Anemia in Dogs, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Dogs can also be at a higher risk of being affected by anemia. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you get familiar with all sought of signs that are related to anemia in dogs.

In cases of signs and early symptoms, it is important for diagnosis to be carried out following a proper treatment process before the situation becomes worse.

Anemia is an ailment that affects your pet’s health as time goes by. The symptoms are gradual and are only severe when it has already done much damage. It can take you quite some time to notice that your dog has been infected.

In some cases, anemia in dogs will cause sudden behavior changes that will make you become worried as its pet parent. Make a trip to a veteran if it starts to be sluggish or when it becomes too choosy i.e. it won’t eat certain types of foods as it used to.

Understanding Anemia in Dogs

Anemia is not a disease that affects your pet but rather a condition. It comes about when there is a reduced number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in your dogs’ body. We all know that hemoglobin plays an important role in supplying its body with blood that has been oxygenated.

“Red blood cells are helpful in your canine friend’s body since they ensure enough supply of oxygen in its system. Inside the red blood cell, there is the presence of a protein known as hemoglobin that helps in carrying oxygen”

Red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow afterward, they are released in its bloodstream to enable it to perform its functions.

Do not forget that after they have been released, they are capable of functioning for about three months before being replaced. A problem that triggers low levels in the body is due to inadequate production from the bone marrow.

Therefore, insufficient red blood cells in its body leads to inadequate supply of oxygen in a pet’s system. This will make the dog less active and moody.

Symptoms of anemia can be an indication of a long-lasting illness that is life-threatening to your pet.

Since anemia is triggered in different ways in a pet’s body, it’s important to know the actual type of anemia your dog is suffering from before offering any form of treatment.

Diagnosis of Anemia in Dogs

Diagnosis of dog anemic condition is not that difficult to perform. First and for most, a veteran would take blood samples for tests to be carried out.

Some of its blood is always placed under the microscope for proper observation of the red blood cells.

When the red blood cells are examined, their percentage is supposed to be thirty-five percent. Below that, the dog is considered to be anemic. This type of test that is used to detect a percentage of red blood cells in its body is known as packed cell volume.

Other than a blood sample, the veterinarian can also take a test of the dogs’ fluids that are present in its abdomen. A syringe is always used to get rid of any free fluids that are found in this body part. An examination is carried out to determine if there is the presence of blood in this body part.

Lastly, there are other tests that can be carried out which include evaluation of its liver, test of its pancreases if it’s functioning properly. Presence of any form of dehydration is done by checking on its electrolytes.

In conclusion, a urine test can also be carried out to check if it’s suffering from urinary tract infection.

After performing tests that have been mentioned above, a vet comes with a conclusion on which type of anemia that is ailing your pet. After which treatment is carried out in a proper way.

Causes of Anemia in Dogs

After a diagnosis has been carried out, a vet is capable of knowing the actual cause of anemia for your canine friend.

If a pet has been injured and it ends up losing plenty of blood, it’s at high risk of suffering from blood loss that leads to anemia development. Certain disorders such as ulcers or cancer can also cause it to bleed internally leading to loose of blood in excess.

In a case where its bone marrow has been affected by different diseases such as kidney diseases, parvovirus or when exposed to a substance that is toxic. It is definitely suffering from anemia since red blood cells will not be produced as usual.

A certain condition is known as hemolytic also causes the occurrence of anemia. It happens when white blood cells present in a canine attack its own body cells.

Therefore, antibodies take advantage of destroying all red blood cells available thus this is also considered to be a possible cause of anemia in dogs.

Insufficient red blood cells can also occur when there is a lot of methemoglobin in their blood. There is a certain process that is always carried to help in the conversion of methemoglobin to hemoglobin.

However, if this process gets destructed, methemoglobin becomes too much in your pet’s system thus turning its blood to brown since oxygen is being lost.

This type of anemia is known as methemoglobinemia and is triggered when your pet has been given medication that has chemicals in them such as ibuprofen.

Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

Signs and symptoms of anemia mostly depend on the type of anemia your pet is suffering. Some of its symptoms can be very severe and life-threatening to your four-legged friend.

If you are a pet owner, there are slight changes that you can observe in a pet that helps you to detect that it’s suffering from anemia. They include

  1. Pale gums
  2. Rapid breathing
  3. Weakness or being tired more often
  4. Lack of appetite that leads to loose of weight
  5. Discoloration of its mucous membrane
  6. Some swellings can be seen in jaws
  7. Bloody stool
  8. Fever

Seek attention from a veteran when you spot such symptoms.

Treatment of Anemia in Dogs

Before carrying on with the treatment process, your veteran will have to determine the type and condition that is causing anemia occurrence after which its underlying causes are taken care before it becomes serious.

