Anemia is a common condition among animals just as it is in humans. For your family dog it is quite possible that a condition of anemia has developed and, when this condition arises, it is important to meet with your dog’s veterinarian to determine what treatments should be offered for this blood disorder. While not life threatening, anemia in dogs can significantly reduce quality of life and for this reason, it is important to treat anemia early and aggressively.
In dogs, there are two types of anemia that may develop. One type of anemia in dogs is known as regenerative anemia whereas the other type is commonly referred to as nonregenerative anemia. With nonregenerative anemia there are many types of sub classifications that can be used. In some dogs the complication of nonregenerative anemia may be associated with the chronic disease that could severe and, for this reason, any type of anemia must be diagnosed correctly and treated promptly.
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Chronic conditions that lead to nonregenerative anemia in dogs may include conditions such as hyperthyroidism or liver disease. In addition, your dog may also develop nonregenerative anemia from a complication associated with renal function, or loss of normal kidney functions. With these types of complications a complete blood work analysis is necessary to determine the exact cause and origin of the anemia in your dog and what the underlying cause may be.
Bone marrow complications in dogs are also a common complication that leads to anemia. But, in most dogs, the complications with nonregenerative anemia come as a result of nutritional deficiency. When your dog is not given the proper amount of iron, copper, b12, b6, niacin, vitamin E, and vitamin C, in the dog food eaten, this can lead to complications involving iron deficiency which then leads to complications with anemia, more specifically can lead to nonregenerative anemia.
If you find that your dog is fatigued, lethargic, losing weight, and is non-responsive to you on most days, this could be a significant sign of a potential anemic condition. Meet with your veterinarian and determine if the condition is related to a nonregenerative anemia risk and if so, determine what health complications have arisen and how you can best treat them in collaboration with your dog’s veterinarian.
Sources: The Merck Veterinary Manual, 9th Ed., pp. 25-27.