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Anemia in Dogs

Treatment costs for Anemia in Dogs: $450 to $2,025

What is Canine Anemia?

Anemia is defined as a deficiency of red blood cells, or erythrocytes, in a dog’s circularly system. Adult canines are considered anemic when the concentration of red blood cells in the overall blood by volume is less than 37 percent.

Causes can include cancer, trauma, infectious diseases, genetic defects, toxins, iron deficiency, kidney failure, and medication reactions. Long-term illness can also contribute to anemia, as an immune-mediated disease where the body attacks its own organs or cells.

Symptoms of Anemia in Dogs

Common symptoms include:

  • overall weakness
  • rapid breathing
  • reduced appetite
  • the yellowish coloration of the skin
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
  • pale gums
  • episodes of collapse
  • blood in urine
  • blood in feces
  • obvious external blood loss

How anemia affects your dog depends on the severity of the conditions and the cause behind it.

Sudden onset of anemia can also make a dog clinically sicker than dogs that have been suffering from chronic anemia for some time and partially adapted to the condition.

Treatment for Anemia in Dogs

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and your overall dog’s health. Options include transfusions, antibiotics, and other mediations, vitamins, IV fluids, changes in diet and, in some cases, surgery.

Most pet insurance plans cover the treatment costs of anemia as long as your dog is enrolled before he starts showing signs of the condition. Anemia would otherwise be classified as pre-existing and not covered by any plan.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Warrick Philip Shannon 10/27/2016 at 7:18 am

    Thanks for sharing this info. It’s really concise and easy for me to “self diagnose” my pups. Seems to be quite pricey for the treatments, never thought it would be that much.

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