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symptoms of anemia in dogs

Symptoms of Anemia in Dogs: 12 Signs Pet Owners Should Know

Why would pet owners need to know the symptoms of anemia in dogs? Spotting the signs of ill health is the best way to avoid costly treatment or, worse, potentially fatal sickness in your dog. Illnesses like anemia are subtle, requiring you to pay more attention to your furry friend if you want to catch it early.

Here is more about anemia in dogs from a trusted veterinarian in Tucson, AZ.

What Is Anemia in Dogs?

Before we look at the various signs of anemia, it is important to understand the underlying issues. Anemia refers to a condition where the dog lacks either red blood cells or hemoglobin circulating in the bloodstream. Red blood cells supply oxygen throughout the body while removing carbon dioxide from the cells.

Bone marrow produces these vital cells, which transport oxygen through hemoglobin, a protein. The cells do their job for three months before breaking down and letting a new batch take over. However, the process does not always play out the right way in dogs battling anemia.

Potential Causes of Anemia in Dogs

  • Infectious disease
  • Chronic diseases that inhibit red blood cell production
  • Ingestion or inhalation of toxins or poisons
  • Blood loss due to parasite activity
  • Lyme disease
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Bone marrow disease
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Severe blood loss following accident or injury
  • Medications interfering with red blood cell production
  • Poor nutrition

Three Types of Anemia in Dogs

Blood Loss Anemia

Typically, blood loss anemia occurs after injury or surgery. However, it may also appear through a bleeding disorder or internal bleeding due to parasites.

Non-Regenerative Anemia

This type of anemia occurs when an underlying condition causes inadequate red blood cell production. Common causes include exposure to toxins, parvovirus, kidney disease, and bone marrow disease.

Hemolytic Anemia

With hemolytic anemia, the red blood cells break down faster than normal so that the bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells to take over.

12 Symptoms of Anemia in Dogs

So, what can pet owners expect to see in dogs with anemia? It depends on how long the disease has lasted, its severity, and the cause. It is also not uncommon for dogs to show no symptoms until the anemia becomes severe.

Moderate to severe anemia symptoms in dogs typically include the following:

  1. Pale gums
  2. Weight loss
  3. Sudden interest in eating non-edible items (pica)
  4. Reduced appetite
  5. Lethargy
  6. Weakness
  7. Breathing difficulties
  8. Faster than usual heartbeat
  9. Blood loss from the mouth, nose, reproductive, and digestive systems
  10. Unexplained bruising on the body
  11. Jaundice
  12. Loss of consciousness

If you spot any of these signs in your dog, seek urgent medical attention from a trusted veterinarian like Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic.

Professional Help for Your Dog in Arizona

Now that you know when to take your pet to the vet, consider putting a trusted team on speed dial. At Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic, we safely treat anemia through blood transfusions, chemotherapy, bone marrow transfusions, and more.

Call Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic at (520) 889.9643 today to discuss the symptoms of anemia in dogs or request an appointment in Tucson, AZ.

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