Treating Anemia in Dogs
Identifying it is critical in the treatment process as the sooner you catch it the easier it is to treat

Treating anemia in dogs can be difficult simply because there are so many potential causes of this very dangerous condition.

However, there are several very successful treatments that will include both medical as well as natural forms.

The treatment of anemia will all depend of the actual cause, which can be primary or secondary, as well as the severity of the anemia.

Anemia in dogs is technically defined as a low red blood cell count and can be caused by a number of processes that include blood loss and red blood cell destruction.

It can also be caused as an inadequate red blood cell production by your dog.

In determining the actual treatment, your veterinarian will have to fully understand the actual cause.

But before any of this can be done, you will have to identify that your dog does have anemia. There are several warning signs and symptoms that will help to with identifying it.


Beagle eyesTo be successful in treating anemia in dogs you must find the cause

Treating anemia in dogs cannot be done until you identify that your dog actually has anemia, and there are several warning signs and symptoms that you can watch for.

The first warning is a generalized weakness in your dog.

This weakness may be very sudden, or it may be gradual, depending on the type of anemia that your dog has.

As soon as you see any sign of weakness, do not assume that your dog is just not feeling well.

Very quickly check their gums, as this is the first true indicator that your dog has something seriously wrong with them.

If their gums are pale at all, the chances are very high that they have developed this condition.

Next, check for an increased respiratory rate in your dog by checking their pulse.

This is done by placing your fingers around the front of their hind leg and then moving your hands up between their thigh and abdomen.

Once you feel the pulse, it should be between 70 and 120 beats per minute. The next sign that you may see with anemia is collapsing.

This is a very frightening situation and one of the sure signs of this condition.

Blood loss of any type in your dog, especially in the urine or externally, is the next sign of anemia.

Abdominal distention, vomiting, and any type of a yellow discoloration are also signs that your dog has this condition.


Treating anemia in dogs will also depend of their complete blood count, or their CBC.

This is one of the most basic as well as most important tests your veterinarian will do, as it can very quickly determine the health status of your dog.

It will provide much needed information about the three types of cellular elements.

It tests the red blood cells, the white blood cells, as well as the platelets.

These tests for treating anemia in dogs will determine in detail the number, size, and shape of the various cells, as well as any potential abnormalities.

With regards to the red blood cells, it will tell your veterinarian how many cells there are and if there has been a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin, which is critical in determining anemia.


Treating anemia in dogs must first be determined by treating the underlying cause of the anemia.

One of the most common causes of anemia in your dog is by what is referred to as suppression of the immune system, or immune mediated hemolytic anemia, also known as IMHA.

This is a situation where your dog’s own system, which is designed specifically to attack and kill germs, actually attacks its own red blood cells.

This occurs when the antibodies attach themselves to your dog’s red blood cells and target them for destruction.

The actual cause of this is still unknown, and the treatments will vary, but the most common treatment is with corticosteroids.

This method of treating anemia in dogs is usually very rapid, but it may be 3 to 4 days before you will see any improvement.

The initial dosages are usually very high, and you should always get a second opinion as there can be several side effects.

If this form of anemia is severe, there are other forms of immune suppressive drugs that may be used.

However, these have even more severe side effects.

If the cause of the anemia is from a toxin, your dog will then be treated with antibiotics.

One of the leading causes of anemia in a dog is the ingestion of a toxic substance.

If the substance is the result of zinc toxicity, it is usually caused by a penny that your dog has swallowed. If this is the case, it will have to be surgically removed.

However, the most common toxic ingestion in dogs is from rat poison. Rat poison is designed specifically to stop red blood cell production in rats, causing their death, and it is extremely effective.

Although it will not be toxic to your dog to the point of causing death, it can very rapidly be the cause of anemia.

The treatment for this will be with Vitamin K therapy; first with injections, and then followed up with supplements.

If an iron deficiency is the actual cause, treating anemia in dogs will be done with iron supplements. If the cause is from a kidney failure, the treatment is then hormonal therapy.

However, if the anemia is severe enough, your dog may need a transfusion of either their entire whole blood, which is cells plus the liquid plasma, or packed red blood cells.

This is a situation where transfusion is done after the liquid is removed.

But there is a real problem with this, especially if it is IMHA.

If the corticosteroids or other methods do not stop the system from attacking itself, it will kill these cells as well. For this reason, transfusion is usually used only as a last resort.


Treating anemia in dogs also has some very natural methods of treatments if the case is not severe, and most cases, they are not.

Even though your dog is carnivorous, placing some green vegetables in their food which contain iron as well as several other minerals may help slow the anemia, or in some cases, may even prevent it.

Beef liver is also extremely effective as it contains iron, protein, as well as B complex of vitamins. It is also very rich in Vitamin B12 which is extremely effective in treating anemia.

A nutritional yeast in a powder or supplement form is also very effective, as it will contain the same ingredients as beef liver.

Kelp powder is also a very effective treatment, as it contains iodine as well as several other trace minerals.

Vitamin C for dogs has many uses and one of them is helping in both treating and preventing several forms of anemia.

The recommended dosage is between 500 to 2,000 milligrams a day, depending on the size of your dog. This vitamin naturally helps you dog with the absorption of iron from the intestinal tract.


Treating anemia in dogs can be extremely effective, especially if your take the preventive approach and build up their immune system.

Immune mediated conditions in dogs may never be explained or understood, but it is also quite rare.

If your dog’s system is built with natural iron and the essential vitamins and trace minerals, it is already being treated.

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