Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

hemolytic anemia?
by Robert
hemolytic anemia? Does anyone have any experience with Maltese dogs developing autoimmune hemolytic anemia. My dog aged 3 suddenly became listless, was found to have a hematocrit of 9 and had to be transfused. He is currently on steroids and cyclosporine and appears to be slowly improving.


I'm so sorry. I don't have a whole lot of information on the disease, except for general info on what it is. However, recently there has been a few threads on the newsgroup rec.pets.dogs.health about this. I could be wrong, but I thought someone posted a site that had more info. If you can't get newsgroups, let me know and I'll check the NG archives to see if I can find the website for you or any further information on the subject. I hope he gets better soon.

Is this "auto immune hemolytic anemia?" If so, as far as I know little is known about it. I've been told that it can occur in all breeds. Some say it is possibly caused by virus whereas a few seem to suspect a genetic link.

I know of a dog who lived to be 16 years of age due to the extreme good care provided by the owner and their doctor. This dog would have a "titer" check instead of routine booster shots when it was determined that routine booster shots triggered attacks. I have no first hand experience with this disorder but I have known several owners who experienced it. In the case cited above the owner and veterinarian were able to establish a link of "cause & effect" which enabled the dog to live a normal life except for a couple of bad episodes where the dog required blood transfusions.

I wish I could tell you more but it sounds like your veternarian is on top of the situation and that seems to be of prime importance. It is rather hard to diagnose I'm told--so you are well ahead of the game. Your Vet should be able to provide you material if you want to read up on this disorder. I would venture to guess that your dog has a fairly good prognosis because you and your vet have identified the problem and can seek ways to prevent triggering future attacks.

Please keep us posted on your baby's progress and treament.

Maltese Hugs
Beverly B. Passe

Copyright 1998 © Jay Bianco All rights reserved.