Congratulations to Bella our August Pet of the Month!
The staff at Rock Bridge Animal Hospital met Bella for the first time in December 2010. Bella is a beautiful 8 year old Beagle. Bella joined the Kern family in 2006 when she was adopted from Columbia Second Chance.
Bella’s journey that earned her Pet of the Month began on April 9th 2013. Bella had stopped eating and had recently become less active. She was not acting like herself and her parents were concerned. They brought Bella in and Dr. Sappington examined her and drew blood for laboratory testing. Bella’s condition became more urgent throughout the night and she was referred to the University of Missouri Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Bella went through a variety of tests before being diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Bella’s immune system had begun destroying her red blood cells causing her to become anemic. Bella’s original symptoms were quite vague and it took several diagnostic steps to determine her condition. IMHA can have a variety of symptoms such as lack of energy, decreased appetite, low red blood cell count and jaundice. Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin, gums, and eyes. IMHA can be brought on by certain underlying conditions. Most often a cause is not found, as in Bella’s case.
Throughout the treatment of Bella’s condition she required a blood transfusion to increase the number of red blood cells in her body. Bella was also placed on a variety of medication including immune suppressors to help keep her body from attacking her red blood cells. She also takes medication to help increase red blood cell production and to keep her blood from clotting.
Bella’s condition is unfortunately a life-long condition that requires monitoring and medication. We get the pleasure of seeing Bella once a month for her check-ups to insure her red blood cell count is at a safe level. Luckily for Bella, she also enjoys visiting us and is one tough cookie and put forth a strong effort to be able to return to a happy life.
Congratulations Bella, You’re a Trooper!