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Blood Transfusion
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Blood Transfusion

Dog has been seeing a vet for over a month (Dec. 17th) due to not eating and lost weight.  No diagnosis has been made cause vet can't figure out what's wrong.  She prescribed prednisone, an appetite stimulant, baytril, carafate, tylan, worm medicine (powder to be given 3 days in row but wouldn't eat 2nd day so he missed 2nd dose).  Put on IV twice during 3rd week of illness due to severe dehydration and because gums were white (no blood tested that day). Then on Jan.19th took to vet because both testicles were swollen and gums, tongue, eyes were white. PCV was 11.  Vet said he needed to see specialist and needed blood transfusion.  With no money left to pay a vet, I was able to get 2 units of blood and administration set donated which he received on Jan. 21.  At that time both testicles and skin around penis was swollen and still are.  Sent him home with barium susp. 5cc 2x's/day and carafate one tablet 3x's day. Dogs gums keep changing from white to pink, why? What is barium for? I can't afford to take him back to vet . . .any suggestions would be appreciated.  I don't want to lose my best friend, KC.
Type of Animal
:  
Dog
Age of Animal
:  
4 1/2
Sex of Animal
:  
Male
Breed of Animal
:  
Boxer
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
January 21, 2011
City
:  
Spring Valley
State/Province
:  
CA
Country
:  
USA
Blood Test Results
:  
PCV - 11 two days before blood transfusion. 22 immediately after blood transfusion (2 units).
X-Ray Results
:  
x-ray was done, but showed nothing to why he is sick
Other pertinent test results
:  
Ultrasound was done, showed nothing unusual
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I am sorry about your poor dog!  

This is a very complicated issue.  Your dog may have had a bleeding ulcer, a bleeding tumor or an autoimmune disease that affects blood components or many other possibilities.

Barium is a contrast agent that is given to a pet orally to illuminate a foreign body, tumor, and other abnormalities in the digestive tract so that the abnormality will be visible on X-Rays.  

The good "side-effects" and possible extra label use of barium suspension is to help foreign objects or non digestible food or non-food items that have been ingested to pass more quickly through the GI, and to coat the stomach and digestive tract in an attempt to avoid surgical removal of the foreign body.  Sometimes it works.  

Sucralfate is a medication that acts as a bandage for Gastrointestinal ulcers.  The combination of Sucralfate and Barium sulfate seems to have stopped your dog from bleeding from his digestive tract, at least temporarily,  and to allow the blood transfusion to have a therapeutic effect.  If your dogs gums are changing from white to pink and than back to white again it means that the therapeutic effect is not long lasting.  Does your vet plan on X-Raying your dog again?  An X-Ray with barium is probably a good diagnostic idea.

It is imperative that the cause of the anemia is found so that it can be stopped, of course.  A visit to a specialist is a good idea.  Can you apply for Care Credit?  Care Credit is a low to no interest credit card that can only be used for medical and dental bills.  Try also calling Boxer rescue organizations in your area.  Some of the dog rescue groups have donation funds that can be used in cases such as yours.
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