By Guardian Angel Jan
We, too, lost our dear, non Epi,
Banner, to the same disease that took Guardian Angel
Joanne & Angel Asia's life. Banner was a rescued Irish Setter, she came
to us in January 1989. Katie O'Banner ruled the dog population
in this house with velvet paw.
Our old girl took ill on Thanksgiving day, 2001. She had gotten up in
the middle of the night and had collapsed in a heap. I found her when I
got up that morning to start the preparations for the family celebration.
Banner was almost 14 years old and had been healthy her entire life, the only
time she saw the vet was for routine check ups and the time she
suffered a fractured hip in March 2000. We never did figure out how
her hip, she may have slipped and fallen on the icy concrete or it could have
been a spontaneous fracture. We elected treat the hip fracture conservatively,
due to her age and the fact that she got around relatively well on it. We did
not vaccinate her in 2000 or in subsequent years.
Last November, Banner getting sick so suddenly was a shock to us all. Our vet
diagnosed a heart arrhythmia and prescribed a drug to help stabilize
her heart. Banner was on this medicine for a couple of days, when she
again "crashed", she was rushed back to the vet, where she stayed for the day,
they did many EKG's, and the vet that had been treating her decided to
switch her from one heart medicine to another. We
had two ultrasounds done, numerous blood tests and any
other test the staff could think of to find out what
was wrong with her. The ultrasounds showed no real problems.
Finally, after a week of treatment, my vet sat on the floor of the clinic with
me, next to Banner and said that her most recent blood tests showed
that she had Hemolytic Anemia and that the drugs she had been given for
her heart arrhythmia had caused the Anemia. It is a
side effect of some of the anti arrhythmia drugs she was given. He talked
about statistics/recovery rates, the progression of
the disease and what I could expect and a lot more, I heard none of it. I don't
think the diagnosis soaked into my head for at least an hour.
We tried everything in our power to pull her out of this crisis, only to develop
another one, after all, the recovery rate is very low in even a healthy dog, in
an elderly one, the statistics are much more grim. We
were losing our battle but I wasn't ready to give up just yet. She lasted
another week, holding on by a thread.
Finally, after a lot of soul searching, exactly two weeks after she took ill, I
decided to disconnect the IV's, discontinue the medicine that had made her so
sick and let her enjoy her last day with her beloved boys. I took down the pen
that had surrounded her in our living room and let the other dogs get close to
her. Banner spent the afternoon lying in the December sunshine, napping and
putting her cold nose on my cheek. We made the trip to the vet late in the
afternoon and when Banner took her last breath, my heart broke in two. Banner,
ever the dainty lady that she was, left this world wearing her corduroy coat and
lying on her sheepskin, cradled in my arms.
There are a lot of folks that would say that she was thirteen, that is a
good long time to live and it was her time to go. Perhaps it was, but
the drugs given to stabilize her heart hastened her
demise. When your vet wants to prescribe medicine, ask questions. When they
want to vaccinate your pup, request titres.
If telling this story through my tears can save one pup's life, then it is worth
it. Ask questions, ask about side effects, get vaccine titres. It just might
save a life.
Medicated Disease Awareness
Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia
- Why Aisa died