Overview Of Anemia In Dogs: Types, Signs And Diagnosis

Anemia In dogs is a medical condition caused by a reduction in the number of red blood cells in the body. It is diagnosed by calculating the red blood cell count or the concentration of hemoglobin. It can come about due to loss, destruction or deficit of red blood cell production. Anemia can be categorized as either regenerative or non-regenerative.

Regenerative anemia is where the bone marrow gives a correct response to the reduced quantity of red blood cells by creating new cells. Non-regenerative anemia is where the bone marrow doesn’t respond adequately to the need for more red blood cells. Anemia that is caused by loss of blood or red blood cell destruction can be classified as regenerative. Anemia that is caused by a bone marrow abnormality or drop in the hormone that triggers red blood cell creation, can be classified as non-regenerative.

Signs and Diagnosis

The indicative signs of anemia rely on the severity, cause, and period of the illness. Sudden anemia can cause shock and even fatality if more than a third of the blood quantity is lost quickly without replacement. Excessive bleeding usually results in an increased pulse rate, pale gums, and low blood pressure. The source of the bleeding may be easy to determine, such as a major injury. In the event that there is no obvious external bleeding, your veterinarian will try to locate the origin of the blood loss. It could be a ruptured tumour on the spleen, an abdomen ulcer, or parasites. Jaundice could be a key sign to indicate if red blood cells are being destroyed. Animals that have been suffering for a long period have had time to adjust, so their signs usually develop at a slower rate. These signs include lack of energy, general malaise, and lack of appetite. Animals suffering from anemia will develop physical characteristics such as pale gums, an increase in pulse rate, and perhaps swelling of the spleen or a heart murmur.

A full medical background is an integral part of diagnosing anaemia. Information a veterinarian may require include the duration that the signs have been present; an account of exposure to toxins; the medicines and vaccinations the pet has had in the past; the pet’s travel history; and any previous illnesses.

A full blood count is an extra analytic tool your veterinarian will use to give information on how severe the anemia is, the extent of bone marrow reaction, and the state of other types of blood cells. An examination should be done to estimate red blood cell size and to verify if there are red blood cell parasites.

Blood and urine tests can be utilized when it comes to determining the proper functioning of internal organs. If there is the possibility of bleeding within the stomach or intestines, an assessment of the animal’s feces is done, in order to find trace quantities of blood and parasites. X-rays can facilitate the identification of hidden disease, for example a coin in a puppy’s stomach causing zinc poisoning and anemia. Any kind of cuts or bruises could be indicative of an ailment or condition that is hampering the blood’s ability to clot, necessitating a test known as the coagulation profile. Alternative tests can be performed if haemolytic disease (a disease causing destruction of red blood cells) is assumed. It could also be helpful to figure out the cause of the anemia by conducting a blood test.

It is common to perform an evaluation of the bone marrow for any animal that has inexplicable, non-regenerative anemia. Acquiring a sample of the bone marrow will involve anesthetizing your pet, so it may have to stay at the veterinary hospital for the night.

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