Dog anemia, an owners guide to anemia in dogs
Anemia in dogs occurs when there is an insufficient amount of red blood cells in the body. This can occur because the body is losing red blood cells too quickly to replace them, or if the body simply isn’t producing red blood cells fast enough. Anemia isn’t a disease, but is a symptom of an underlying condition. So, what exactly causes dog anemia?
This condition can occur for a number of reasons. Blood loss as the result of trauma or injury is one of the leading reasons. Some diseases prevent blood from clotting properly which is another possible cause. Parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms present another possibility. Other common causes include hypothyroidism and cancer.
Anemia in dogs produces numerous symptoms. The mucous membranes will have no color, so you may notice your dog has pale ears, gums, and eyes. He may even start to sleep more than normal and suffer from depression. Other signs that your dog is suffering from anemia include loss of appetite, increased heart rate, and fatigue.
If you suspect your dog has anemia, you will need to seek help from a veterinarian. He will try to determine a cause for the condition. Blood tests are performed to check for parasites or under-developed red blood cells. Parasites may also be detected using a stool sample. Since leukemia is a common cause of the condition, your dog may have a bone marrow biopsy to check for it.
Severe anemia in dogs has to be treated with a blood transfusion. Once the cause of the condition has been determined, it will have to be treated also. Milder cases don’t normally require a blood transfusion.