How to Recognize Canine Anemia in Boston Terriers

How to Recognize Canine Anemia in Boston Terriers

January of this year, my Boston Terrier – Rose came down with hemolytic anemia. The cause of her anemia is still unknown.  Because I did not recognize her anemia quick enough, it almost cost her life.  Perhaps by learning the steps of how to recognize it, you can save your dog’s life. 

Observation. The first step is to look over your dog. 

*Look at their gums. Are they pale or yellow in color?

*Is the tongue pale in color?

*Does your dog act depressed?

*Do they no longer jump up on the couch?

*Do they act they can’t keep their eyes open? Like their eyelids weigh a thousand pounds.

*Have they lost their appetite?

*Do they lack energy?

*Do they growl or snap easily? 

Feel. The second step is to touch and feel your dog.  

*Does your dog’s belly feel too warm?

*Put your hand over their chest. 

*Does their heart feel that it is beating too fast?

*Are they breathing with greater effort or more rapidly than normal? 

Listen. The third step is to pay attention to their breathing. 

*Has your dog started to snore or are they snoring louder than they usually do? 

*If you recognize any of these symptoms, go to your veterinary immediately. Do not hesitate.  

The Last Step Is Treatment Of Canine Hemolytic Anemia.

Depending on the severity of the case, your dog may receive a blood transfusion. (My dog – Rose received a transfusion that was donated by a bull mastiff. Actually the unit of blood was split between my Boston Terrier and a poodle.) 

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This will probably be followed up by IV steroids. (My dog – Rose had these and they left an IV access in her much they do humans for several days. I would include a picture of this now if I could. Rose was very good about leaving the IV alone.) 

Other treatments include the use of immunosuppressant medications. With hemolytic anemia, the dog’s own system is destroying its own red blood cells and these medications are used to slow down that destruction. 

Switching the dog to oral steroids (and removing the IV) occurs after several days and the dog can go home when they are no longer losing blood (or destroying their own red blood cells).  

It is now September and I still have to give my Rose oral steroids, an immunosuppressant, a blood pressure medication (the hemolytic anemia caused her heart murmur to become worse), liquid and tablet forms of multivitamins with minerals, and a CoQ10 (also for heart support). 

If I had not caught this anemia and got treatment of my dog, she would have died.  

Please pay attention to the list of symptoms above and again if you recognize any of them in your dog – go to the veterinary immediately!