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Anemia in Dogs

By: Dr. Erika De Papp

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Initial database:

  • History and physical exam
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Reticulocyte count
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis

    Other possible diagnostic tests based on initial findings:

  • Abdominal radiographs (x-rays)
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Thoracic (chest) radiographs
  • Coagulation profile (clotting tests)
  • Bone marrow aspirate
  • Specific tests for infectious diseases
  • Tests of immune function/dysfunction
  • Iron levels
  • Genetic testing
  • Blood type


    The most important component of treating anemia is treating the underlying disease process that is causing the anemia. If anemia is severe, patients might require a blood transfusion, or multiple transfusions.

    Home Care and Prevention

    Administer all medications as prescribed by your veterinarian. Monitor your pet for pale gums, extreme weakness, anorexia, increased respiratory rate, or recurrence of any of the original clinical signs.

    There are no specific means of preventing anemia, since it can be caused by numerous factors.

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