One year ago, September 24, 2015, I took Pebbles to her vet because she threw up. Which dogs do sometimes but she seemed a little “off” so I wanted to make sure nothing was bad wrong. Little did I know, that day would begin a nightmare and the fight of her life. As they took her and ran blood work, our vet, came into the room and sat down. He showed me her bloodwork and that she had a HCT of 15 and most likely it would drop to a 12. And, once it did, she would need a blood transfusion. Then he used the letters I had never heard in my entire life and a disease I would come to live and breathe. IMHA, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. Basically, Pebbles’s immune system had gone crazy and was destroying its own red bloods cells like they were invaders. The plan was to suppress her immune system and give her extra blood to buy her time, until her little body could compensate from the blood being destroyed. She was given a 30%-40% survival rate upon arrival.
I was trying to comprehend what he had said and this disease. She was so healthy… No signs! etc. What did I do wrong!?! Did we cause this. No! IMHA hits each and every dog just like this. Fine one day and knocking on death’s door the next. I did not leave her. Not for 24 hours. I stayed within ear shot of her and if she was going to die, I was going to hold her as she did. My world stopped. Friends came by the vet to offer food and comfort. I sat and waited. God definitely put ANGELS in my path that day. These ANGELS gave me HOPE! And, that is what I needed the most to make it through the next 24 hours. People from around the world reached out via Positively Pebbles FB page… People from Alabama to China were praying for Pebbles to pull through. I will save you all the other details because, As you know, Pebs did MAKE it and did very well. I’m not saying it has been an easy road. We have relapsed once as well, and are still on lots of medications, but as Dr. DAVIS put it yesterday, “SHE IS SILL ALIVE AND STABLE!” Dr. Christenberry at Caldwell Mill Animal was phenomenal! And, it was his Irish Wolfhound, Seamus, that would give Pebbles the blood she so badly needed to save her life.
Ashley Jungkind Hampton, you were my hope and comfort that day. You had been in my shoes in more ways than one and worse! I knew if you could make it, then I could too! With IMHA there is NO CURE, only remission. It acts very much like a blood cancer and I think later on will be given a term as such. No one knows what triggers IMHA… Research has be done but not enough. IMHA often has no known exact cause. And, it’s the hardest disease to treat. One day you may be fine and the next day… No! I cherish each moment with my precious Pebbles! She’s the smartest, funniest, strongest, little dog I’ve ever known and because of her many lives were saved before IMHA so THANK YOU GOD for giving me another year with my baby girl! I PRAY SHE MAKES it to see her 5th birthday too! WE still have a long way to go but if anyone can do it… Pebbles and I can!
#imhawarrior #stacyandpebs #positivelypebbles #dontevergiveup