Anemia in dogs results when there are too few red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen. Therefore, canine anemia can be a serious condition. It is typically brought on by various diseases or other factors.
Dogs can suffer from different types of anemia. Some develop the condition because although their bone marrow is still capable of producing red blood cells, they are being lost at a faster rate. Other dogs lose the ability to produce red blood cells at all for some reason.
Canine anemia can be caused by various things as mentioned earlier. Younger pups can develop the condition if they have a hookworm infestation. In addition to worms, dogs can become anemic if they are infested with ticks, fleas, and other parasites. Traumatic injuries can also bring about anemia. There are also certain diseases which can cause anemia in dogs. Cancer is one of the most serious. Autoimmune diseases and an improperly functioning thyroid gland may also be to blame.
If your dog has anemia, then his gums will certainly be affected. You will notice that they’ll appear pale instead of their normal pink color. Canines typically lose their appetite too. An anemic dog will also be lethargic or fatigued. This is due to the fact that their hearts have to beat faster and they have to breathe faster in an effort to provide more oxygen to various areas of the body.
Vets will likely suspect that canine anemia is to blame after examining your dog and taking a look at the gums. A centrifuge which can separate red blood cells from other components of the blood can be used to measure the overall percentage of red blood cells. Blood samples may also show the presence of cells that are immature.
Some dogs will have to undergo a biopsy of their bone marrow. An examination of the stool may also show an infestation of parasites. In order to check the function of various organs, a urinalysis will also likely be given.
Canine anemia can be treated with medication that slows down the loss of red blood cells. Some dogs won’t respond to this treatment though. If a traumatic injury leads to a life-threatening injury, then your dog may need to have a blood transfusion. Other underlying causes of anemia in dogs will need to be treated accordingly.