Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia, or IMHA, is an autoimmune disease in dogs in which the body attacks its own red blood cells. This can lead to very low red blood cell counts (anemia) that require multiple blood transfusions. It can also predispose dogs to forming blood clots, mostly in the lungs or in the brain. Treatment can require extended hospitalization, drugs that suppress the immune system, and often blood thinners. Some dogs do quite well with minimal treatment, however for many others the disease is unfortunately fatal.
Dr. Steven Friedenberg and the Canine Genetics Laboratory at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine are working to identify gene mutations responsible for the development of IMHA. We are working with collaborators at The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Cornell University, and Iowa State University. Our goal is to use this research to better understand the disease mechanism and disease triggers, and also to develop a test that can help breeders decrease the incidence of the disease. We are also interested in using the results of our research to help predict disease severity and response to treatment.
- We are particularly interested in English Cocker Spaniels and Clumber Spaniels
- However, any dog with a current or former diagnosis of IMHA can qualify
Requirements to participate
- Dogs of any age that have been diagnosed with IMHA, either currently or in the past
- Your willingness to volunteer a blood sample from your dog for genetics research