Is Your Pet ANEMIA ?
Anaemia is a condition characterized by low blood levels in the body with special reference to red blood cells. These cells are the major component of blood and are involved in the transportation and utilization of oxygen required for normal bodily functions.
Anaemia can occur due to:
- Loss of blood: This results from an injury, trauma due to an accident, internal bleeding due to rupture of some tumours or spleen, or parasites like hookworms and fleas which consume blood for their survival.
- Destruction of blood cells: This is seen in some of the conditions like blood parasites, jaundice (yellowish colouration of eyes, skin and gums) and leptospirosis.
Decreased production of red blood cells: This is seen in conditions like leukaemia, kidney diseases, and other cancerous conditions.
How will you know that your pet is anaemic?
Clinical signs exhibited by pet animals depends on the severity and duration (i.e. whether it is long-standing or sudden occurrence) of anaemia.
Dogs and cats with a sudden and severe occurrence of anaemia may experience shock or even death if more than a third of the blood volume is lost rapidly and not replaced. Such animals may have:
- an increased heart rate
- pale gums and
- low blood pressure
Animals with long-standing anaemia will have the reaction time to adjust to the situation, and they develop anaemic signs more slowly. These include:
- low energy levels
- weakness and
- loss of appetite
Affected animals will have similar physical examination findings, such as:
- pale gums
- an increased heart rate and
- splenic enlargement
How to correct anaemia in pets?
You should consult a veterinarian if you notice any of the above symptoms. The vet may collect the history pertaining to your pet and its health status before conducting a blood analysis. Finally, your vet may arrive at the cause of anaemia and may guide you properly to correct the same which may include:
- use of drugs that control the bleeding
- removing the parasite load
- use of drugs that stimulate red blood cell production
- use of iron supplements
- blood transfusion in severe cases and
- use of blood volume expanders
Help your pet to maintain good health by adopting ideal health practices as suggested by your veterinarian. Ensure your pet receives regular health check-ups to ensure they are healthy or to identify any potential issues.
A healthy dog is a happy dog
Dr. Chandrashekar Salimath