Anemia in dogs

Anemia is a disease that develops not only in humans, but also in animals. It arises from the reduction in the level of erythrocytes - these cells are associated with the oxygen supply of the body. Lack of erythrocytes can adversely affect the condition of the organs and systems of the dog, significantly worsen its condition. How to recognize the presence of anemia in a timely manner in a dog, and how is this disease treated?


Types of anemia in dogs

Anemia in dogs

There are several varieties of this disease:

  • Posthemorrhagic anemia . It arises from blood loss, and it does not matter whether internal or external bleeding occurs. It can appear as a result of an injury affecting the vessels of the circulatory system and internal organs. Of course, it is extremely difficult to detect a disease if the bleeding is of an internal nature, especially if it is a chronic process. But you can notice blanching of the mucous membranes, and also often there are subcutaneous haemorrhages of the point species.
  • Hypoplastic anemia . This form of the disease is associated with a lack of any trace elements, proteins or vitamin components - iron, copper, zinc, selenium, B vitamins or folic acid. If the pet gets a full-fledged nutrition enriched with useful elements, development of hypoplastic anemia is possible because of damage to the cells of the bone marrow by toxic substances. Toxins can accumulate in the body due to transferred infectious diseases or impaired metabolism.
  • Alimentary anemia . Refers to the category of hypoplastic anemia. It develops in puppies from an early age, if they receive an incorrect, unbalanced diet. It can be associated with a lack of iron with a diet, the pathology of impaired absorption of it from the intestine is much less common.
  • Aplastic form of pathology . It develops due to severe disorders in the activity of the hematopoiesis system. Pathology concerns not only the formation of erythrocytes, but also the rest of the blood cells. Complicated hypoplastic anemia can flow with time into aplastic.

In addition, veterinary specialists can diagnose the regenerative and non-regenerative forms of anemia in dogs. With the first type of pathology, the body is able to compensate for the loss of erythrocyte cells, producing fairly quickly new ones, but with the second form of rapid recovery does not occur.

Factors of anemia in dogs

Factors of anemia in dogs

The following conditions and processes can affect the appearance of the disease:

  • Injuries causing a large loss of blood.
  • Abundant internal bleeding, formed in the gastrointestinal tract (arise due to severe inflammatory processes or infectious diseases).
  • Infectious diseases (most often anemia develops against the background of tick-borne infestation), in most cases, small-sized dogs suffer from anemia.
  • Immuno-mediated (autoimmune) diseases that cause the body's systems to destroy their own red blood cells.
  • Reception of medicines, for example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which often cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Afanipteroz - infection with fleas . As in tick-borne invasions, there is an increased risk for representatives of dwarf species and puppies.
  • Poisoning the dog with poisonous substances, or heavy metals, causing a strong intoxication of the body.
  • Ailments in chronic form (often dogs, especially the elderly, suffer from kidney failure and oncology), with the use of medications that reduce the production of red blood cells.

Symptoms in anemia can be different and depend directly on the causes of its development.

Symptoms and signs of anemia in dogs

The main function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen to all tissues and organs, which is extremely important for their activity. Therefore, a decrease in the level of erythrocytes leads to lethargic dogs, the animal is hard to endure physical stress. The pet is increasingly lying in a reclining position, does not show activity, but rises only in need.

The pet's appetite decreases, or he can generally refuse to eat . With anemia, blushing or blueing of the mucous membranes is observed, if the dog feels the gums, then with anemia they are cold.

If the disease does not appear due to bleeding, but against severe intoxication or helminth or tick-borne invasion, these symptoms develop at a slow pace. Most often, dog owners for a long time and do not suspect that their pet is sick.

During autoimmune anemia, there may be more severe symptoms:

  • Dyspnea.
  • Failures of the digestive tract - vomiting, loose stool.
  • Polyuria is an increase in the amount of urine (it does not always appear).
  • Polydipsia - increased thirst, the pet drinks a very large amount of water.
  • Febrile state.

During the examination, it is possible to detect tachycardia, systolic noises, rapid breathing, jaundice. Urine can be brown due to staining with hemoglobin or bilirubin. Ultrasound and other methods of investigation reveal an increase in organs - the liver, spleen, and also lymph nodes.

Which dogs are at risk

Dogs at risk for anemia

Anemia can develop completely in all dogs, thoroughbreds, mestizos, adults or puppies. But a special group of risk includes dogs that have a history of gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer, as well as animals with hereditary pathologies.

Pitbull terriers and greyhounds can also be included here, as these breeds tend to be of infectious origin, and those in turn lead to the development of anemia.

Diagnosis of the disease in dogs

Anemia is detected through the analysis of blood. The most commonly used method of determining the hemocrit size, it is carried out in the clinical analysis of blood. If the indicator is below the norm by 35%, the pet will be diagnosed with anemia.

When diagnosing anemia, a number of diagnostic tests are assigned, the purpose of which is to identify parasites that affect the destruction of red blood cells, as well as cells with an abnormal structure, signaling the presence of leukemia . Among the methods of diagnosis, bone marrow biopsy is often used - the analysis gives information about his condition and what caused anemia.

Among other tests for the diagnosis of anemia are the following:

  • blood for biochemistry;
  • urinalysis (general);
  • feces on parasites of the gastrointestinal tract.

The complex of measures allows to find out exactly what caused the anemia in the dog. Based on the results, timely effective treatment is prescribed.

Therapeutic treatment of anemia in dogs

Treatment of anemia in dogs

Given the above, one can agree that there is no single method for treating anemia. Therapy directly depends on what caused the disease. In addition, when prescribing treatment, the veterinarian assesses the condition of the pet, takes into account its age and body characteristics.

In case of anemia, the following procedures may be used:

  • intravenous infusion, aimed at increasing the blood volume;
  • transfusion of blood components, take erythrocytic mass, whole blood, platelets, or freshly frozen plasma;
  • transfusion (transfusion) of the bone marrow;
  • antibiotic therapy (appointed in case of infection);
  • a course of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone or phytomenadione), which normalizes the processes of blood clotting;
  • application of means against parasites;
  • the appointment of drugs containing useful elements - iron, phosphates, potassium;
  • carrying out general therapeutic measures aimed at maintaining the animal's body;
  • if necessary, surgery.

In the process of treatment, it is extremely important to monitor the condition of the pet, and after treatment, regular monitoring.

With adequate treatment, signs of acute aplastic anemia are eliminated after 21-28 days. The chronic course of diseases of this species is more complex, requires a very serious approach. Even after a course of therapy, the animal can not fully recover for a long time.

Naturally, a young animal can be cured faster from any kind of ailment, and the disease proceeds relatively more easily. In a young organism, the recovery period, including after a surgical operation, takes less time.

Anemia in dogs on video

Prognosis for dogs with anemia

Of course, the prognosis for a pet with an anemia depends on the type and form of the disease, the state of the organism and other factors. With hemolytic anemia, dogs of any age, even the elderly, recover quickly enough. Naturally, if there was a timely diagnosis and treatment.

If anemia is caused by intoxication with toxic substances or autoimmune diseases, then the predictions are less favorable.

Anemia associated with cancerous diseases, in most cases, ends with the death of the animal, as the dog's organism reacts badly to chemotherapy or surgery.

Anemia is a serious ailment, so it's important to help the pet in time!

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