Anemia in Dogs & Cats

Definition of anemia:

Decreasing of red blood cells  or having low quality RBCs causes pathologic condition which is named anemia.

Destruction of RBCs can be occurred in vascular system or out of it.If it is happened in vascular system hemoglobinemia (existing hemoglobin in blood circulation) and hemoglobinuria ( existing hemoglobin in pee ) are it’s consequences.Hemoglobinuria causes red pee.

Lysis of RBCs out of vascular system is occurred in spleen and most often this leads physiologic splenomegaly.

Low hemoglobin or iron deficiency lead to low quality RBC ( abnormal RBC ).Bone marrow is the source of RBC production and any disease like leukemia which affects it can causes anemia.

Regenerative anemia hints the anemia in which bone marrow responses to it but non-regenerative anemia is the anemia without bone marrow response.

Symptoms of anemia:

lethargy, panting, exercise intolerance, lack of growth in neonates, increased heartbeat, sensitive to infection diseases, drowsiness and jaundice or pale mucous membrane, collapse, heart murmur,

Categories of anemia:

1Congenital : such as thalassemia in humans or lack of specialized enzymes which are necessary to produce RBC

2-Acquired : parasitic infections like hemobartonellosis in cats, babesiosis in dogs, anaplasmosis in dogs, chronic infection can affect the bone marrow and indirectly causes anemia like tuberculosis, bone marrow tumor like leukemia , severe hemorrhage internally or externally, starvation due to lack of necessary elements which are needed to produce RBCs

Treatment:

On the basis of the causative agent, treatment could be different. For example in acute hemorrhage intravenous fluid therapy is the first choice but in chronic anemia blood transfusion is necessary to support patient . Any way diagnosis of the reason of anemia is the main purpose of the examination. With doing special lab tests is possible to diagnose the causative agent of the anemia. Needless to say even with accurate diagnosis in advanced stage of anemia the rate of life expectancy is low. Therefore paying attention to your pet in the early stage of diseases is an obligation to prevent from a vicious cycle which can lead to a disaster.

Parasitic anemia  is among those diseases which in long term leads to sever problem.Therefore diagnosis in it’s early stages helps your veterinarian to treat it properly and this needs your attention to any early symptoms of anemia which can be started with low appetite or lack of enough activity.

 

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