Published: 18 Oct 2019 | Last Updated: 18 Oct 2019 09:12:53

From making bandanas to jams, Lynne and Alexis are going the extra mile to raise funds for IMHA research after their Cocker Spaniel, Phoebe, was diagnosed.

Phoebe the Cocker Spaniel after IMHA diagnosis

When Pheobe the Cocker Spaniel was diagnosed with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA), her owners, Lynne and Alexis, wanted to raise awareness of this terrible illness and support research looking for better treatment and even a cure. We’re delighted that they have now raised over £2,000 towards research into this fatal condition.

IMHA is a condition where the body’s immune system starts to destroy red blood cells, affecting the flow of oxygen around the body. The reasons for its development are currently unknown, and treatment to cure this destructive condition remains varied and uncertain too. When Phoebe was diagnosed with IMHA, Lynne contacted the Royal Veterinary College to find out about the RVC’s IMHA research.

Barbara Glanemann, a vet and researcher at the RVC, said: ‘’The College has been running research projects into IMHA for several years, including projects with the aim to find a way of helping aid the side effects of IMHA. We are hoping to identify how the disease can be controlled whilst minimising the side effects of treatment.

‘’Side effects of the treatment can be extreme so it’s important that we look at how we can help dogs living with the disease have a much better quality of life. Our recent research has shown that differences in the dosing of steroids, the most common medication for treatment of dogs with IMHA, produce differences in the side effects and response to treatment.’’

Since July last year, Lynne and Alexis have been making dog bandanas, snoods, and homemade jam, curds and baked cakes to sell at local markets to help raise money. They have even made a Phoebe calendar! They have travelled the country selling their goods and promoting the IMHA research. We’re incredibly grateful for all of their hard work fundraising.

Lynne said: “Thankfully, Phoebe survived and is back to wagging her tail and bouncing around everywhere, but it’s a day-to-day thing. Many dogs relapse and this is something that has stuck with us. It was very tragic to see Phoebe go through everything she has been through and we are always on pins in case the worst returns.

“We constantly check for symptoms. She is still on medication, but this has recently been reduced because she’s doing so well.

She’s a very special dog and we are thankful that we can use her story to make others aware of this condition.’’

To donate, you can follow the Facebook page, search ‘Phoebe’s Story’ for more information or search ‘Phoebes Followers IMHA 2019’ via Virgin Money Giving.

 

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