Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)

Anemia occurs when the number of blood cells circulating throughout the body falls below the normal level and can be fatal. There are many causes for anemia, one of which is IMHA. There are two types of IMHA - primary and secondary. Primary IMHA occurs when your pet’s immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that attack its own red blood cells - this is the most common cause of IMHA in dogs. Secondary IMHA is caused when the immune system is stimulated by another process and subsequently sees the red blood cell as a foreign object and destroys it. Secondary IMHA can be caused by cancer, infection, blood parasites, drug reactions, snake bites, exposure to certain chemicals or toxins, or allergic reactions. If your pet is diagnosed with IMHA, they may require a blood transfusion. Since we offer 24 hour care, we are able to perform blood transfusions any hour of the day!