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Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in Cats (IMHA), Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

By: Dr. Leah Cohn

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.

  • Administer all prescribed medication(s) as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet. Even a few missed doses can have disastrous results.

  • Expect to return your pet for frequent blood tests in the early days of treatment. With appropriate therapy, the red blood cell count is expected to improve. Once it increases to near normal levels, the drug dosages can be slowly decreased. Your veterinarian will need to check the red blood cell count after each adjustment to therapy.

  • You should expect that an animal receiving corticosteroids will experience an increase in thirst, and with that, an increased frequency of urination.

  • Most animals receiving corticosteroids will also experience an increased appetite. It is important to monitor what your pet eats, and place reasonable limits on food consumption. Pets on corticosteroids often gain large amounts of weight over a short period of time.

  • Because the animal is treated with drugs to suppress the immune system, the animal may be prone to developing infection. If you notice lethargy, inappetence, vomiting, diarrhea, or urinary accidents in the house, these signs should be brought to your veterinarian's attention as soon as possible.

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