Lexy the Elderbull

Lexy the Elderbull is a senior rescued pitbull living life to the fullest in Vancouver, BC. 
We are dedicated to advocating for rescue animals, specifically senior dogs and pitbulls. 
We aim to provide information on animal welfare issues, resources for adoption, senior dogs and pitbulls, and fundraising tips supporting our advocacy values and mission.     
Photo by Chris Lee Photography

Canine IMHA
Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia

senior dog; pitbull love; love senior dogs; love is ageless; lexy the elderbull

Resources and Published Research

Everything you Ever Wanted to Know About IMHA...
but Hoped You'd Never Need to Ask

This is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about IMHA. Subjects you will find include:

  • General information
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment
  • Personal stories and Blogs
  • Research
  • Fundraising

Support Groups

University Research

  • This is a joint initiative of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

  • 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.

  • Conducting research into the Blood Clotting Ability in Dogs with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Hosted under the umbrella of the Companion Animal Internal Medicine Program. This also includes sub research in the areas of kidney fucntion, red plateletes, the scienc of blood transfusions, and IMHA in cats.
  • Donations to research under the OVC are accepted here.

  • Offering information to the general public and Veterinarians on the disease, symptoms, treatment, medication side effects, and mortality.


Dedicated to funding research into an often fatal blood disorder in dogs
Canine AIHA/IMHA (autoimmune/immune-mediated hemolytic anemia) is a serious, often fatal blood disorder. In dogs with AIHA/IMHA, abnormal antibodies stick to the red blood cells and cause the body to believe the red blood cells are a "foreign invader." The dog's immune system attacks the red blood cells and destroys them, leading to anemia. Scientists estimate more than 50 percent of dogs with AIHA/IMHA will die from the condition, usually within weeks of diagnosis.

IMHA:  Not Just Another 4 Letter Word

There are things even a baseline empathetic human being would never wish on thier worst enemy and IMHA is one of those. Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia is a savage predator without prejudice. Attacking the young, the old, male, female, bold, and meak.. it attacks without warning and after inviting itself in will never leave.

IMHA is a life threatening hematologic disease. It is a disease in which the body's immune system attacks and kills its own red blood cells; without an adequate number of red blood cells the body becomes starved of oxygen and cannot survive.
The causes of IMHA remain largely unknown, with 75% having no found causation at all. While some cases may be triggered by an event such as cancer, vaccination, or infection, these do not explain why or how the immune system misdirects and harms the body it is meant to protect.

IMHA occurs more often, but not exclusively, in middle aged dogs     3 - 8 years young, and in females rather than males. It is a rapidly life threatening disease that even with appropriate treatment is often fatal.  Your dog can change from having no obvious symptoms to being in the throws of the disease in as few as 4 hours.
Because IMHA is not well understood there are no known cures or preventive measures.
IMHA comes without any early warning signs. Once the typical symptoms present themselves your animal is already very ill and must get medical attention immediately.
Typical symptoms of IMHA include:

  • Pale or yellow tinged gums
  • Yellowed eyes
  • Dark or pinkish/red urine
  • Tiring easily or weakness
  • Lack of appetite, lethargy, or rapid breathing
**REMMBER: IMHA is a very aggressive disease. It is possible for your pet to show no signs, then for the disease to take full hold within as little as 4 hours!  Therefore it is vital you seek medical attention as soon as you notice symptoms.  Every second could mean the differnce between life and death.