Are you concerned that your dog is anemic? There are several variables that might contribute to a dog getting anemia, and there are multiple indicators of anemia in dogs. However, these symptoms aren’t always obvious, which might result in late diagnosis in a circumstance where every second matters.
That being said, it’s critical to understand the what, why, and indicators of anemia in dogs. Continue reading to learn more about this blood-related illness.
What Is Canine Anemia?
Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your dog’s body. Hemoglobin, the protein found within the red blood cells, transports oxygen, while red blood cells remove carbon dioxide from the dog’s body. These cells are produced in the dog’s bone marrow and circulate for around three months before breaking down and needing replenishment.
On the occurrence that the number of your dog’s red blood cells or hemoglobin is reduced, they could become anemic. Anemia is defined as the decrease in the quantity of red blood cells, hemoglobin, or both, flowing into a dog’s bloodstream.
However, there’s one thing you might be confused about. Anemia isn’t a medical condition. It is, rather, a condition that’s frequently a sign of a disease. There are a variety of illnesses and circumstances that can cause anemia. Among the more frequent causes include internal gastrointestinal bleeding, trauma-related blood loss, immune-mediated disease, and more.
What Are The Tell Tale Signs Your Dog Has Anemia?
No matter what the cause is, when a dog’s body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen, there may be a number of subtle and not-so-subtle signs of anemia. It’s critical to recognize symptoms of this ailment in dogs so that veterinarians can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Here are some tell tale signs that your dog is anemic:
1. Flea Infestation
Fleas feed on the blood of dogs. Normally, this will result in irritation or an inflammatory response. However, in the case of a full-fledged flea infestation, it might result in anemia.
A dog with a lot of fleas might lose a lot of blood, which can cause serious anemia. This indicates that they’re not receiving enough oxygen in their body. When a dog develops anemia as a result of flea infection, they’ll appear listless and sluggish.
2. Pale Gums
Pallor is a typical indication of anemia in anemic canines. However, since dogs are coated with fur, it’s impossible to detect pallor. Therefore, look for the development of pale gums instead.
One of the very first things to do if you think your dog is anemic is to examine their gums. A healthy dog’s gums are usually a bright bubblegum pink. But, if they have pale, blue, or greyish gums, that might necessitate a visit to the vet since they indicate probable difficulties with respiration, circulation, and red blood cell counts.
3. Decreased Appetite
Dogs suffering from anemia may experience appetite loss. Some dogs may become finicky eaters or resist food completely.
Loss of appetite is a nonspecific symptom that can be caused by a number of different disorders, including digestive problems and organ disease. Anemia could be a consideration, which is why many veterinarians will order bloodwork whenever a dog goes through an unexplained decrease in appetite.
4. Weakness And Exhaustion
Since an anemic dog lacks enough red blood cells to transport enough oxygen to their heart, tissues, muscles, and brain, they may appear weak and sluggish. With less oxygen supplied to essential organs, they’ll have less stamina, which causes exhaustion.
However, dogs can’t express their tiredness. Rather, they may show indicators of low energy by lagging during walks, taking longer to get up from lying down, and sleeping more. If their anemia isn’t treated, it can progress to the point where the dog is unable to raise their head at least.
5. Rapid And Increased Beating Of The Heart
Anemic dogs typically have a higher heart rate to compensate for the deficiency of oxygen to the tissues. With this increased heartbeat, red blood cells may return to the lungs quickly and reach regions that require more oxygen. However, this puts additional pressure on the heart since it must put more effort and work faster to circulate blood throughout the body. This additional workload might cause a disturbance in the dog’s cardiovascular rhythm.
6. Fainting Or Collapsing
When dogs aren’t accustomed to the decrease in red blood cell count, they may faint or collapse, owing to low blood oxygen levels. When they don’t slow down at least until the amount of oxygen in their blood improves, they might quickly get acute anemia.
7. Coordination Deficit
If a dog’s anemia worsens, they may become shaky and unstable. The dog’s legs may tremble and collapse. It’s believed that the low blood pressure brought on by the massive blood loss is to blame for dogs’ inability to coordinate their movements.
8. Strange Cravings For Food
Dogs suffering from anemia may have odd dietary desires. They may begin to consume mostly non-nutritive objects. Such a condition is referred to as pica. In order to restore iron levels, anemic dogs may, for instance, begin to consume dirt or pebbles.
Jaundice is the clinical term for conditions where the skin turns yellow, which is an indicator of hemolysis in dogs suffering from anemia. Hemolysis is the medical word used to indicate the loss of hemoglobin or red blood cells. When the number of red blood cells is decreased, an orange-yellow pigment is secreted by the liver.
Hemolytic anemia can induce the yellowing of dogs’ skins. This can happen because of an autoimmune disease or as a result of an underlying disease, like one spread by ticks. Jaundice in dogs may also arise because of liver problems or gallbladder blockage or fracture.
The Bottom Line
Anemia, by itself, may not seem alarming, but it can be a warning indication of something far more serious, even life-threatening. If your dog is unwell or shows any of the signs of anemia outlined above, it’s essential to consult your vet soon for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.