Anemia can be caused by excessive loss of red blood cells or by inadequate production.
Nutritional iron-deficiency anemia, common in people, is uncommon in dogs with today’s commercially balanced dog foods. Chronic iron deficiency, as described by the “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook,” is a clear indication that an insidious loss of blood is taking place.
Blood loss is a condition that is commonly caused by wounds or parasites such as worms and fleas. Symptoms of anemia in dogs include white or pale gums, weakness, and a fast pulse. Sometimes this condition indicates a more serious illness such as toxicity that results from a drug exposure. However, the more simple and common cause of anemia which is blood loss can be easily treated with a view toward promoting the growth of new red blood cells.
You need to give your dog a special diet rich in iron, protein, and vitamin B12. The following lists of foods and supplements are especially helpful and provide the necessary nutrients that your dog needs to treat anemia.
1. Beef liver which contains iron, protein, B complex, and B12. 2. Kelp powder which contains iodine and other trace minerals. 3. Green vegetables which contains iron and other minerals. 4. Nutritional yeast along with B12 which offers the same benefits as the liver. 5. Vitamin C, from 500 to 2,000 milligrams per day (depending on the dog’s size) which helps with the absorption of iron from the intestinal tract.
If the condition is caused by parasites, then you will need to nip the problem in the bud and treat the parasite infestation first before using any other forms of treatment.
Using a many commercially available flea treatments such as shampoos and sprays can prove effective in killing fleas. But start by combing or brushing your dog on a white sheet or blanket so you can see any fleas fall off. And keep in mind that fleas can jump.
And don’t forget to wash your dog’s bedding and use a good flea powder on carpets throughout the house, especially in the areas where the dog sleeps and has it’s bed.
According to the Dog Owner”s Home Veterinary Handbook”, “Signs (of anemia) vary considerably, depending on the cause. Often they are overshadowed by the signs of a chronic illness, of which anemia is but one of the associated symptoms. In general, anemic dogs lack appetite, lose weight, sleep a great deal and show generalized waekness. “
They go on to caution, “With severe anemia, heart murmurs are common. The pulse is rapid and so is the breathing rate. The dog may faint when overexerting. Most of these signs also occur with heart disease, and these two conditions might be easily confused.”
As always, your vet can make the final diagnosis.
Gene Sower is the publisher of the DOG BYTES newsletter and owner of http://www.naturalpetsworld.com, a site devoted to offering a huge selection of natural pet foods at discount prices.