Jubbly is a very bouncy, loving three year old collie who presented to us back in June in a state of collapse. He was very lethargic and had not eaten for a period of time. His owner had also witnessed him having some kind of seizure at home.
Jubbly’s gums were very pale and a blood test confirmed that Jubbly was severely anaemic. Further blood tests revealed that his anaemia was a direct consequence of his own white blood cells destroying his red blood cells. This is called Immune Mediated haemolytic anaemia and can happen as a result of some cancers but in Jubbly’s case there was no obvious cause for the disease.
A normal red blood cell percentage is between 37-55% depending on hydration status. Jubbly’s red blood cell percentage when he presented to us was 14%. We started using immunosuppressant drugs to try and stop the white blood cells from destroying any more red blood cells, however, over the next 24 hrs it became clear that Jubbly was getting worse and needed a blood transfusion. Jubbly’s blood transfusion was only possible because of the selfless act of one of our donor dogs giving nearly a pint of blood to Jubbly. The blood transfusion could not cure Jubbly but would buy him more time for the immunosuppressive drugs to start working and reversing the damage that had been done already. Jubbly was very slow to respond to any of the drugs he had been given and his owners elected to take him home over the weekend in the knowledge that there was nothing further we could do for him apart from give him the drugs he needed and wait for him to respond.
It was with great relief that when we saw Jubbly again on Monday he seemed to have got no worse. His red blood cell percentage had improved ever so slightly and he appeared to be responding to the drugs. Jubbly has continued to improve over the last 4-5 months one step at a time. It has not been easy and his continued improvement is a great testament to the dedication of his owners bringing him in for weekly checks on his red blood cell levels and putting up with the side effects of the medication.
Jubbly is now 100% better and is off all his meds. He is back to being the bouncy, happy dog he was before his illness and we are all so pleased for him and his owners.