Can I give raw liver or something else to help my anemic dog?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – My 12-year-old Border collie had a splenectomy last summer and is very anemic. I am giving him raw liver each day in addition to normal, dry food. Is there any iron supplement that I can give him, and how much?


Jenny Homewood


Hi Jenny– thanks for your email. You wrote that your 12-year-old Border collie is anemic. He has a splenectomy last year and you want to know what you can do to help his anemia.

The best thing to do is figure out WHY he is anemic. Healthy dogs eating a good quality food should not be anemic.

So…why is he anemic? Does he have cancer? Why was his spleen removed? Was it hemangiosarcoma (a common cancer) or torsion of the spleen?

Personally, I don't think feeding raw liver does much. I'd give him a vitamin recommended by your veterinarian formulated for dogs and feed a good quality diet. In addition, I'd try to figure out WHY he is anemic and that will give you the most benefit.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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