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Immune Support for Dog with Autoimmune Disease

by Emily

Got food?

Got food?

Got food?
Don't bother me, I'm thinking
A sister is very useful at times
Finn doing yoga with dad

Our 6.5 year old long haired mini doxie, Finn, suddenly got sick this Tuesday, vomiting, lethargy, refusing food. We took him to the vet and after blood work and x-ray of his abdomen they urged us to go to a 24 hour critical care vet.


He was diagnosed with Autoimmune Disease and put on steroids. After a few hours his red blood cell count was so low (14%) that he was given a transfusion. He now seems to be doing much better, eating, is lively. His red blood cell count is at 18-20% today, but he has vomited once and has diarrhea. He is being treated for both at the hospital and hopefully can come home tomorrow.

This is a lot of toxins for a 14 lb. little guy, but at least he's still with us. They don't know how he got sick as he was very healthy up till now, with the exception of a bad doxie back, which has been successfully treated with acupuncture, a series of injections to strengthen the disk, and lately, Dasuquin.

I suspect a Lyme vaccine shot mid-April might be the culprit. He had one last year with no ill effects but now that I've been reading up on it I shouldn't have had him get one in the first place.

I would like some advice on any herbs, treatments, etc you suggest to strengthen his nervous system while he is on the drug regime, and after he goes off it (hopefully that happens). Also any advice you have on his disease and his quality of life will be appreciated.

He is a very smart, loving sweet boy. He gets regular exercise, has indoor /gated outdoor area all day, and lives with his older biological sister (she's a healthy 10 year old).

He's been fed natural foods all his life-first Flint River kibble, then we switched to an organic raw chicken diet (Nature's Variety) this past year. We don't spray our lawn with chemicals, and he has good living accommodations (our house is doxie handicapped with mini ramps for the dogs, to avoid future problems).

Our finances are not unlimited, but we want to make sure that he has a good quality of life.

The photos are not recent, but they show his personality, and he looks the same.

Thanks so much!
Emily

Comments for Immune Support for Dog with Autoimmune Disease

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Jul 09, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Immune Support for Dog with Autoimmune Disease
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

July 9, 2013

Hi Emily,

For Finn, you are correct that the Lyme Vaccine may have been the cause for this acute onset of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia.

In many cases, you can see a remission and return of health, so that you can gradually decrease and discontinue the steroids. It is difficult to predict which patients will need the steroids forever and which will not.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Continue the same diet, RAW, Nature's Variety.

2. Start Petinic liquid for anemia and to build Red blood cells and platelets.
Give Finn 1cc by mouth two times daily.

3. Give Milk Thistle, 120-150 mg in food TWO times daily. This will provide liver support while he is on steroids. It is easier to buy it in a capsule form, open the capsule and sprinkle it into the food.

4. Thuya occidentalis 6C or 12C potency. This is a homeopathic remedy that is indicated for ill-effects from a vaccine. Add one pellet to 2 oz of Spring Water in an eye dropper bottle. Shake the bottle 20 times by hitting it against the palm of your hand, to 'succuss' the remedy. Give Finn 1/2 dropperful by mouth TWO times daily.

5. NO more vaccinations. Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form to avoid future vaccines.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Jul 09, 2013
Do I start holistic therapy while still in critical care?
by: Emily

Thank you for your recommendations.

Finn is still in the critical care hospital. He's now on his 6th day. His PCV has been up and down (12-18), his eating erratic and vomiting at times.

Today he is eating, and his PCV is at 16, so I am hoping the meds are kicking in and we see an upward trend. His vitals are good, and he doesn't look as bad as expected. He walks around, jumps in and out of his bed and wags his tail.

He doesn't seem distressed being at the hospital, I was very happy to see he seems to have adjusted well, following the doctor and techs around, and not upset when I left. The hospital is over 90 minutes from where I live so we can't drop in daily.

Do you feel these holistic remedies would be good to administer to him now while he's still in the hospital and also being given the steroids, etc? Or should we start afterwards?

He has had one transfusion so far, they almost felt he needed another 2 nights ago but now has seemed to gain ground so didn't do it.

He is also on anti-vomiting and anti diarrhea meds as well as steroids and one other med. A lot for a little guy.

Jul 11, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Immune Support for Dog with Autoimmune Disease
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

July 11, 2013

Hi Emily,

Hopefully, Finn has improved enough by now to be released from critical care. You wrote:

**Do you feel these holistic remedies would be good to administer to him now while he's still in the hospital and also being given the steroids, etc? Or should we start afterwards?**

Yes, the supplements would be very beneficial to give to him now, and the sooner the better. Thuya is the only one that might not work very well, since steroids and conventional meds would interfere with its action.

There would not be any adverse side effect, it just might not work, so it would not hurt to give it. AND, if all of this started due to a vaccine, then the Thuya may help him in spite of the other drugs!

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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Aug 04, 2013
Emily
by: Anonymous

Hello

To give you hope, my boy had autoimmune last year, his blood count when down to 14. It has taken at five months to get him stable and totally off the steroid.

Be prepared for his coat to get in a bad condition. Inca is a red dog, his fur become so fine and blonde he almost looked bald.

Take each day at a time, and take it very slowly...fed him little and often, and when the vet says little exercise, he means it. Inca was crated with small supervised walks, normally with me carrying him. His heartbeat was erratic...and several times I thought I would loose him.

Stay strong love and best wishes to you all xx

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