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I'm Going Home From the Hospital!

After staying in the hospital for two days, I am finally going home. Fortunately, this hospitalization period was much shorter than the last two times I had an occurrence of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). As you can see from my picture, I have red bandages where intravenous (IV) catheters were placed to administer my blood transfusion and fluids. My period of hospitalization was certainly not a hardship, as I had many caring technicians from TLC Pet Medical Center doing my treatments and giving me emotional support. As I had a normal post-transfusion reaction, my dad elected to put me in the hospital to flush my system of the toxic byproducts of my red blood cell (RBC) breakdown. My body thought the newly transfused RBCs should not be in my system, therefore a reaction occurred where a small portion of the new RBCs were destroyed. This was expected, but I got rather sick exhibited clinical signs such as vomit, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and an elevated body temperature. My other dad just got home from Australia, so he came to the hospital today to free me from the confines of my cage. I am so happy that he is home, as I now get to press myself up against him again when we sleep. He is so excited to see that I have improved, as he has never seen me sick like this before. This morning, my dad (who is also my veterinarian), checked my Packed Cell Volume (PCV), which is holding at 29%. The PCV is the percentage of my total blood volume that is made of RBCs. Today’s reading is lower than the range of 35-55%, which would be expected when I am healthy. My current PCV is certainly much better than the day I received my transfusion (see “T Day”) when it was 15%. Blood tests are going to the lab today to determine how well my bone marrow is producing new red blood cells, which are called reticulocytes. Up to the day of my transfusion, my reticulocyte count was increasing at a steady pace, so my anemia is considered to be regenerative (versus the less than ideal non-regenerative). Now that I have had the RBC transfusion, my reticulocyte count may drop, as my overall improved RBC numbers create less of a stimulus for reticulocyte production. I can't wait to get home to snuggle on my kitty blanket and hunt down my Mr. Martian toy for some squeaky action!
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