Anemia is a condition that occurs in pets when there is a significant reduction in an animal's red blood cells, hemoglobin or both. Red blood cells are produced in your pet's bone marrow and are then released into the blood stream. Hemoglobin travels along with blood and delivers oxygen to the body. When either of these are lacking, serious pet health problems can result.
How it Affects your pet
In mild cases of anemia, your pet may simply appear lethargic and will tire easily. However, in more severe cases, pets can faint, have difficulty standing and/or walking and may sleep more often than normal. In the worst case scenarios, animals may not be able to hold their heads up, waken and can even die.
Symptoms of anemia are typically quite easy to recognize; however, the exact signs that your pet may display depends on how anemic your dog or cat may be. There are several symptoms you can look for though, and if you see any of these warning signs, you need to take your dog or cat to a veterinarian immediately. *Pale Gums *Generalized Weakness *Fainting *Vomiting *Yellow-Colored Skin *Bloody Urine or Feces *Decreased Pulse *Difficulty Breathing *Behavior Changes *Lethargy/Tires Easily *Difficulty Standing and Walking *Sleeping More Than Normal *Unable to Lift Head *Unable to Waken *Shock.
Treatment for anemia depends upon what is causing the condition in the first place. Thus, your veterinarian will need to examine your pet and may need to run several tests including a complete blood cell count, a urinalysis and a fecal exam. In mild cases, simply changing your pet's diet and treating the cause of the condition can cure your pet. If anemia is caused by internal or external parasites, your vet will recommend such things as flea/tick treatments and/or dewormings. Corticosteroids may help if your pet has an existing health condition such as hypothyroidism or cancer. If there are any infections present, antibiotics will be prescribed. In severe cases of anemia, a blood transfusion or surgery may be necessary.
Any breed of cat or dog can suffer from anemia under the right conditions.
- In mild cases of anemia, your pet may simply appear lethargic and will tire easily. However, in more severe cases, pets can faint, have difficulty standing and
- or walking and may sleep more often than normal. In the worst case scenarios, animals may not be able to hold their heads up, waken and can even die.