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My male Beagle, Mickey, is 8 1/2 years old. About 4 months ago he was in pain in his neck and shoulder area. After the vet examined him and took xrays (which showed no problems) we assumed he had a compressed disk in his neck/shoulder area and he was put on Rimadyl for 6 weeks. He has never been quite the same since. He is lathargic and his gums and eyelids are pale. He has no fever or any other signs of illness but he seems almost depressed. I took him back to the vet about one week ago and his red blood cell count was at 13 (should be around 35). We've run every test imaginable and taken more xrays but can't diagnose him. He is being treated with prendisone and an antibiotic. We are worried sick about him. Has anyone else ever had such a situation? Please comment as any info would be helpful.
 

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anemia in middle aged beagle

My female beagle 8 1/2 yrs. old had symptoms of not wanting to eat and she loves to eat. We brought her into the vet and she was diagnosed with anemia. She did have rimydal as well before feeling this way. it has 20 days now and two different vets can not diagnose her with WHY she has anemia and is not eating, very lethargic and can not figure out a cause. What happened with your beagle after predisone and an antibiotic?

Your response would be so helpful.
Thank you.
 

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Hi Birddog, Well, Mickey's PCV count was down to 10 (what is your dog's PCV count?) and we went ahead and gave him a blood transfusion (that costs about $700 for the blood, but the vet stay came to $3000.00) He responded very well, but his count started to slip down about 1 month later. We began hormone injections 3X/week for about 2 months this kept his count at about 22 which is not great but they can live comfortably. When we stopped the hormone injections I was worried that the count would drop, but it didn't. He is still on predisone daily. It has been 9 months since he became ill. This summer he went on a road trip with us and on vacation for a month and he did great!!! Good luck to you. This can be hard.
 

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When my 7.5 year old beagle was diagnosed with anemia it actually ended up being a liver tumor. Did they do an ultrasound of the abdomen by any chance?
 

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Maggy's RBC count when she began to not eat (8/10/11) was 26, it has slowly gone down to 19 on 8/30/11. Through this month of time, they have put her on antibiotics for chance of bacteria infection, then she was put on succralfate, prilosec and now she is on dewormer, thinking she might have parasites in her intestines. She has also had xrays, 2 ultra-sounds, several blood testing, urine tests, fecal float tests, all come up negative, no bacteria, no parasites, negative on lymes..... She begins iron injections tomorrow to help the building up of red blood cells. They said a GI tract issue is hard to determine and are treating it as that for now. Lymphoma could be another cause in the intestines, but there isn't a test for that (so i have been told). Her liver and kidney look fine on ultrasounds, blood and urine counts are good for both. She is just so low on red blood cells and the regenerative amounts as well.

jmancini10 What type of hormone injections were they? Both of our vets (regular and internal medicine specialist) we are seeing said that steriods (predisone) will be last resort and they want to rule out anything else before going that route. I am so glad to hear that your Mickey is doing so well!
MWozny02 - did they see the liver tumor on your dog via the ultrasound?

I sincerly appreciate both your responses as this month has been draining and feel like we are just taking chances on why this is occuring.
 

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I know how draining it is. The time it took between when Cassie stopped eating, became anemic, and was diagnosed with the liver tumor was really short and unfortunately she passed away very rapidly (All happened within a week). It was horrible, but in a way probably alot better than what you're going through since everything did happen so quickly. I hope everything works out for you and hope your beagle is feeling better REALLY soon!!! It's horrible seeing our fur kids sick :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bird dog, I don't remember the name of the hormone, but it was meant to increase red blood cell production. My vet said that any PCV count under 20 was criticle. You might want to start thinking about the predisone. We eliminated all the tick-born illnesses too and the only answer left was an auto immune system disorder. So by suppressing the immune system w/steroids you give the body a chance to make more red blood cells.
 

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Anemia and bone marrow biopsy

Friday Maggy had a count done on her blood and it was at 17.5 RBC. Prior to Friday, the vet started her on predisone the previous Tuesday. This Saturday Maggy 'passed out' and we rushed her to the ER, her PVC count was down to 11. They did a blood tranfusion and it got back up to 39 today (monday). Now between two internal medicine doctors and our normal vet, they have not diagonsed her anemia cause yet. Therefore we have not been able to treat it properly. Now we sit at another crossroad to decide if we want to put her through another diaognositc test, a bone marrow biopsy, to decide why ONLY her RBC is so low and what is causing it. But because she just had a blood transfusion and also has already started predisone, both of those factors could mask the results of the bone marrow. The decision is hard to make. Did anyone have a bone marrow biopsy to determine the cause of anemia for their beagle? If so, care to share your results?
 

