How to Defend Your Pet Against Anemia
Anemia is a condition that occurs in pets when their red blood cell count is lower than normal. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. The hemoglobin in the red blood cells causes blood to have a red tint and is the responsible party for delivering the oxygen. If the number of red blood cells being produced drops then your pets body has to work much harder to get oxygen to different parts of the body. Anemia causes animals hearts to beat faster, causes a depressed mood, makes their gums turn pale and fatigues them.
Anemia can be extremely serious if it is not caught and treated right away. A young dog or cat are at an added risk for developing anemia if they are infested with fleas or internal parasites. Their bodies are much more easily weakened when their blood is being fed on. Be sure to get rid of fleas and worms right away if your dog or cat is very young.
Anemia can be caused by three categories of problems – loss of blood, low red blood cell production and hemolysis.
Many things can cause the loss of blood. The most common are injury or trauma to internal organs, parasites and blood vessel damage. There are also a whole group of substances that can cause damage leading to blood loss. Make sure your pet stays away from cooked onions, any type of OTC or prescription drugs, propylene glycol, zinc and copper.
Hemolytic anemia is the most common form of anemia found in pets. It is caused by immune-mediated diseases. When this occurs the body actually attacks its own red blood cells rather than the germs that it would normally attack. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to get this – including poodles, spaniel breeds and Old English sheepdogs.
If anemia is serious your pet might need medication and an IV of blood or fluids. Just make sure that you get them to the vet right away if you are seeing any symptoms.
Make sure that you keep an insect and worm repellant on your pet, feed them a balanced diet and give them regular exercise. Dandelion, ashwagandha and milk thistle can all be used to boost the immune system and levels of hemoglobin. Make sure that you take extra care when your cat or dog is really young. They are more likely to get anemia when they are puppies and kittens.