Feline Anemia Treatment Through Blood Transfusion

Feline anemia is when there is a reduced number of red blood cells and/or a reduced number of hemoglobin in a cat, due to a reduction in the capacity of blood to carry oxygen. Cat anemia is a common problem among felines. Without enough oxygen being carried to the muscles and organs of a cat, he or she will begin to feel weak and tired, and won't have a big appetite.

Symptoms of Feline Anemia

Symptoms of anemia in a cat depend on the cause and severity of the condition. A cat's nose, gums and tongue are usually pink. When she has anemia, these parts of the body will look pale in color.

An anemic cat will lack energy. A cat can also be jaundiced and have a yellow tint in the gums and whites of her eyes. In some cases, a red mass can be found in the cat's urine, indicating a deficiency of reticulocytes in the blood. A feline may even develop pica, a disorder that will cause a cat to want to eat non-food items like dirt, bones and other items. If there is enough blood-loss, a cat could go into shock-especially if there was a recent injury.

Causes of Feline Anemia

A common cause of anemia in cats is kidney disease, because the kidneys control the levels of hormones needed to regulate the production of red blood cells.

Parasites, worms, fleas, and ticks can also cause a cat to become anemic. These creatures can live in or on a cat and survive by sucking the feline's blood, reducing the amount of blood that would circulate through the body.

Other ways a cat could become anemic include internal injuries, damage to a cat's blood vessels, contracting the feline leukemia virus, cancer, and toxins. Many times anemia is a symptom of an underlying condition and a cat should, therefore, be examined by a veterinarian for a formal diagnosis.

Feline Infectious Anemia

Feline infectious anemia is caused by a parasite that affects the outer surface of the red blood cells, infections, medicines and toxicity. An anemic cat's body will think its own blood cells are invading its territory and will destroy them. Cats are more susceptible to this type of anemia if they have an immunosuppressant disease or are not vaccinated against these types of diseases.

Feline Hemolytic Anemia

Feline hemolytic is when a cat cannot produce blood as fast as it is being lost, which is not normal in a healthy cat. The marrow in a cat's bones is still able to create new red blood cells, thus making this one of the regenerative kinds of anemia.

Treating Feline Anemia with Blood Transfusions

Treating cats with blood transfusions has become an integral part and popular form of managing anemia in more severe cases. After finding out the blood-type of a cat, he will receive fresh, whole blood instead of just blood components. The main purpose of the blood transfusion is to stabilize him while the cause of anemia is found.

Feline anemia, when treated, is usually reversible. However, it is of the upmost importance a pet owner takes his or her cat to the veterinarian's office when anemia is suspected.