because her symptoms to date came on so fast. on the other hand, if there is something attacking her bone marrow, they can try various antibiotics and steroids.

    The vet said we have to keep a close eye on her because she could collapse and we'd need to take her to the animal ER for a blood transfusion. We also have to feed her beef and poultry livers, as well as her normal vitamins and an iron supplement they gave me today.

    I cannot even tell you how astounded I am - easy child was with me and we were both dumbfounded by this news. Sophie is the dog who is all puppy - even at 8 years old; she's playful, full of energy, teases and barks at everything. She runs off, comes back, does giant donut rounds in the yard, burrows through the snow and is polite when you give her a treat. Never bites. And loves to snuggle. She is also kinda sort difficult child's dog.

    I am keeping a positive thought that this is something Sophie can overcome. Please throw up a prayer, if you will, for I do not want to lose Sophie and I especially do not want difficult child to lose Sophie. She's the blonde one in my avatar.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Prayers that Sophie will be okay.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    Ah Jo, I'm sorry to hear about Sophie. I hope the bloodwork shows that it's something else, treatable. Thinking of you, ML
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm sorry. It's crushing when our pets are sick- especially if we don't even know why. I hope this gets turned around soon.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ah Jo i'm so sorry. I hope Sophie will be ok. Pets to me are like family, i've had to part with alot of them in my time and it always hurts.

    I'm sending good thoughts that she'll be ok. Hopefully they can just add some supplements maybe to help battle what shes' going through. 8's still young for a dog also!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I found the eating of snow interesting - it's a sign of anaemia. I have hadd this myself when badly anaemic when pregnant with difficult child 3 - I craved ice. In fact, I often craved ice during pregnancy and yes, I was often anaemic during pregnancy.

    I've seen this featured in various medical soaps too, a patient who craves ice in various forms but turns out to be anaemic. Of course, when anaemic you can crave other less socailly acceptable things; I remember being told about a mail-order business for dirt which was set up back in the bad old days of hookworm infestations being common.

    No worms in this case - but there can be other causes. here's hoping a curable cause is found.

  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Saying lots of prayers for your Sophie. Please keep us updated.
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    well, I talked to Chloe and Kenzie, and they both want me to let you know they are saying doggie prayers.

    I am sorry Sophie is not feeling well. I'll keep her in my prayers too.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sending up prayers for Sophie. I hope they find the cause of her anemia and that it's treatable.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks everyone. Last night and today were very bad for Sophie. She power puked all over the couch last night, around bedtime - what a nightmare. She she just looked horrible. Later she went out and FINALLY went to the bathroom! We made a real comfy bed in the kitchen and gated her in there for the night after cleaning her (and my house) up. In the morning, I discovered that she peed all over the back door rug (I bought a new one) and when I returned from the store, she had puked again all over the kitchen. So it's been a cleaning blitz over here at my house. Nothing like a power puking, pooping and peeing dog to get a house clean! And I've aired out the house 3 times in one day, plus I'm burning scented candles constantly. I don't want to spray any air freshener - afraid it will make her sick again.

    I checked the other dogs and they are fine. We will hopefully find out what's up with Sophie-dog tomorrow.

    Marg, I had no idea. And when I kept mentioning the odd way in which she seemed to crave the snow, the vet shrugged her shoulders. Wow - that is interesting. I looked it up and found nothing on line; I wish I had so I could show it to the vet. Thanks for sharing that with me. I will pass it along.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry Sophie is so sick. Saying healing prayers for Sophie.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Sending healing vibes for Sophie. Keep us posted.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Cravings for eating unusual things - it's called pica.

    It's just a beginning, hopefully it can get you started.

    I learned about it at uni when studying Parasitology. We did a couple of lectures alone just on hookworm infestation in the southern states of the USA in the late 19C/early 20C.

  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The results are in:

    Her hematocrit is at 12. It should be between 36-60.

    Her liver enzymes are elevated.

    The vet said she could either have an Immune mediated event going on which means her red blood cells are being attacked OR she could have bone marrow degenerative something gonig on.

    I have to bring her in to have a bone marrow extraction so they can test it. I don't know why they just didn't do this the other day.

    The vet suggested giving her a blood transfusion because 'she's about to crash', as he called it.

    Her iron levels are fine - they do not think it's an iron deficiency or diet thing so at least I can stop giving her the iron which makes her puke all over the place.

    I don't know what I'm going to do - I have no money for this. I'm freaking out because I want to do everything we can, but I don't know how we will do it.

    So, I guess, all in all, this isn't really a big update because we still don't know what is going on with our girl.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It is so dang hard to deal with these issues when a beloved pet is sick. We once had a cat that developed a bone cancer on his lower jaw. He was a relatively young cat, about 7 years if I remember right. After much debate, I opted to go for the $1,500 surgery because the vet said the cat would likely go on to live a long life (just on a very soft diet!) because the cancer was limited to the jaw bone. It was a huge expense, but I did not regret it. (The only downside was that two weeks after the surgery, he got out and was snatched by a coyote.)

    I hope there's something reasonable they can do for Sophie that doesn't put you in the poorhouse.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Will your vet let you make monthly payments on the bill? That might make treatment decisions easier on you.

    Glad no more iron. Poor puppy!! And poor you. been there done that and you're right, nothing gets a house cleaner, but what a way to have to do it. YUK ugh

    Still praying for Sophie. Molly and Betsy send her puppy dog hugs and get well wishes.

  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Oh Jo -

    I just read this post and I'm in tears.....

    Can you get your vet to set you up with monthly payments or could you get a line of credit from the bank that you pay back each month to help her?

    please keep us updated on Sophie.....

    (has a soft spot for Terriers ya know)

    My boys and Pootie all send your baby their best wishes and folded little furry paw prayers.

  18. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Jo, I'm so sorry. It's so hard to watch our furbabies suffer.

    He probably didn't do the bone marrow extraction earlier because it's rather painful procedure and he didn't want to put her through it unless absolutely necessary.

    Continuing to send healing vibes.
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I just read this as well and was hoping to read some answers towards the bottom.
    It has to be the hardest waiting for the answers. I know I hate it! Please keep us posted on your girl, she is so beautiful.
    With her spirit I bet she will fight what ever this is.
    Hang in there, sounds like you are treating her like the little princess that she is.
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Our brave little Sophie-girl is at the vet now. They are going to sedate her, scrape out some bone marrow and give her a transfusion this afternoon. They said she can come home tonight because it's best if she is with family who can watch her round the clock rather than sitting alone in their kennel. True. I'd rather have her home. I may even sleep in the kitchen with her tonight.

    The cost for all this testing is at $800. So, on Saturday I paid $350 and now $800. That does not include any treatment whatsoever.

    If the tests come back it's cancer, the vet said, and I quote, "Then we're screwed because there is no viable treatment that will improve her life - chemo will only make it worse and likely get her before the cancer could". If the tests come back that it's her own immune system killing the red blood cells then it can be treated with daily medications - and he said LOTS of them initially, for say 2 years, then they may be able to taper her off them or to a relatively low dose.

    I am sick about this. Her being sick and having to go through all this testing and the idea of the cost. I am tapping into the measly bit of money I had in my savings that was supposed to go towards our kitchen this summer. Oh well. H was sad and concerned as well, but when we got outside the hospital, he started listing off for me his expenses...and I just knew that it would be up to me. Again. All the extras always are. I know he is under the gun financially, as his business has basically been dead in the water this winter. It really does stink all around, mostly for Sophie.

    Anyway, I'm going to try and not dwell on the financial aspect of this and just pray for Sophie's best outcome.

    Thanks for the support, as always.