Dog Medical Problems: Medication Tips For Staff With IMTP And IMHA
If your dog or cat suddenly becomes ill and exhibits these symptoms, they could be suffering from a life-threatening immune disease.
If your dog or cat suddenly becomes ill with pale gums, difficulty breathing, fever, and lethargy, they could be suffering from immune-mediated anemia.
This frightening condition occurs when the animal’s immune system attacks red blood cells, resulting in anemia and requiring urgent medical attention.
SMARTdaily’s pet columnist and chief veterinarian at Greencross The Pet Company, Dr Magdoline Awad, addresses this reader’s concerns.
My six-year-old staff was diagnosed with IMTP and then IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia) last week and are on steroids to try and increase their levels of PCV (packed cell volume). She had a blood transfusion that only temporarily raised her level. I read online that the use of the melatonin found in St. John’s Wort has been used with some success with regular treatments. How can I administer this? I spoke with two of our vets but neither had heard of the treatment. I emailed the vet who did the study, but she didn’t give advice without seeing the dog. She’s overseas, so it’s impossible. I am ready to try anything to give my fur baby the best hope. – Janine
Thanks for reaching out. It must be a difficult situation for you and your pet. Although IMTP and IMTP are relatively common conditions, they are still poorly understood and we do not have the perfect treatment.
Steroids are the main option because they are generally very effective at suppressing inflammation and reducing the breakdown of the body’s own cells.
However, as you probably know, they do have side effects, especially when used long term.
For this reason, other drugs that suppress the immune system are also used to control these conditions. Melatonin, although relatively inexpensive, is controversial.
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine consensus statement suggests that further investigation is needed to determine whether melatonin is effective and how it can be used in the treatment of this condition.
Some over-the-counter formulations of melatonin contain xylitol which can be toxic to dogs.
For these reasons, I wouldn’t use it without consulting a vet who knows your dog’s case. Your vet may also want to perform an abdominal ultrasound or refer you to a medical specialist.
Making sure that there is no obvious underlying cause for IMHA / IMTP will give the best chance of a cure, however, in many cases the disease trigger is never identified.
DO YOU HAVE A PET REQUEST?
Email: [email protected]