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Dog anemia

Dog anemia symptoms, risks, causes, diagnosis and treatments

Dog anemia or canine anemia is similar to human anemia wherein the count of red blood cells or hemoglobin or both are below required levels.

Although Dog anemia is not a disease by itself, in many cases, dog anemia causes other health conditions. Other health conditions can also cause blood loss which may lead to anemia.

Diseases that hamper production of blood cells can also impact the levels of red blood cells. Nutritional deficiency can also lead to this condition but it is not necessarily true among dogs.

Iron deficiency among humans can cause anemia but the condition is not necessarily true among dogs though puppies may be affected by nutritional deficiencies.

Types and Symptoms of Dog Anemia
Dog anemia symptoms range from:

  • Pale gums: Normal gums are pink in color while anemia can reduce the pink gums to pale pink or white gums.
  • Lethargy: Anemic dogs can get tired very fast. Weakness, listlessness and general weakness are possible fallouts of anemia.
  • Faster pulse rate: Fast breathing and faster pulse rate occur as the body tries to pump blood at a faster rate to provide more oxygen to the cells.
  • Increased Sleep: Dogs may tend to sleep more than usual indicating weakness
  • Lack of appetite: Anemic dogs may also indicate a lack of interest in eating food.

Risks associated with Dog Anemia
Anemia may be gradual in nature and the body adjusts to the changed levels of red blood cells but sudden anemia can cause death. Anemia must therefore be treated to avoid extreme situations.

Causes of Dog Anemia
The key causes associated with dog anemia are:

  • Blood Loss: Blood loss may be triggered due to various reasons such as injury, parasites, tumors or diseases that prevent blood clotting.
  • Hemolysis: Hemolysis is a health disorder that causes red blood cells destruction or breakdown.
  • Diagnosis
  • There are various tests that help diagnose anemia. Some common tests are:
  • Blood smear test
  • Bone marrow biopsy or aspirate
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal exam


Home Care and Prevention of Dog Anemia
Dog anemia treatment is preventative in nature. A well balanced meal can help keep anemia at bay. Certain foods and nutrients are known to provide necessary nutrients that help prevent the onset of anemia. Such foods include: beef liver, kelp powder, green vegetables, nutritional yeast and Vitamin C. If the condition is caused due to parasites then it is advisable to treat the parasite infestation. Anemia caused due to fleas can be treated by using flea shampoos, sprays or powders that are effective in killing fleas.

  Submitted on June 1, 2010  

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