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Anemia in Dogs

By: Dr. Erika De Papp

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.

  • Administer all prescribed medications as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet.

  • Follow-up diagnostics will vary depending on the specific disease being treated. In most cases, pets need to be carefully monitored following a diagnosis of severe anemia. Your pet will be discharged from the hospital once the red blood cell count is considered stable and the disease process involved is deemed to be under control. A recheck exam in one week, and then every two weeks for the first several months is often indicated.

  • Frequent monitoring of the CBC will be necessary. Follow-up radiographs and/or ultrasound exam is also sometimes indicated.

  • It is crucial to keep a close relationship with your veterinarian while your pet is being medicated. As drugs are tapered or discontinued, it is important to make sure the anemia has not recurred.

  • As an owner, you can learn to monitor your pet's gums at home. With a little practice, you may be able to tell if your pet is becoming anemic, due to the pallor of the gums. Additionally, you will want to monitor your pet for signs similar to what was seen when the illness was originally diagnosed. Things to watch for include lethargy and weakness, an increased respiratory rate, exercise intolerance, change in urine color, and anorexia.


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