Dogs can become anaemic for a variety of reasons. It could be they suffered an injury and lost a lot of blood or they may have had a reaction to a certain drug they were prescribed to treat another condition. Other reasons could be that a dog has developed some sort of immune-mediated disorder or they may even be suffering from a form of cancer.
In some instances, a dog might only be showing mild signs of anaemia in which case there is no immediate panic. However, if the condition is more severe it can be life threatening and as such a dog would need to see a vet as a matter of urgency. The signs to watch out for when a dog is becoming anaemic include the following:
Dogs become anaemic because the number of red blood cells in their bloodstream fall too low and because their task is to take much needed oxygen around the body, when their numbers drop it can have catastrophic effects on the vital organs found in a dog's body. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead to their entire systems shutting down altogether.
As previously mentioned, dogs can become anaemic for many reasons and they are various types of the condition too. It could be a dog has lost blood through injury or it could be because the red blood cells in their bloodstream are being destroyed because they are suffering a specific health disorder. It could be that a condition is preventing their systems from producing the right amount of red blood cells. With this said, the most common causes of dogs developing anaemia include the following:
A vet would need to have a dog's full medical history before examining them after which they would need to take a blood test which would help determine how many red blood cells are found in their bloodstream. If a vet finds the volume is low, they would diagnose the dog as suffering from anaemia. There are a variety of blood tests available that would give a vet more in-depth view on why a dog might be suffering from the condition and these would help establish if it is due to the red blood cells being destroyed by an underlying health issue rather than just through blood loss.
The treatments for dogs suffering from anaemia depend on the underlying cause of their condition. If their condition is deemed severe, they would need to be given a blood transfusion as a matter of urgency because it is a life-threatening situation for a dog to be in. The reason being that it is crucial for oxygen to reach a dog's whole system which includes their major organs. In extremely severe cases, a dog might need to be given several transfusions until their own body can produce the right amount of red blood cells. However, the underlying cause of a dog's condition must be established and treated in which case a vet might decide on a variety of treatment options depending on which they think would be the most appropriate.