• Open Access

Prognostic Factors for Mortality and Thromboembolism in Canine Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia: A Retrospective Study of 72 Dogs


University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Avenue, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5B4; e-mail; endovet@juno.com.


Medical records of 72 dogs diagnosed with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) were reviewed to find risk factors for the disease, for mortality, and for thromboembolism. Coagulation data of 32 patients were evaluated for mortality or thromboembolism risk factors. Cocker Spaniels were at increased risk for IMHA (P= .012). Timing of vaccination was not associated with development of IMHA. PCV ranged from 5 to 33%, with a mean of 16 ± 5%. Autoagglutination was present in 42% of the dogs. Platelet counts (n = 60) varied from 3,000 to 793,000/μL (mean, 160,117 ± 133,571; median, 144,000). Thrombocytopenia (platelet count, <200,000/μL) was present in 70% of the dogs, with severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count, <50,000/μL) being present in 22%. One-step prothrombin time (OSPT) was prolonged in 28% of the dogs tested, and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) was prolonged in 47% of the dogs tested. Fibrin(ogen) degradation products (FDPs) were detected in 16 of 28 dogs tested (57%). Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) was diagnosed in 10 of 31 (32%) dogs and was suspected in 8 dogs. Thromboemboli were found in 20 of 25 dogs given postmortem examinations. Mortality rate was 58%. Thrombocytopenia (P= .008) and serum bilirubin concentration of >5 mg/dL (P= .015) were risk factors for mortality, and hypoalbuminemia approached significance (P= .053). Severe thrombocytopenia (P= .046), serum bilirubin concentration of >5 mg/dL (P= .038), and hypoalbuminemia (P= .016) were risk factors for thromboembolism. On evaluation of continuous data, decreased platelet count (P= .057), increased bilirubin (P= .062), and decreased albumin (P= .054) approached significance for decreased survival. A higher risk for thrombosis was found with increased alkaline phosphatase (ALKP) (P= .042), increased bilirubin (P= .047), and decreased albumin (P= .012).