There are many causes of non-regenerative anemia. Some of them are listed below:
These develop when the necessary nutrients for creation of red blood cells are deficient. Anemia develops slowly and may be regenerative at first, but eventually turns non-regenerative. Undernourishment causes anemia due to a mixture of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and consequent negative energy and protein balance. Deficiencies in iron, copper, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, and vitamin C are common causes of anemia.
The most typical deficiency seen in dogs is iron deficiency, which is rarely nutritional in nature, and typically occurs after blood loss. Young animals don’t have a lot of stored iron, and milk has very small quantities of iron. Oral iron supplements are usually recommended for anaemic newborns. Your veterinarian will also check for any unseen sources of bleeding and treat it if necessary.
Though vitamin B deficiencies are not common, there are drugs such as anticonvulsants and drugs that hinder vitamin B metabolism that might cause anemia. Weak vitamin B12 absorption has been reported in Giant Schnauzers, though they do respond to injections of vitamin B12.
Anemia of Chronic Disease
Anemia resulting from long-term disease is typically categorised as mild to moderate and non-regenerative, and is the most widespread type of anemia in animals. The anemia can flare up after a chronic inflammation or infection, a tumour, liver ailment, hormonal abnormalities like hyper or hypo-adrenocorticism (disorders of the adrenal gland) or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). Proteins known as cytokines cause anemia by influencing reduction of iron availability, red blood cell survival, and the bone marrow’s ability to regenerate. Treating the anemia requires curing the underlying disease.
Kidney disease that is long-term in nature commonly results in non-regenerative anemia. This is because kidney disease affects production of a kidney hormone that is responsible for triggering development of red blood cells in the bone marrow. An artificial form of the hormone has been introduced, though animals getting the treatment need iron supplements to boost red blood cell production.
Bone Marrow Diseases
Non-regenerative anemia can also be caused by failure or disease of the bone marrow. This leads to a drop in the quantity of all kinds of blood cell, be they red, white, or platelets. Due to extensive bone marrow involvement, white blood cells are destroyed first, then the platelets, and ultimately red blood cells.
Aplastic anemia (limited ability of bone marrow to create all blood cells) has been exhibited in dogs. In most cases, the causes are unknown, but infections, drug therapy, toxins, or total body irradiation might be responsible. It is important to determine and put an end to the true cause before the condition can be treated. Use of antibiotics and transfusions may also be crucial. Drugs that activate the bone marrow are helpful in order to give the marrow time to recover. Bone marrow transplant becomes a viable option if the cause is unknown or if marrow revitalization is doubtful.
In pure red cell aplasia, the main affected areas include red blood cells and elements responsible for production of the red blood cells. Its main feature is non-regenerative anemia with a great reduction in the elements that manufacture the red blood cells in the bone marrow. Immune-related cases of this kind of aplasia often react to treatment that suppresses the immune system. In some dogs, an artificial hormone that triggers blood cell manufacture has been deemed to cause pure red cell aplasia. Ceasing this hormone treatment may ultimately lead to recovery.
Primary leukaemia is a type of cancer characterised by replacement of normal blood cells with abnormal white blood cells. This naturally results in anemia and a deficit in normal white blood cells and platelets. Primary leukaemias are unusual, though they have been seen in dogs. Development of leukaemia can take place in the bone marrow or the lymphatic system, and can be categorised as acute (sudden) or chronic (long-lasting but less severe). Acute leukaemia, where the marrow is full of undeveloped blood cells, doesn’t typically react to chemotherapy. In animals whose bodies do respond, short remission times are the norm, with a 30% response rate and 50% of dogs surviving for at least 4 months. Other kinds of acute leukaemia are rare and even less receptive to treatment. Chronic leukaemias are more open to treatment, and are unlikely to result in anemia.
Myelodysplasia (also known as myelodysplastic syndrome) is a bone marrow disorder which causes a deformity in the development and maturation of blood-forming cells. It brings about non-regenerative anemia or deficits in white blood cells or platelets. It is regarded as a pre-leukemic syndrome, and can be seen in dogs, cats, and also humans. Stem cell mutations, tumours in other organs or drug therapy are the common causes. Although there are dogs that respond to medication using artificial hormones and steroids, it should be combined with supportive care and transfusions. Survival rates fluctuate because myelodysplasia can evolve into leukaemia, and most animals are typically put to sleep or succumb to infection, bleeding, or anemia.
Myelofibrosis is a developmental illness that causes anemia and swelling of the spleen and liver. Failure of the bone marrow leads to fibrous tissue replacing normal marrow elements. It can be the primary disease or be a result of cancer, immune-mediated haemolytic anemia, irradiation of the whole body, or genetic anemia. Bone marrow biopsy can be used to diagnose it, thus necessitating anaesthesia and an overnight stay at the veterinary hospital. Treatment is dependent on the core cause but typically requires the immune system to be suppressed. Remember that suppressing the immune system multiplies the risk that your pet will be susceptible to other diseases. Thus it’s imperative that you carefully follow your veterinarian’s instructions in order to control contact with disease-causing agents.