Rare Autoimmune Disease in Dog Leads to Extensive Treatment | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Rare Autoimmune Disease in Dog Leads to Extensive Treatment

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
5 years ago

PetFirst pet insurance reimburses pet owner $10,000 for care received in treatment.

Autoimmune diseases are common in humans, but in pets too?  Trapper, a six-year old Labradoodle, and his family now know the extensive care needed and how dreadful a disease such as Evans Syndrome, an autoimmune disease in dogs, can be.

“Evans Syndrome is a serious autoimmune disease that involves an inappropriate attack by the body’s immune system on the red blood cells and platelets (clotting cells),” said Dr. Amy Conrdner, board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist with Hope Advanced Veterinary Center.  “Diagnosis of Evans Syndrome involves finding classic blood pathology features on lab tests and ruling out underlying causes, such as tick-borne infection and cancer.  Treatment for this disease is not always effective; however, if a patient survives the acute crisis of the illness, long-term remission can be achieved.  Long-term monitoring and medication adjustment is required with a close supervision by a veterinarian.”

The onsetin Trapper’s case came on quickly and he was rushed to Hope Advanced Veterinary Center, in Vienna, Va.

“There were symptoms showing before Trapper was diagnosed that I didn’t notice,” said Jane Peterson, Trapper’s pet parent.  “He had yellowing inside his ears and his gums were not the normal pink, but more white in color.  These symptoms were the result of him being anemic and I honestly didn’t realize it.”

According to Dr. Conrdner, the initial onset of Evans Syndrome can lead to devastating and life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Severe anemia
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Jaundice
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting or Collapsing

“Aggressive treatment with immunosuppressive medications, blood transfusions, hospitalization, and supportive care is required,” said Dr. Conrdner.

Trapper required labwork and x-rays to diagnose his condition.  Once the diagnosis was made, the veterinarians oversaw Trapper’s nine-day stay in the animal hospital while treating him with a blood transfusion, plasma and medications to save his life.

For Trapper’s pet parent, the PetFirst Lifetime 10,000 policy she had chosen just months prior to his becoming sick, proved beneficial for his treatment.  The Lifetime plans have no-per incident limit and covers chronic and hereditary conditions.  The $10,000 policy limit Peterson selected allowed her to be reimbursed $10,000 for his treatments which totaled well over $12,000 by the end of the year.  In addition to the coverage in 2013, any additional treatments required for the Evans Syndrome moving forward are also covered as long as Trapper’s coverage never lapses and he remains on the Lifetime plan.

A full six-months after starting treatment, Trapper is doing great.  He and his fur-sister, Emily, a four-year old mixed breed dog, run and play just like before.

“As he is requiring less and less medication, Trapper is regaining his strength and beginning to remind us of the same fireball he was before,” said Peterson.  “There are still precautions we take and watch for, but overall he is doing great.”

Pet parents can learn more about affordable pet insurance plans by logging onto www.petfirst.com or calling 877-894-7387.

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