Understanding Blood-Loss Anemia in Dogs

Anemia in dogs can be very worrisome for an owner, but there are explanations as to why your dog may have anemia. One of the most common causes of anemia in dogs is the loss of blood.

Possible Reasons for Blood Loss Anemia

The most common cause of blood loss anemia in dogs is parasitical infection. Fleas, worms, ticks and lice can produce severe blood loss. An effective antiparasitical treatment can be of immense benefit to this type of blood loss anemia. Internal injuries are often responsible for blood loss anemia in dogs.

Blood loss anemia in dogs can also occur as the result of a disease. Diseases cause blood loss in different ways; some cause red blood cell breakdown (hemolysis) and others cause internal bleeding. Additionally, the disease can cause a decrease in the production of red blood cells.

Diseases that could cause blood-loss anemia include cancer and a disease known as autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Symptoms of Anemia in Dogs

Symptoms of anemia in dogs include:

  • pale gums;
  • weakness and lethargy;
  • rapid breathing, and;
  • rapid pulse.

Treatment Options for Blood Loss Anemia

Treatment of blood loss anemia will vary depending on the cause of the blood loss. Transfusions may be required. Often, anemia is the result of parasitical infection or bacterial infection; in one of these cases, the infection must be eliminated.

If your dog suffers autoimmune hemolytic anemia, he'll need immuno-suppressant drugs. He may also require blood transfusions and could benefit from surgery to remove the spleen.