Anemia in dogs and its prevention

by Ann

Anemia is a condition of decreased level of blood in the body. It is not itself a disease but it may be due to some other factors and conditions such as trauma.

What is anemia in dogs?

The component of blood are red blood cells or RBCs produced in the bone marrow of dogs and the protein that is present in red blood cells is hemoglobin that is responsible for oxygen transportation throughout the body. This protein is also responsible for the red color of red blood cells. Now if there is a lack of any of the components either red blood cell or hemoglobin within RBCs, the condition will be called anemia. So in this condition, it is the responsibility of an owner to understand what is going in the dog’s body and what should have to do in this regard.

Symptoms of anemia:

  • Like the human body, oxygen plays a very vital role in an animal’s body but lack of hemoglobin or red blood cells causes a decrease of oxygen in various tissues and cells. If a sufficient amount of oxygen will not be delivered to the body tissues, it may result in difficulty in breathing, weakness, tiredness, etc.
  • The unavailability of oxygen may also result in increased heart rate.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss is also due to lack of hemoglobin and oxygen.
  • Mucous membranes such as genital areas and gums become pale even in the severe anemic condition the mucous membranes become white.
  • Blood in feces, urine, stool, and vomiting also the bloody nose is a clear indication of anemia in dogs.

Causes of anemia:

  • Several different types of conditions may cause anemia some of which are:
  • A trauma in which there is severe bleeding or any injury that leads to loss of an excessive amount of blood.
  • Blood parasites that may be internal or external. For example babesia and hookworms etc.
  • Some dogs have tumors in their body. Severe bleeding from tumors is also a cause of loss of blood.
  • Cancer can also become the cause of anemia as it leads to certain secondary diseases.
  • Malnutrition in dogs suppresses the bone marrow formation that ultimately results in anemia.

Treatment of anemia:

Anemia is very hazardous if left unchecked. So if the owner suspects any symptom of anemia in the dog, he should immediately consult a veterinarian because many causes of anemia can be easily handled and cure with the help of proper treatment from a veterinarian. A vet will perform some tests such as a complete blood test (CBC), urinalysis for checking infection in urinary tract infection, electrolyte test for dehydration, and some other tests for checking parasites infection. Since anemia itself is not a disease, it is caused by other conditions or blood diseases so, it’s better to address the underlying issues to cure anemia. Treatment of anemia includes restore blood volume and control bleeding and blood loss events. Prevention from anemia includes some measures such as annual or monthly veterinary visits and some personal care at home. Avoidance from traumas, parasites, unhealthy food, human medication, and toxins is also very important to prevent anemia.

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