Hemolytic anemia in dogs - Symptoms and treatment

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The anemia is a liver disease It affects both humans and dogs. There are several types of anemia, each with its particular characteristics and their respective treatments. One of them is hemolytic anemia, which affects dogs and is related to the immune system.

If your furry friend suffers from this disease, or has any of the symptoms described here, then you cannot miss this article about Hemolytic anemia in dogs, symptoms and treatment. ¡Keep reading!

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  1. What is hemolytic anemia?
  2. Causes of hemolytic anemia in dogs
  3. Symptoms of hemolytic anemia in dogs
  4. Diagnosis of hemolytic anemia in dogs
  5. Treatment of hemolytic anemia in dogs
  6. Does hemolytic anemia in dogs have a cure?

What is hemolytic anemia?

It is a type of anemia characterized by early destruction of red blood cells that exist in the bloodstream. This is due to various factors that we will explain below and prevent these cells from working properly..

It is a rare disease but requires a lot of care, since if it is not treated properly it can cause death.

Causes of hemolytic anemia in dogs

There are several reasons that cause hemolytic anemia in dogs, the most frequent being the following:

  • Inheritance: Like many other diseases, hemolytic anemia in dogs can be simply due to hereditary genetic issues, showing up from the moment of birth or appearing at an older age.
  • Infections: caused by bacteria and microorganisms that attack red blood cells. Infections can also be due to an internal wound or bleeding.
  • Drug injuries: anemia occurs when there is a unfavorable reaction after taking drugs or other types of chemical agents.
  • Excessive intake of vitamin C: uncontrolled intake of ascorbic acid can cause this disease.

Symptoms of hemolytic anemia in dogs

Some of the signs that a dog can show when suffering from this disease are:

  • Fatigue: it is one of the most significant characteristics of this disease. It occurs because the number of cells that send oxygen to the brain decreases.
  • Tachycardia: It happens because the heart tries to increase the number of pulsations so that the blood can reach the tissues and the brain. As the cells that send oxygen are diminished, the dog's body speeds up the heart rate so that it receives enough quantity.
  • Jaundice: it is a very frequent symptom in this type of anemia, since it significantly increases the levels of bilirubin. This is a yellow pigment found in bile and is formed by the destruction of red blood cells..
  • Dark urine- Dark urine occurs when there is excess bilirubin.
  • Hypersplenism: refers to a increased activity in the spleen. When the spleen is more active than normal, it destroys the red blood cells found inside, preventing oxygen from being transmitted to the dog's body..

They are also presented other symptoms in dogs with hemolytic anemia just as characteristic:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Soft spot
  • Discouragement
  • Threw up
  • Diarrhea
  • Accelerated breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale gums

If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, go to your vet doctor immediately.

Image: veterinarysci.blogspot.com

Diagnosis of hemolytic anemia in dogs

If your dog has the symptoms described above, you should take him to the vet as quickly as possible. In the consultation, the specialist will analyze the case according to what you tell him and will perform a full check of the dog's physical state. Part of the physical exam includes carefully pressing various areas of the body with the intention of detecting tenderness or swollen spleen.

Next, a blood test to measure hemoglobin and reticulocyte levels. If the veterinarian deems it appropriate, other tests may be necessary to rule out other diseases or infections caused by bacteria and microorganisms..

In a short time the results will be ready, with which the corresponding treatment will begin. Hemolytic anemia in dogs can be fatal, so a early diagnosis it's crucial to ensure the survival of the dog.

Treatment of hemolytic anemia in dogs

There are various treatments for hemolytic anemia in dogs. Some of them are:

  • Blood transfusion: aims to rapidly increase the number of red blood cells, replacing the cells destroyed by the disease.
  • Corticosteroids- This is a type of hormone used to stop the dog's immune system from forming new antibodies, which could remove red blood cells from the blood.
  • Antiparasitic: when hemolytic anemia is caused by infections or parasitic agents, it is common for the veterinarian to recommend some type of deworming medicine in order to eliminate possible bacteria and microorganisms that may be affecting the health of the dog.
  • Surgery: it is a measure normally used as a last resort, when the other treatments have not yielded the expected results. It is applied especially when the spleen is frequently inflamed, which makes removal essential.

Does hemolytic anemia in dogs have a cure?

The cure for hemolytic anemia in dogs will depend, to a large extent, on the cause that has caused it. As we have seen in the previous section, depending on the degree of anemia that the animal presents, the emergency measures to restore the number of red blood cells will be one or the other but, once this is done, the specialist will determine the treatment to follow for combat the underlying cause. Thus, we should never self-medicate our dog since, as we have also been able to verify, we could unconsciously worsen the clinical picture.

This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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