How To Treat Anemia in Dogs (Causes and Prevention)
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Anemia in Dogs
Anemia is a disease that affects a dog's blood. If a dog has a decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin, anemia is diagnosed, but it is due to disease, trauma, or other condition and not the disease itself. An anemic dog developed it from a difficult body.
Therefore, it is important for a pet owner to understand what it means when a dog suffers from this condition.
What is anemia in dogs?
Red blood cells, or red blood cells, are part of the blood and are produced in the dog's bone marrow. Hemoglobin, often abbreviated as Hbg or Hb, is a protein found in red blood cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
It also makes red blood cells. If there is a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the red blood cells, anemia occurs.
Signs of anemia in dogs
- Respiratory problems
- Pale mucous membranes
- Loss of appetite
- Incrise of cardiac frecuency
- A little tired
- Blood in urine, feces, or vomit
- Bleeding nose
Because red blood cells and hemoglobin supply oxygen to the rest of the dog's body, a decrease in one or both elements can lead to a decrease in oxygen in various tissues and cells. If the tissues are not sufficiently oxygenated, a dog may have difficulty breathing, tire more easily, refuse to eat and be weak.
It is difficult for a dog to have energy when he does not have enough oxygen in his cells. A dog's heart rate can also increase as his body tries to make up for the lack of available oxygen by pumping blood through the body faster.
Pale mucous membranes, such as the gums and genitals, are the result of a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin. When these elements are not dominant in the body, the mucous membranes appear paler than usual, or even white in severe anemic conditions.
Dogs should generally have bubblegum pink mucous membranes, not pale pink or white. The color of the mucous membrane is very easy to control at home.
After all, blood can be seen outside of your dog's body when he is anemic. Sometimes bleeding occurs and is seen in the urine or stool. Some dogs may even vomit blood or bleed from the nose. These signs of bleeding may indicate that your dog is anemic or may develop anemia.
Causes of anemia in dogs
Anemia can be caused by health problems that lead to blood loss, red blood cell breakdown, or decreased red blood cell production in the bone marrow. There are several diseases or conditions that can cause these things in a dog.
Severe blood loss usually occurs with a trauma that causes heavy bleeding. Sometimes this trauma is the result of surgery, and sometimes it is due to injury. The bleeding can come from an internal organ or a skin ulcer, which can cause anemia.
Blood, intestinal and external parasites can cause blood loss and anemia in a dog. Babesia is a blood parasite that causes hemolysis or breakdown of red blood cells.
Intestinal parasites like hookworms can cause anemia due to their damage to the intestinal tract, and external blood-sucking parasites like fleas and ticks can also cause anemia if the attack is severe enough.
Some dogs have tumors that start to bleed. Not stopping the bleeding can lead to anemia.
Blood Clot Problems
Disorders that affect the dog's ability to clot blood when necessary can lead to anemia if a blood vessel is damaged. Von Willebrand disease is a disease that, if bleeding is not controlled, can cause blood clot problems and, therefore, anemia.
Diseases that affect the dog's immune system can lead to anemia. This immune system disorder is known as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. This disease causes a dog to produce antibodies that attack its own red blood cells.
Some foods, medicines, and chemicals can cause problems with blood clots and red blood cells. Onions, garlic, chemotherapy, and various rodenticides can also cause anemia in dogs.
Unfortunately, cancer in dogs can cause a number of secondary problems, including anemia.
Most dogs eat a balanced diet and are specific to their specific disease or condition in their life stage. However, some dogs are so malnourished that they develop anemia due to bone marrow suppression.
Several types of chronic diseases can cause anemia. These common chronic diseases include infections of the liver, kidneys, and Ehrlichia. These diseases cause the body to make less bone marrow and therefore fewer red blood cells.
Untreated hypothyroidism can cause mild anemia in dogs.
Diagnosis of anemia in dogs
35-55% of the dog's blood is made up of red blood cells. This percentage can be controlled by running a test to verify packed cell volume (PCV) or hematocrit (HCT). This test involves taking a blood sample and can be easily performed by your vet.
This is often part of routine blood tests and when the percentage drops below 35%, a dog is generally considered anemic. The vet will also do a physical exam and other tests to determine the cause of the anemia.
Treatment of anemia in dogs
Because anemia is the result of a disease or condition that affects the red blood cells or hemoglobin in a dog's blood, the underlying problem must be addressed to correct the anemia.
This may mean surgery, medication, nutritional support, or other treatment for the dog's specific problems. Acute supportive care may also be required, indicating the need for blood transfusions.
Anemia can be fatal if it is not treated. If you suspect your dog is anemic, you should see your vet as soon as possible.
How to prevent anemia in dogs
Because anemia can be caused by a variety of things, it is sometimes impossible to actually prevent it from happening. Treating diseases and conditions that are known to cause anemia is often the best thing you can do to prevent anemia from developing.
That being said, eating a balanced diet, getting parasite prevention products regularly, doing everything you can to prevent injuries that can lead to excessive bleeding, and visiting your vet regularly for physical exams and blood tests can help reduce the symptoms.
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