Anemia is defined as a condition in which the blood has an insufficient amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin levels. 

These cells are responsible for moving oxygen around the body and keeping everything functioning as it should. If the anemia continues untreated, other health problems could develop.

Symptoms of Anemia in Pets

Warning signs of anemia in pets are similar to those in humans. This might include tiredness, shortness of breath, weakness, and decreased ability to exercise. You might also notice your pet has pale gums, tongue, and nose. 

Unlike humans, however, a pet cannot simply tell you how they feel. This makes diagnosis a bit more tricky, and anemia often goes undiagnosed until other issues are discovered. 

In severe cases, you might notice unusual bruising, dark stool, or blood in the pet’s urine. If your pet is experiencing these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately. 

Causes of Anemia in Pets

Contrary to popular belief, anemia is not a disease in itself, but rather a potential symptom to a variety of other issues. There are many things that can cause anemia, such as: 

  • Blood loss
  • Infection from fleas, ticks, or other parasites
  • Adverse reaction to a medication
  • Non-infectious diseases (hypothyroidism, cushing’s disease, kidney issues, etc.)
  • Infectious diseases (canine distemper, bacterial infection, etc.)
  • Nutritional deficiency 
  • And more. 

As you can see, there are a wide variety of factors that could result in an anemic pet. Some of these factors are easily treatable while others might be more severe.

Treatment and Prevention

If your vet discovers anemia in your pet, they will want to do further diagnostic testing to discover the cause behind it. This might include a blood panel or a urine and/or fecal analysis. From there, they will develop a treatment plan that takes care of the issue at its source. 

The best way to prevent anemia in pets is to keep them protected from fleas and ticks.  Secondly, provide for them a balanced, nutritional diet. Keeping your dog in an enclosed yard and teaching him basic commands can also help prevent trauma and accidents. Finally, keep your pet up to date on his wellness visits and vaccinations.

Veterinary Hospital & Diagnostic Testing For Pets

If you suspect your pet has anemia or some other underlying issue, don’t wait any longer. Call the experts at Old Farm Veterinary Hospital. We offer comprehensive diagnostic testing for cats and dogs in Frederick, Maryland, and beyond! No matter what the issue is, we can help your furry friend get back to their healthiest and happiest self. 

Call now to schedule an appointment!