This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Anaemia is an abnormally low number of red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream.
Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red cells circulating in the blood is below the normal range for an animals species, breed and age. Some breeds of dog eg Greyhounds, Whippets, Borzois and Lurchers have higher red cell counts than other breeds. Young puppies and kittens have lower red cell counts than adults.
There are two main types of blood cell :
The red cells are produced by specialist cells in the bone marrow. One of the main roles for red blood cells is to carry oxygen around the body. The oxygen that is breathed into the lungs gets bound to haemoglobin in the red cells, and in the body's tissues the oxygen is released. If there are not enough red cells in circulation the tissues get starved of oxygen (called hypoxia) - with serious consequences, because oxygen is essential for normal cell function.
There are 3 main causes of anaemia :
Signs of anaemia that owners may notice include :
Treatment of anaemia involves managing the underlying cause and, in some cases, blood transfusion. In some countries there are established blood transfusion services for animals just as there are for humans.
There are many causes of anaemia and identifying the specific cause in a patient is a skilled procedure which requires the analysis of a series of laboratory tests by a veterinarian. CLICK HERE for more Information
Last updated : September 2013