This process, which is remarkable for it's ability to seek
out and destroy harmful viruses and bacteria, is both dramatic
and overwhelming. Anyone who has been laid low by influenza
will appreciate how significant and suddenly these changes
can occur. The obvious problem here being that these defence
mechanisms are now being turned on the patient himself.
The treatment strategy is twofold. Stop the immune system
from further destruction of red blood cells and secondly
keep the patient alive until he can manufacture more red
blood cells. Very potent drugs are required to stop the
immune system in it's tracks.
Additionally, blood donated from "Dudley" a dog
belonging to Corrie, one of our nursing staff, was able
to buy "Max" some time whilst his own body continued
the recovery process of red blood cell production. At one
stage "Max's" red blood cell count was 8 where
normally the figure should be between 37-45. This figure
is generally considered to be incompatible with life and
how "Max" was able to hang onto the precipice
of his very existence is known only to him!
Two weeks later and "Max" is transformed and
looks back to normal. His recovery has been a real team
effort including his owners who visited him daily and not
to forget the insurance company who coughed up nearly £3000!
It later transpired that "Max's" mum and a littermate
died as a result of the same condition!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
to "Interesting Cases"
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