Treatment is done in different ways with regards to how serious the condition and symptoms of the dog anemic condition is observed. If it is found out to be extremely serious, blood transfusion is always recommended.

A number of option to carry on with the treatment process can be conducted out regarding what has actually caused anemia occurrence. Some of them include offering out medications, performing chemotherapy or performing surgery if anemia has been caused by cancer.

Do not forget that anemia can be a life-threatening condition to your canine friend especially when it has been caused by trauma illness. You can also consider changing its diet by providing plenty of iron supplements as prescribed by the vet.

This is helpful in a situation where anemia has been caused due to excessive loose of blood. However, never do or give any prescriptions at home. Don’t even think about it unless you want to put your dogs in danger.

If aplastic anemia is the main culprit of the condition a vet would recommend blood transfusion to be carried out. Other than that its bone marrow needs to be transplanted.

Natural Way for Treatment of Anemia

Since anemia is caused due to inadequate production of red blood cell or by excessive loose of them. You can only try the natural treatment after seeking consultation from your vet.

Be of help by providing your pet with a special diet if it’s suffering from anemia condition. This involves offering adequate proteins, vitamins more specifically b12 together with plenty of iron. Provide it with beef that consists of all the essentials that have been mentioned above.

In addition, there is a certain powder that you can give it since it has iodine with minerals in it, kelp powder is the name that is used to refer to the beneficial product.

Other than that, provide it with vegetables since it consists of mineral that helps in fighting anemia condition.

If it has been caused due to parasitic infection, consider treating the infestation of before carrying on with any treatment process. For external treatment of fleas start by combing its coat before spraying its whole body.

Soak its bedding in hot water so that all parasites present can be gotten rid of completely, you can also use flea powder by sprinkling in the area where it sleeps.

After carrying on with your cleaning process, always ensure that you keep your hands clean by washing them properly. Parasites or any foreign bug that will suck their blood definitely cause anemia in dogs.

What is Acute Anemia in Dogs?

This is whereby anemia develops in your four-legged friend all over sudden. It’s said to be triggered with the certain condition as a complication or due to zinc toxicity.

“However, the main cause of acute anemia in dogs is as a result of a serious condition known as immune-mediated hemolytic”

Immune-mediated hemolytic affect your pet in a situation where its immune system seems to be overactive. When such a problem occurs, all red blood cells present in your four-legged friend gets tampered with completely.

Since red blood cells have been destroyed, its body lacks them thus making other parts of its body not to function in a proper way.

Lack of oxygen in its systems makes it become weak with high chances of appetite loss as time goes by. A pet that has been affected with immune-mediated also releases urine that is discolored.

Therefore, most pet parents are likely to conclude that their pet seems to be suffering from a bladder infection. Seek attention from a vet for a proper guideline. Carrying on with your own treatment can end up worsening its situation.

Several diagnoses needs to be carried out after performing several examinations for an accurate treatment by the vet.

Since this condition mostly results from an inactive immune system, most probably medication that is offered should be capable of stimulating its immune system to be very active. Most commonly used steroids that are prescribed by a vet include prednisolone.

Can Anemia Cause Death in Dogs?

Anemia is a condition that comes about when there is inadequate production or release of enough red blood cell in its system. If such is not taken care of in good time, there is likely to be an absence of oxygen that eventually leads to sudden death.

Research also says that a dog that has been struggling with anemia condition for a longer time is not at a higher risk of dying. This is because its body takes some time to adjust to the decreased red blood cells.

However, those that get attacked with anemia instantly end up dying quickly since red blood cells present in them gets lost immediately thus they cannot cope up with the situation.

How to Prevent Anemia Occurrence in Dogs?

There are certain measures you can actually try to put in place as a pet owner to keep your pet from being anemic. Keep your pet from ingesting foods that are contaminated since they contain worms that drains a lot of blood in your pet’s system.

You should also try to keep your pet free from fleas. This is because fleas end up sucking a lot of blood from your pet’s body leading to loose of blood that causes the occurrence of anemia.

Keep your pet free from fleas by controlling them in a natural way like sprinkling flea powder where they sleep.

Other than that, there are certain types of drugs that you should keep away from your pet since if they ingest them, they will be at a higher risk of suffering from internal ulcers.

Such medications include NSAID. Therefore, if you have to use them – ensure that you consult a veteran if it’s safe to be used for treatment.

In conclusion, there are those pets that are given a long term treatment prescription. There are minor anemic conditions that you can actually try to use other options natural treatment.

This involves joint pains that can be taken care of by using natural ways. Prolonged use of drugs for your pet can cause a lot of complication to your its immune system.

This can affect beneficial parts such as bone marrow. Since bone marrow helps in the production of red blood cells, it should not be attacked. When it gets affected, it system lacks an efficient supply of oxygen that causes dog anemic condition.

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