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When we faced the question of doing a Marrow test I asked the doctor these questions: Is it painful ? If the results of the marrow test show that the disease is in the marrow are the treatments any different than what we are doing right now? Is it a dangerous test. The answers were that it is very uncomfortable for the dog as it is very intrusive. The treatment would be exactly the same and that any test that is that intrusive can have it's complications. All of that information plus the fact that I had reached my financial threshold (which was a secondary reason, but still a factor) helped me to decide to leave that test out.
After Mickey had the transfusion his PCV count went into the high 30's, but expect that number to drop a little. The steroid treatment can take a long time to work, but eventually they do respond. Mickey was as ill as your Maggie in January. It is September and he is still with us. Not 100%, but very comfortable and with a very high quality of life. At the end of the day our vet/treatment bills came to $9000.00. It was worth every penny, but now he is 9.5 years old and should he relapse I will be prepared to say goodbye. For now it looks like he will be with us for a very long time !!!!!Best of luck. It is so emotional when we love these little guys so much.
 

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Gosh we sure do think alike, we asked the same questions regarding a bone marrow biopsy and just felt it wasn't worth putting her through that for a slim chance we might find out a disease that would still result in predisone for a treatment. I am so happy to hear how your Mickey is doing! That gives us hope. Financially I have not added it all up yet but so far are lucky enough to not have to worry...yet, but she is worth every penny. The hardest part is to not over feed her, for the predisone is making her super hungry, I just don't want her to gain a ton of weight. Plus she is drinking bowls of water being on it too. We are in Wisconsin....you? Still can't figure out what brought this one, guess we have to let that go and move on. Maggy will be 9 in January, we too know if this happens again, we are preparing ourselves to let her go. I appreciate your posts so much, we have felt so alone like no one else was going through this. We will do re-checks 1 to 2 weeks apart for RBC's and stay on predisone 10mg/twice a day for now. Hi to Mickey :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We struggled with Mickey's weight too as he has been ravenous since being on the prendisone. I'm sure your vet told you not to exercise Maggie. We were told just to let Mickey out to use the bathroom and then come back in to rest for about 3 months. He now has the energy to sniff around the yard and be outside for longer periods of time. Also, the heat really tires him out. We live in Scottsdale, AZ so we are just now able to go outside for any length of time. We also spent the month of July in MN and as you know in Wisconsin, this summer was beastly hot and humid. Mickey really stayed in the A/C for most of the days. Instead of feeding him 2 times a day, I've started feeding him mini-meals several times a day. That helps keep him full (I think)!! Also, instead of dog treats, I give him ice cube chips. That helps with the thirst as well as the hunger !! We never were able to figure out what caused this either. I suspected a drug called Rymidal (sp) because when this first happened he had been taking that drug for a shoulder pain that he had. I did alot of research on the internet and found that other people suspected that drug caused anemia as well. The vet said no, he didnt think that had anything to do with it. Who really knows!! All I know is that my husband and I and the two kids are so grateful that we didn't lose our little guy!! Best of luck with Maggie and keep me posted!!!
 

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My female Beagle, Mattie, injured her back. The vet tried Rimadyl with no response whatsoever. He had just gotten a new laser treatment machine. I signed her up for a 4 week therapy every other day. It only took a week and a half until I saw results. The vet let me 'bank' the last 2 weeks in case she relapsed. That was over a year ago and she has had no occurrences of back pain since.
 

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Hi - I wanted to send an update since it has been months. Maggy is now getting weened off of prendisone, she is in her 5th week of that. Her total RBC's have climed to 35 this week!!! So excited to hear, but her new red blood cells (reticucyltes) have decreased again. She is getting better with a little more sleep, the prendisone was keeping her so hyper and up at early hours of the morning, starving for food. All I can say is how grateful we are this holiday season to have her with us and what we believe is the road to recovery from this long haul of anemia. All the doctors never found out why or what it really is that causes it. I just believe between yearly shots, frontline, heartguard and giving her some rymidal, set her body into a failure of creating red blood cells. I also stopped giving her treats that are not made in USA or that I don't make myself. I daily make her cream of wheat for high iron, i make her liver and then she also get just plain old cooked carrots and green beans to help with calorie intake. I hope you and Mickey and your family have a great holiday season! We believe and pray that Maggy is on her road to full recovery. Merry Christmas!
 

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I just can't believe this!! Just yesterday, about 1:00 p.m. I took Mickey to have his nails trimmed. On my way into the groomer I thought to myself, "I wonder how Maggy is doing"? AMAZING!!!! Well, it is so good to hear from you and I'm thrilled that Maggy is doing so well. I've been weening Mickey from the Prendisone as well. I made this decision on my own as I just do not have the funds to keep paying for vet vistis. The last time he saw a vet was in July up in Mpls. He is down to 10 mg. every other day. He seems to be doing very well. He as alot of energy and has his personality back! Also, alot of pink color in his gums and ears! I am taking him in for an assessment on Dec. 30 as I am almost out of prendisone and I should really get some professional advice. Enjoy your Christmas!!! I am so glad that you're having success with Maggy!! Take care!
 

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maybe I can get an beagle...
 
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