Meet Cholo, a 5 year old Short-haired Dachshund. He came to us in early January as a new Hannah Pet. Poor Cholo was given a diagnosis of anemia at his first visit. He was suspected to have IMHA, a disease where the immune system reacts against red cells, as it would against a foreign bacteria or virus. Oxygen delivery is greatly reduced and red cells are destroyed, resulting in anemia.
Cholo was really not feeling well, but one of our employee’s dogs, Moose, was kind enough to let us collect blood and perform a transfusion for Cholo.
Although he is not entirely out of the woods yet, he is feeling much better and was able to spend the weekend with his family!
Most assume that anemia is a specific disease with a treatment or cure. We hear of people diagnosed as “anemic,” and so it is logical to assume make the assumption that we are treating anemia itself.
In reality, anemia is not a disease at all, but a condition that is often times a symptom of a disease or disorder in the body. The term “anemia” refers to a reduced number of red blood cells or hemoglobin circulating in the Pet’s blood stream.
Red blood cells help to keep the body supplied with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the body. Hemoglobin is the protein inside the red blood cell, which carries the oxygen. These cells are created in the bone marrow, and circulate for about three months before breaking down and being replaced. If they are not replaced or are destroyed prematurely, it can bring about anemia.
There are a wide range of diseases and conditions that can cause anemia, but here’s how to recognize it in your Pet…
The most obvious characteristic of anemia is a change of color in the gums. Instead of a healthy pink, Pets with anemia often have pale pink or even whitish gums. It also causes fatigue, so Your Pet may appear listless, and tire easily during exercise and play. You may also notice bruising on your Pet’s skin, which could be a sign of severe platelet loss or destruction. Dark, tarry stools, called melena, and/or dark blood in your Pet’s vomit or feces are also important warning signs of anemia and necessitate an immediate visit to your veterinarian.
If your Pet exhibits any of these symptoms, please contact Hannah to schedule an appointment right away @ 360-816-8000.