Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA or AIHA) may be primary immune-mediated or secondary. In primary IMHA, the cause is not known and there may be genetic influences in certain breeds of dogs, eg Cocker spaniels, Poodles, Old English Sheepdogs.
Secondary IMHA may be triggered by neoplasia, infections, auto-immune diseases, or drug-induced. There may be an increased incidence following vaccination, but this is unproven.
The timecourse for the acute form is 1-4 days, and days to weeks for the chronic form.
In acute cases, the dog may present with severe anaemia, jaundice, haemoglobinuria, and organ failure (especially liver) due to hypoxia. There may be severe dyspnoea due to pulmonary thromboembolism and spontaneous bleeding due to disseminated intravascular coagulation.
To find out more on this topic, watch out for The Webinar Vet’s latest webinar on Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia by Sophie McMurrough RVN VTS (SAIM) on Tuesday 10th September 2019, 8:00.
For further information on immune mediated haemolytic anaemia check out this related content available on Vetlexicon Canis: