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PATIENT STORIES

Worth every Penny

Published on December 2, 2021.
Last Updated December 2, 2021.
dialysis dog
Penny had developed life-threatening anaemia and her immune system was destroying her own blood cells in a condition called immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA).

Penny is an 8 year old Poodle who never turns down a meal. When she suddenly turned down her breakfast – Penny’s family knew something serious was wrong. Tests showed that Penny had developed life-threatening anaemia and her immune system was destroying her own blood cells in a condition called immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA). Penny needed 5 blood transfusions across 6 days just to keep her alive and her need for blood did not show signs of slowing down.

Thankfully, Drs Lucy Kopecny, Bing Zhu and dialysis nurse Marina Baker are now able to provide special treatments for these patients using special machines in the new SASH Dialysis unit.

Penny’s treatments removed immune components attacking her blood cells. She was quite sick and tired when she started her treatments but was feeling well enough to start eating during her second treatment (the first time in days!). Her blood was clearer after each treatment as well. Penny is now back to eating everything and continuing her treatment at home while slowly reducing her medications.

dialysis plasma
Plasma from before, during and after dialysis (left to right). Plasma should be straw coloured. Note the change in colour with treatment.

Penny says a HUGE THANK YOU to all the dogs who donate blood to SASH regularly for saving her life. If you have or know a friend with a healthy dog over 17kg between 1-7 years of age, please have them email info@sashvets.com to register interest in becoming a blood donor!

Donors must be up to date with vaccinations, not taking any medications (other than parasite control) and have never received a blood or plasma transfusion themselves. As a thank you – they will receive a physical examination, 14kg bag of Royal Canin dog food and full bloodwork (required to assess suitability as a donor).

About the Author

Jerry Liu

Veterinarian
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SASH is home to some of Australia’s leading specialists and veterinary experts. If you have any concerns about your pet, please get in touch with us.

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