How to Treat Anemia in Dogs
If you search “treatments for anemia in dogs”, you’ll likely find a significant amount of advice and opinions. However, always consult your veterinarian about any advice you’re thinking of implementing and ask any questions you may have about recommended medications or treatments.
Depending on your dog’s current symptoms and history, diagnostics may be recommended. These may range from a complete blood count to learn how anemic your pooch is and assess characteristics of red blood cells, and chemistry tests to examine organ function and sugar levels, to specialized tests that may help to reveal an underlying infectious disease. Since iron deficiency can lead to anemia, your vet may also want to test for iron in the blood.
If the vet does diagnose your dog with anemia, the prognosis will depend on the cause and whether the underlying condition causing the anemia can be treated. Once the cause has been determined through diagnostic testing, your veterinarian can recommend an effective course of treatment.
One or a combination of these treatments may be recommended:
What are good sources of iron for dogs?
You can boost the amount of iron in your dog’s system by supplementing his diet with fresh foods containing this important mineral. You can start with green vegetables, beef liver, raw egg yok (from local or organic eggs) and adding canned sardines to their regular food.
Depending on your dog’s size, you’ll want to aim to add anywhere from 500 to 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C (which can help the body absorb iron from the intestinal tract) per day.
Don’t forget to check with your vet before starting your dog on any new diet, medication or other treatment. Because liver is a rich food, ask how much your dog should be given – you don’t want to cause a case of diarrhea while trying to treat anemia.
When it comes to predicting how long dogs can live with anemia, it should be treated as a serious symptom by you and your vet, since some of its causes are very serious. Prognosis will depend on the underlying cause and how early and effectively it can be treated.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pets condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Signs of Iron Deficiency in Dogs
The most common cause of iron deficiency in dogs is chronic blood loss. This is usually secondary to another condition, like a hookworm infection, gastrointestinal tumors, or chronic kidney disease. Malnutrition and malabsorption are less common causes of iron deficiency.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia in dogs include:
Puppies, especially those with parasitic infections, may have a higher risk of being anemic because lactating mothers have low concentrations of iron in their milk.
Your vet will first treat the underlying cause of iron deficiency. Oral and intravenous iron supplements can restore iron levels. Blood transfusions may be required for severe cases.
FOODS for dogs WITH ANEMIA (What to eat)
When the body is deficient in iron, red cells do not develop as they should. The lack of iron causes the cells that are produced by the bone marrow to be too small, and too low in oxygen-carrying features. In adult dogs, this condition is usually caused by some kind of blood loss. It is important to recognize iron-deficiency anemia, because the underlying disease can be life-threatening.
The most common site of the blood loss is the gastrointestinal tract. It is fairly common in adult dogs.
The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Your veterinarian will first address the underlying disease; it must be corrected as quickly as possible. If the anemia is severe, your dog will need a transfusion of whole blood, or packed red blood cells. Iron replacement therapy will begin with an injection, and will be followed by oral iron supplements.
Dogs with severe iron deficiency are not able to absorb iron very well, so oral supplements do not help much until iron levels have been brought up. For that reason, the iron will be either administered through an IV or injected until some replacement has occurred. This will take at least a month and up to two months. Iron supplements will then be administered orally for another one to two months, or until the iron deficiency has been resolved.
You will need to take your dog to the veterinarian for iron injections regularly for up to two months. Afterwards, you will need to administer the oral medication for another one to two months. Frequent clinical tests are conducted to monitor the dog’s progress. And a complete blood count should be taken every one to four weeks.
If the anemia is severe, more frequent monitoring will be necessary. Your veterinarian will be looking for an increase in the volume of cells in the blood. Protecting your pet from other animals until it get stronger is vital. Keeping it in a cage, at least part of the time, is a good way to accomplish this.
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