Living through IMHA

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Just about another year! Nosey has food allergy to chicken

November 19th 2012 12:01 pm
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Nosey has been off prednisolone for over a year. She developed a severe food allergy to chicken and was scratching constantly. Since I removed all chicken by products and grain from her food selection, she's been extremely happy, running around and talking alot. So grateful to have such a happy, sweet kitty! Her hemocrit was 45 last checked, but has some minor residual enlargement of the heart. All in all, almost a complete recovery and a real happy survivor. Couldn't have wished for a better outcome.

 

Another year!

January 8th 2012 5:57 pm
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Nosey has been off the predinsolone for a few months and is doing well. She has some sort of an itchy skin condition now. She is down to 12.6 lbs, is happy and likes to play. She seems to be mostly back to normal and is talking and chirping at me all the time. So grateful she is still with us!

 

Nosey still going strong

February 26th 2011 8:30 pm
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Nosey is now fat from the prednisolone. She is on maintenance dose of 2.5 mg every other day. She appears healthy and has not had any relapse.

 

Hemocrit is 40!

November 6th 2010 1:41 pm
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Well, its been over year now and Nosey's hemocrit is 40. Her potassium is a a hair under normal and her albumin is a hair high. Doc says that this is most likey due to the prednisolone. She is currently on 1 5mg tablet one day and then skip a day and then 1 2.5 mg half tab, skip a day, then 5mg. I am trying to wean her down to 2.5 mg every other day.

Nosey has no indication of leukemia or other possible diseases related to the initial bone marrow biopsy results that indicated she had myleodysplasia. Please excuse any spelling errors. She is doing VERY WELL.

 

August 4th is one year anniversary of Nosey's survival

August 3rd 2010 7:01 pm
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Wow, I never thought Nosey would make it to a full year after her severe and sudden bout with anemia. She's still here!

 

Update

June 5th 2010 1:36 pm
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Nosey is still on 5mg prednisolone every other day and is stable. She's still chubby from the increase in appetite, but otherwise is acting perfectly healthy and happy.

Mouse had a big hairball last Saturday and was vomiting for 3 days. I had to take her in to get IV fluids. She had some tests done, but appears fine as well. She was given some anti-nausea meds, an appetite stimulant and clavamox. That kick started her recovery. Today she seems fine. Very happy to be home and won't leave my lap after two nights at the vet!

 

Nosey and Mouse won an essay contest!

May 10th 2010 12:02 pm
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Nosey and Mouse are proud to say they won an essay contest. The prize was $1000 donation to the animal shelter you adopted your pet at.

Nosey has been nothing but a wonderful addition to Mouse's life.
I am so happy that the small shelter I got her from will be able to benefit in some way with the donation.

In other events, Nosey is still doing okay. She has been active and playing. She has a few low energy days here and there, but mostly has been doing very, very well as far as I can tell. For now....

Although there is little research on the benefits of adding cranberry to a feline diet, she seems to really like the treats "Catberry", with cranberry. I noticed a big difference in mood since giving them to her. I do not know if she has some underlying issue with her urinary tract, but I began to give them to her because she seemed to be urinating more for a week or two and was less energetic. I notice a difference.

 

Note to Todd, who left comment

April 4th 2010 8:37 pm
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First, I am so sorry you are in a similar situation. I am really attached to Nosey, and can definitely understand the roller coaster you are on. I hope you can work with a good vet who will invest the time needed to treat this type of disease.

I have been told so far by the vet internist that we will probably never take Nosey off the prednisolone. She will always need a maintenance dose to help suppress her overactive immune system. Even though your kitty is having another bout, if you know that it is not related to chronic kidney failure, but is possibly due a mycoplasma infection (which never completely goes away) it is possible for her to recover again. She may need more than one blood transfusion before the prednisone kicks in, and may need cyclosporine or another medication. If she can be stabilized with blood transfusions, they can test to see if there is another underlying infection that is worsening her condition, and may be able to treat that.

In Nosey's situation, she had a liver infection in addition to the severe anemia. The first transfusion didn't keep, the second one didn't keep ( was started before she was treated for the liver infection), and the third one did keep, given a day after the liver infection was detected and antibiotics given.

They don't know everything about IMHA for people who have it, let alone cats, but it does seem the best hope is mild to moderate immune suppression with prednisone for the long term.

Nosey had a cold again due to her meds so she had to do another round of antibiotics. I constantly worry about her condition and watch for any signs of recurrence: trying to eat litter, soil or other things, tiredness, not "talking" as much, not eating well even for a day, hiding in the closet or weird places, excessive crying, or basically anything that is out of character for her.

Even after another bout of IMHA, your kitty can recover. The best hope is if it was caught early enough so she didn't develop more of the secondary effects of a severe anemia: enlarged heart, liver infection, hypoxia, or bone marrow damage.

Nosey's bone marrow aspirate and biopasy were terrible. They indicated possible myleodysplasia or myleproliferative disease. Either of those is basically a death sentence. However, lab tests are interpretations, and do not 100% reflect what is going on. Nosey is alive and well today, and its been 8 months.

So far, her follow up blood work does not indicate anything that would lead the vet to believe she had such a condition like mylepdysplasia. So, tests only indicate where an animal's health stands as a snapshot in time. Her bone marrow probably looked so terrible because her situation was that far advanced as to be near death.

I hope this information gives you some of the perspective you may be searching for.

Even though I received terrible lab results back about my cat, I did not give up and euthanize her because I just couldn't believe such a normal, healthy cat would suddenly be that sick... especially a cat that loves live so much. I took her home and observed her very closely, making notes. That seemed to really help the situation and definitely got her on the right dose of meds she needed. I followed all instructions, and asked the vet lots of questions, and I also live in a major metropolitan area where they see more than a couple of these cases a year.

The vet I went to with the internist was AER Center in Northbrook, IL and the Dr. was Dr. Seth Ghantous:

http://www.aercenter.com/doctors/doctor_profile .php?DoctorID=20

 

Now on 5mg every other day.

February 5th 2010 8:45 pm
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Nosey has been taking 1 5mg pred every other day for three weeks now. She is doing great so far. Her happy-go-lucky attitude is coming back. She seems mostly in good spirits, very affectionate, and has most of her strength back. She is jumping and running again. She is still a big tubby, but it has been easier to monitor her food intake with the reduction in meds. Her breathing rate is lower, more normal. Things are looking good for Nosey. I have my fingers crossed!

 

Nosey made it to Christmas

December 24th 2009 1:08 pm
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I am so proud of Nosey. She has made it to Christmas. She appears to be in good spirits. She is still breathing faster than normal, but her energy level is higher and she asks to play a lot. She is participating in normal activities. She gained two pounds, so I am monitoring her weight and access to food.

Mouse has taken to trying to open the food cupboard to get to the kibble. Naughty kitty! She is slim and active now though, which I guess is a big plus for her.

 
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