Anemia in dogs can be a very serious condition if not treated. Anemia occurs when the dog’s body doesn’t have enough red blood cells and/or iron in the blood, and for some reason the dog’s body isn’t replacing the red blood cells as fast as it should be. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells throughout the body. In many cases, anemia is a symptom of another condition, and it indicates that there is something else going wrong in the body that is causing it to happen.
Some commonly produced symptoms that occur when a dog has anemia are pale gums, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, loss of weight, increase in sleeping, and an increased heart rate. If your dog experiences any unusual symptoms it’s important that you contact a veterinarian right away.
A veterinarian will examine the dog and the dog’s symptoms. The veterinarian will run some tests on the dog to make an accurate diagnosis, such as a red blood cell count, hematocrit, analysis of urine and a hemoglobin count. A hematocrit test is a common test that consists of the veterinarian taking a sample of blood and putting it into a device that spins it. The spinning will separate the cells and the plasma, and the test will measure the percentage of red blood cells in the blood of the dog. A red blood cell count is when a blood sample is taken and the actual red blood cells are counted. If the dog is anemic, it is then very crucial to find out what exactly is causing this to happen. Some causes of anemia in dogs can be lack of iron, leukemia, cancer, medications, bleeding, parasites, and autoimmune diseases. Some of the tests that the veterinarian might do to find the cause may include a stool sample to check for parasites and a biopsy of the bone marrow.
Anemia in dogs can be treated, but it is first important to find the cause and get rid of it. If the dog has a really bad case of anemia, the veterinarian may have to administer a blood transfusion. Once the cause of the anemia is gone, the body should start to make the red blood cells again. If the cause is leukemia then the dog will most likely have to undergo chemotherapy in attempt to get rid of it.
It’s important to know that puppies can easily become anemic if they are infested with fleas or parasites. The fleas and parasites will feed on the small puppy’s blood. This can kill a puppy if the problem isn’t treated quickly.