Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. IMHA stands for immune-related hemolytic anemia, in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys red blood cells. EPi is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency–the reduced ability of the pancreas to produce the enzymes needed to digest food.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

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.
Common symptoms of IMHA include lethargy, pale gums, difficulty breathing, and increased heart rate. Diagnosis of IMHA in dogs is based on a combination of clinical signs, laboratory tests, and imaging studies.
A common and often fatal complication of IMHA is the formation of blood clots. Dogs with IMHA have sticky blood that tends to clump together and form blood clots, or “thrombi”. These can travel to the lungs, brain, and other blood vessels to block blood flow.
The Diagnostic Process for Gastrointestinal Diseases. Gastrointestinal signs (vomiting, diarrhea, regurgitation, weight loss, decreased appetite, abdominal distension and abdominal pain) are easily observed by clients and are often the reason for them bringing their pet to their veterinarian.
Almost all the therapies used have serious side effects, making treatment a lot like walking a tightrope. Unfortunately, IMHA has a high mortality rate even in dogs that receive prompt treatment, with 50% to 70% of dogs dying of the disease in the first few weeks after diagnosis.
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
Primary IMHA: Although it has no obvious identifiable cause, primary IMHA is associated with an inherited predisposition in dogs, most commonly cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, and poodles.
The prognosis for IMHA is guarded, especially in the first 10 to 14 days after diagnosis. Older papers list the mortality rate for IMHA at about 50%. However, with improved treatment options, the survival rate these days is likely better. Some dogs succumb to dangerous blood clots.
IMHA in dogs and cats can be triggered by different factors including infectious organisms, tumours and even drugs. It is therefore extremely important to inform your vet of any medication that your pet has recently received.
GI upset refers to gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Any disorder that prevents the proper digestion of food or absorption of nutrients is considered a digestive disorder. If your pet suffers from GI upset, she is experiencing issues with her digestive system.
Refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called gastrointestinal.
Adjective. galvanized iron; from abbreviation used in listing such articles as garbage cans, but taken as abbreviation for government issue. First Known Use.
If medications cannot control severe vomiting, or if your pet has not eaten for more than three days after medical treatment has been tried, or if your pet seems uncomfortable and unhappily withdrawn then it is in your pets best interest to schedule a euthanasia as soon as possible.
Vomiting and diarrhea are commonly the first symptoms of IMHA rather than the more traditional signs of anemia. Have your dog evaluated for any of the following signs: Vomiting. Diarrhea.
While the causes are not well understood, they typically result from an improperly functioning immune system (called primary IMHA) or some other underlying condition (known as secondary IMHA). About 80% of the cases are primary and appear to be associated with certain breeds due to a genetic component.
What`s the difference between an IMHA and an IMCA? IMHAs support people who are being assessed or receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983. IMCAs support people who lack capacity to make certain decisions and are provided under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Usually the corticosteroids and immunosuppressants used to treat these immune mediated diseases cost around $50 to $150 a month, plus the same again for tests to monitor progress. Major surgery to remove the spleen will cost around $1500.
Idiopathic IMHA in dogs is a complex disease influenced by genetics, the immune system, the environment, and more. CHF-funded researchers are tackling this disease from all angles – developing more accurate diagnostic tests and exploring new treatment targets and medications.
There are two forms of IMHA: primary (or idiopathic), and secondary IMHA. With primary IMHA, your dog`s immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that attack its own red blood cells. This is the most common cause of anemia in dogs.
Adding fresh foods with iron in them to your dog`s diet can help boost this important mineral. To start, you can feed your dog canned sardines along with their regular food, raw egg yolk (from organic or local eggs), green vegetables, and beef liver.
What causes autoimmune hemolytic anemia? AIHA may be primary (idiopathic) or it may be secondary. With primary AIHA, the dog`s immune system is not working properly, and it incorrectly makes antibodies that target its own red blood cells. In dogs, it is estimated that about three-quarters of cases of AIHA are primary.
Immune‐mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in dogs. IMHA also occurs in cats, although less commonly. IMHA is considered secondary when it can be attributed to an underlying disease, and as primary (idiopathic) if no cause is found.
Hematologic hallmarks of IMHA are regenerative anemia, hyperbilirubinemia, spherocytosis, autoagglutination, or a positive Coombs` test. Treatment of IMHA often involves symptomatic therapy along with immunosuppression and anticoagulants.
Complete response to treatment can take weeks to months, and some patients may require lifelong therapy. The condition can also recur despite previous or current therapy: one recent study7 found that 15% of dogs with IMHA that survived beyond 60 days relapsed when drugs were either discontinued or tapered.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. What are the acronyms IMHA and EPI stand for? As in conditions for severe gastro intestinal issues.
ANSWER : A. IMHA stands for immune-related hemolytic anemia, in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys red blood cells. EPi is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency–the reduced ability of the pancreas to produce the enzymes needed to digest food.

