Mystery Illness Prompts Dog’s Euthanasia

The sudden onset of Evans Syndrome most likely led to a Samoyed’s passing.


Q. Just recently I had to have my Samoyed, who was only 7 years old, put to sleep. Three days ago he was fine, running, eating, etc. Then two nights ago he had trouble getting up the steps to the porch. The next morning he couldn't get his rear end off the floor to get up.

Right away I took him to the vet. Blood tests results said he had extremely little platelets and red blood cells. They scanned him and showed no bleeding. He was in extreme pain and was on meds for it. The vet also said he was paralyzed in the back end.

We weren't offered any hope that he would recover and was told it was getting worse as time passed. We had no choice put to have him put to sleep.

I'm hoping you have some thoughts about what happened to my loved one. The vet said he couldn't explain what happened and therefore couldn't fix it. The vet is the best around and I believe he really did his best. But, I'd still like to know what happened.

A. I am very sorry to hear you had to have your Samoyed euthanized. At 7 years old, he certainly would not be considered geriatric.
Based on what you describe, he most likely had a disease known as Evans Syndrome, where the body's own immune system suddenly starts destroying its own red blood cells and platelets. This often has no apparent cause, but there sometimes there can be an underlying disease such as cancer, or an infection of the blood, usually caused by a tick bite.

Evan's Syndrome carries a very guarded prognosis, because many dogs do not recover, even with the most intensive medical care. The treatment usually involves multiple blood transfusions, and the use of medications such as prednisone and azothioprine to suppress the immune system.

The weakness in his hind end may have just been due to his very low red blood cell count (anemia), and not paralysis. Most likely it would have required multiple days in the hospital, transfusions and frequent laboratory testing to get him through it, and even with the best of care, he may not have survived. Some of these dogs end up getting fatal blood clots in their lungs.

You can take some solace in knowing that your dog most likely had a terrible disease, and euthanasia may have been the best treatment in this case.


4 of 8 Comments View All 8 Comments

Give us your opinion Give us your opinion on Mystery Illness Prompts Dog’s Euthanasia

User Avatar

Sharon   Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

9/27/2015 4:30:18 PM

Our 9 1/2 yr old yellow lab, Tessa, was diagnosed with Evans syndrome last Thursday and was in respiratory distress by Friday morning when we called the vet to have her put,to sleep. Tessa's situation is the same as others reported here....fine and active one day, throwing up, not eating, lethargic, weak, and when the black stool occurred I knew we were in trouble. We are on vacation with her and had been doctoring with a different vet but they were responsive, helpful and gave us the best of care but ithe disease came too fast and too hard for her to win. We only adopted her 10 months ago but she was so special and we miss her terribly. Going home without her is breaking our hearts. Tessa had an OK blood test done on Tuesday but the same test on Thursday showed disaster had struck that fast. She did not suffer because we knew to watch for respiratory distress and we called immediately. It is a truly horrible disease.

User Avatar

Shauna   jamul, California

7/13/2015 9:43:23 PM

Our 8 year old male lab was diagnosed with Evans syndrome 2 months ago. It was a sudden onset with no previous symptoms. He was given 2 blood transfusions and is still on 10 different medications twice a day. he has developed a few skin ulcers and has lost muscle mass due to the steroids. It's a very serious disease but if you are diagnosed early on there is treatment available. It is extremely expensive with no guarantees but he is happy every day so I am too!

User Avatar

Kathy   Woodway, Texas

10/27/2014 7:00:54 AM

Our sweet Maggie was diagnosed with Evan's on Friday. We did not know her age because she came from the animal shelter, but she was the absolute sweetest schnauzer ever. We finally realized on Sunday morning that putting her to sleep was the best thing to do, even though it absolutely killed us to do it. Her blood count continued to go down, her platelets were zero, she was throwing up and would not eat. She would not even get up. And she seemed to be bruising badly. This came on her so very suddenly--that is what surprised me so. But I know she is running and playing now, and not suffering at all. But we miss her so.

User Avatar

Nicole   Austin, Minnesota

3/4/2014 12:48:51 PM

My chihuahua/miniature pinscher was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia on February 18th, 2014. We first took her in because we noticed bruising on her belly, bleeding from her gums (which we noticed due to her having extremely bad breath) and lethargic. She was normally a very high strung dog and hyper active. They ran a CBC and she had 0 platelets, her reticulocytes (immature red blood cells) were through the roof, but her red blood cells and all other testings for organ function were normal which was good news. The doctor diagnosed her with immune mediated thrombocytopenia and prescribed her prednisone 5 mg twice daily for 14 days and we would recheck her CBC. She had had two small focal seizures, where she zoned out and wasn't responsive. She just shook and we would sit and comfort her. She was doing ok still eating and eventually around the 25th stopped eating. I had called the vet to discuss options for feeding and they told me to immediately bring her in. While there I asked to have a CBC ran again along with testing for the tick-borne diseases because I had read that that can sometimes cause the onset of this although she had her regular Frontline protection. Her CBC then came back saying that she was anemic. I was devastated. The vet than prescribed her mirtazapine as an appetite stimulator and suggested pedialyte, baby food so forth. This was everything we had already tried. We went home and she ended up chowing down some food even though it was hard for her to stand and the next day she vomited dark colored blood. She had vomited previously and had a small blood clot days previous and was reported to the vet but this was my breaking point. That morning she had been whimpering and I could tell she was miserable and in pain. This is a terrible terrible disease and I wished that I could have done more, but in all actuality like stated it costs a lot of money for treatments you don't know will help her or not. I miss her dearly. She was only 6.5 years anyone out there going through this I hope your story doesn't have the same outcome as mine.

Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below

First Name : Email :
International :
City : State :

Captcha Image

Get New Captcha

Top Products