Anemia in Dogs Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Dog Health

Anemia is a common health problem in humans. Anemia, which occurs as a result of a decrease in the amount of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin in the blood, can also cause serious health problems in dogs. In this article, what causes anemia in dogs, how to treat anemia in dogs, what is good for anemia in dogs? You can find answers to your questions.

What Is Anemia In Dogs?

Although anemia is perceived as a disease at first glance, it is actually considered a symptom of a disease. A decrease in the number of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin in the bloodstream of dogs is expressed as the cause of anemia. There are different types of anemia in dogs. When the type and cause of anemia is diagnosed correctly, it is possible to understand exactly what kind of problem is encountered and to apply the right treatment approach. For this reason, dog owners who think their dog has anemia should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Blood Loss Anemia: The main cause of this type of anemia is the formation of blood vessels in the body. Excessive blood loss due to injury or surgery can cause anemia. In addition, blood loss anemia may occur due to internal bleeding due to health problems such as ulcers, cancer, and internal parasites.

Hemolytic Anemia: It is anemia that occurs due to the shortening of the lifespan of red blood cells and their destruction in the bloodstream and their exit from the circulation earlier than expected. This type of anemia is examined in two different ways as immune-mediated and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. In the case of autoimmune hemolytic anemia, the white blood cells in the dog’s body attack other cells in the body and the antibodies destroy the red blood cells.

Aplastic Anemia: It is a type of anemia that occurs when there is insufficient red blood cell production. Bone marrow problems can develop due to reasons such as parvovirus, kidney diseases, tumors and chemotherapy drugs, exposure to radiation or toxin.

Methemoglobinemia: It is anemia that occurs when the rate of methemoglobin in the blood is increased. The cause of this anemia may be a genetic disorder, some medications used for treatment, or exposure to chemicals.

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Anemia Symptoms in Dogs

Although anemia may occur as a symptom of another underlying problem, it may be the only symptom of most diseases. Therefore, it is important to observe the signs of anemia in order to clarify the suspicion of anemia and take quick action.

Weakness, especially when playing favorite games or spending time with the dog owner, suddenly running out of energy,

  • decreased appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • rapid breathing,
  • high heart rate
  • blood in stool or vomit
  • Stool is very dark in color and has a tarry texture
  • Change in the color of the gums, yellow, light pink or close to white color of the gums,
  • Bruising of the skin due to platelet loss is among the common symptoms of anemia.

What Causes Anemia in Dogs?

The question of what causes anemia in dogs can have many answers. This health problem commonly occurs as a symptom of a disease.

Acute blood loss: Anemia occurs in cases of permanent or continuous bleeding in blood vessels, such as trauma, injury, damage to internal organs.

Drug sensitivity: Some dogs may be sensitive to medical drugs. Medications can trigger gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcer formation in dogs. In such a case, anemia may develop.

Bone marrow suppression: Hypothyroidism, cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic kidney and liver diseases, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, nutritional imbalances and deficiencies can also cause anemia by reducing red blood cell production and suppressing the bone marrow.

Infectious diseases: Bacterial infections, infectious diseases such as Babesia can negatively affect red blood cells, causing anemia.

Diseases caused by parasites: Dogs infested with parasites such as fleas, hookworms and ticks are likely to develop anemia due to the diseases they can get from these creatures.

Exposure to toxins: Anemia is possible in dogs exposed to chemicals such as zinc and rat poison. The release of toxins into the bloodstream of the dog exposed to such a situation may affect the red blood cells, resulting in anemia.

The health problems we mentioned above can be listed as the causes of anemia in dogs. The most common cause of anemia in puppies is tick and flea infestations. In small breeds and puppies, anemia may occur due to invading blood loss.

Treatment of Anemia in Dogs

Treatment of anemia in dogs should depend on the type of anemia and the cause. First of all, the problem causing the anemia must be found. Since anemia can be a symptom of many serious health problems, it is very important that all examinations be done completely. The main purpose in dogs with anemia is to control and correct a condition that causes blood loss. However, it is of great importance for the dog’s health to restore blood volume and, if necessary, to transfer blood, to plan treatment to eliminate the causes of chronic blood loss, and to provide supportive care if necessary.

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