Anemia is a blood condition caused by too little blood, too few red cells, or insufficient hemoglobin to enable the blood to take up its normal load of oxygen from the lungs. The dog’s gums and tongue are pale, and its endurance is poor. Depression is marked by severe anemia. The dog’s eyes become sunken, the appetite feeble and emaciation gets progressive. Frequently the first sign of anemia observed by an owner will be spelled comparable to our blacking out. When the blacking out happens, a dog may stagger for a few moments or may faint for a few seconds.
In case of hemorrhage, the dog may lose enough blood to die or be close to death. The blood may be lost externally or it may flow into the abdomen or chest cavity. After the blood clots in any cavities, the fluid component returns to circulation and may save the dog’s life. The clot eventually hemolyzes and is picked up by the blood and passed out in the urine. When the danger of hemorrhage has passed, transfusions may save the dog’s life. Transfusions have also saved the lives of many dogs made anemic by lice, hookworms, and whipworms.
Determining the cause of anemia often requires detective work. Is it from blood loss? Are red cells being produced and destroyed or are the blood-forming tissues such as the bone marrow somehow being depressed? Once you know which category the anemia falls into you then have to identify the cause to determine the treatment.
Treating anemia is usually a matter of finding the cause, removing it, and supplying the food to stimulate blood building. Iron is essential. Liver dried or fresh will help greatly. Curiously enough, diets especially planned to cure anemia sometimes do not have sufficient salt. All dog food should contain at least s percent salt, and a little more can be fed to good advantage to anemic dogs.
Dog Anemia Information
- One of the most prominent signs of anemia is the loss of the bright pink color of the gums or the gingiva and turning into pale whitish pink.
- The affected dogs lack stamina and they would be unwilling to go for rigorous physical exercise. The dog would always feel lethargic and unwilling to move.
- For diagnosing anemia several tests are conducted. A blood test named the packed cell volume or the PCV is conducted. The test is also known as hematocrit. During the test, the blood sample is placed on a centrifuge and the red blood cells or the hemoglobin is separated from the plasma or the liquid part of the blood. The count of the red blood cells between thirty-five percent to fifty-five percent is taken to be normal in case the blood count is less than thirty five the dog is diagnosed to be anemic.
- The bone marrow is the producer of red blood cells. A smear of blood stain would reveal in an anemic dog that the number of newly produced red blood cells is very high. This shows that the bone marrow has started producing more young red blood cells than the normal amount as a response to the need of manufacturing red blood cells.
There are several other methods of diagnosing anemia. If you suspect your dog to be suffering from the common symptoms of anemia, take your dog to a dog vet surgeon.
See more: Dog Bloat