Q. Can my cat get sick from fleas and ticks?
ANSWER : A. Yes, fleas can cause several issues in both dogs and cats. One of the most common concerns with flea infestation includes flea allergy dermatitis, which leads to extremely itchy skin, hair loss, and even skin infections. Second, there is a concern for the transmission of intestinal parasites, specifically tapeworms. Third, the most severe flea infestation can cause anemia from constant blood loss and can even result in death.

Ticks can transmit several debilitating and serious diseases to your dogs and cats. Among these are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Cytauxzoonosis.

Q. My dog is a lab. 12 years old and in great health. He has started to lick and swallow pebbles in my back patio area. Can you give me advise. I juse
ANSWER : A. There are two theories one being the dog is lacking minerals and the other is behavioral some dogs will lick and swallow rocks when they’re bored or anxious. So what do you do? Start by ruling out something medical by having him examined by your vet. If its determined he’s healthy and it might be behavioral then you can address the behavioral issue by giving the dog more attention, exercise, etc I would be more than happy to trouble shoot this issue with you through a private consult.

Until you determine what the cause is I would not leave your dog unsupervised where he can ingest pebbles or other foreign objects. If you must leave the house you can consider kenneling (if you’re not already doing so), When you’re out for a walk or break keep a close eye that he does not ingest rocks, ingesting them is very dangerous and might require surgery to remove them.

This type of issue is best addressed through a private consult. There can be several other reasons why your dog is eating pebbles,what I wrote above is just the most common (not saying they apply to your dog) a private consult we will do a Q&A and get to the bottom of this.

Thank you

Q. How do I know if my pet is overweight?
ANSWER : A. There are many ways to determine if your pet is overweight: breed standards, body condition score (BCS), body fat index (BFI), and morphometric measurements. These tools are used to determine how overweight a pet is, as well as to determine how much to feed to reach the pet’s ideal weight. Most weight loss programs fail because food dose calculations are based on inaccurate estimations of ideal body weight.

Current methods of estimating ideal body weight (body condition score/ guessing) are most likely to underestimate % body fat and therefore overestimate ideal weight, which leads to overfeeding. Pets are being overdosed on food because of inaccurate estimations of ideal body weight.

To determine body condition score it’s often helpful to have a scale from 1-5 to compare to: http://www.hillspet.com/weight-management/pet-weight-score.html. This scale is based on your ability to feel or see the ribs, the size of your dog or cat’s waist, and the appearance of the abdomen.

An overweight animal can be predisposed to several health conditions including high blood pressure, arthritis, endocrine disorders such as diabetes, and hypothyroidism. This is why it is important to determine an ideal weight for your pet and work hard to maintain a healthy weight.

Q. Our dog has difficulty pooping and sometimes has a little black colored diarih
ANSWER : A. It is possible your dog is experiencing constipation (inability to poop, or very small infrequent stools) or may have some other GI issues going on further up in the digestive tract. Bright-red stools may indicate an issue with the large intestines (colon) or anus, while black or tarry stools may indicate a problem with the stomach or small intestines. If your dog has been having diarrhea or constipation for a while, then taking a sample of your dog’s stool and bringing it into your local vet for a fecal exam is best. They can check for parasites, blood and other common illnesses that may be causing the symptoms you are seeing.

Q. There is blood in my dog’s stool, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. The causes for blood in dogs stools can be various and they can range from minor issues such as a dietary changes to more severe causes such as cancer of Parvo .The most common cause are parasites,hemorrhagic gastro-enteritis,rectal injuries,intestinal obstructions,blood clotting disorders .The best option is to take your dog to the vet for examination to make diagnosis.

Q. My dog is 3 years old and has recently stopped eating unless we hand feed him
ANSWER : A. Sudden behavior changes can sometimes indicate a health issue so it is always good to schedule a checkup and rule out health issues in addition to behavioral ones. Making sure that the bowl itself isn’t causing an issue (such as dog tags making a loud noise against a metal bowl) is another good idea, and switching to a new one may be helpful. You can also get your dog used to eating in the bowl again by dropping kibble in a few at a time in the bowl instead of giving it to him by hand to encourage him to eat there instead and then increasing the amount fed in the bowl. If the issue does not resolve with this, then speaking to a trainer or behaviorist in your area may be beneficial.

Q. Seven month old cat has watery diarrhea for five days. Asks perfectly normal. What can I give him to help with diarrhea ?
ANSWER : A. Anytime a pet has prolonged diarrhea, it is always a good idea to schedule a wellness check with your veterinarian. Bringing in a sample of your cat’s stool is also a good idea to check for any internal parasites or illnesses that may be causing it.

Diarrhea can be caused by a large number of things ranging from illness, internal parasites, digestive upset or even dietary issues. Ruling out any more serious issues first is best, then looking to others such as stress or diet is next. Cats can have issues with some grain products such as wheat, corn and soy, and can even have issues with dairy and fish products! (Cats are naturally lactose-intolerant). Changing the diet may help to firm up the stools.

For other additives, adding a probiotic such as Forti-flora from your vet, or a teaspoon of plain yogurt added to the food can help. Adding in a small amount of pureed pumpkin to the diet may also help as the added fiber can firm up the stool. However if the stool does not improve after a few days of treatment, a follow-up with your vet is best.