Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats

Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency?

Kittens that are nursing have a higher chance of developing an iron deficiency because of the low levels of iron in milk. This typically resolves as the kitten grows older and is transitioned to a meat-based diet.

Anemia due to iron deficiency in cats is a blood disorder in which the red blood cell mass is decreased. Red blood cell mass is the total mass of erythrocytes, which are a type of red blood cell that contains hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen into the bloodstream. In cats, iron deficiency anemia is usually caused by chronic blood loss, but may also be caused by an improper diet. Anemia due to iron deficiency is very rare in cats that are fed a commercial diet.

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Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency Average Cost

From 484 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,500

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats

Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of anemia. Some cats may not show symptoms at all, and anemia due to iron deficiency is often an incidental finding. Seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Eating soil or rocks
  • Eating litter
  • Other unusual food cravings
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Reluctance to move or exercise
  • Pale mucous membranes
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Causes of Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats

There are a few different causes of anemia due to iron deficiency. The most common is chronic blood loss. This may be caused by a large number of diseases, particularly those affecting the blood. Another cause of anemia due to iron deficiency is an improper diet. This is usually found with a vegetarian or home-cooked diet. Vegetables have lower levels of iron compared to meat products. Cats require a diet that is high in fat and protein. Feeding your cat vegetables or a diet that is low in protein and/or fat can cause serious health problems, including iron deficiency. In some rare cases, exposure to toxins may cause iron deficiency anemia.

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Diagnosis of Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats

Your vet will be able to make a tentative diagnosis based on a thorough physical examination and presentation of symptoms. Be sure to inform your vet of the extent and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any previous history of blood disorders that you know of. Your vet may also ask for your cat’s complete medical history, so be prepared to provide this information.

Your vet will make a definitive diagnosis by performing blood tests. These may include complete blood cell count, blood chemical profile, and blood smear. Additional diagnostic testing may be utilized, particularly if chronic blood loss is suspected.

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Treatment of Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats

Treatment may vary depending on the cause of the anemia. Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment plan based on your cat’s specific needs.

 

The primary objective of treatment in animals with chronic blood loss is to stop future blood loss.  For milder cases of iron deficiency anemia, oral iron supplements are generally prescribed. This is usually in the form of ferrous sulfate, but ferrous gluconate and fumarate are also commonly prescribed. These increase iron absorption in the red blood cells and may cause side effects. Side effects may be minimized by administering a dividing the dose into several smaller doses.

In cats that have been fed an improper diet, dietary changes may be sufficient in treating iron deficiency anemia. In some cats, iron dextran injection may also be an option. However, these injections are painful for animals, so oral supplementation is typically the treatment of choice. In some severe cases of anemia, blood transfusion may be required. This will require your cat to be hospitalized for a short period of time in order to prevent an adverse reaction.

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Worried about the cost of Anemia Due To Iron Deficiency treatment?

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Recovery of Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency in Cats

Recovery and prognosis may vary depending on the treatment method. Always follow your vet’s post-treatment and/or post-operative instructions carefully. Always administer any medications exactly as directed for the full duration of the recovery period. Never administer any over-the-counter iron supplements made exclusively for human use to your cat. These can worsen the condition and may cause overdose.

Side effects of iron supplementation are generally mild, and mostly involve gastrointestinal irritation which may result in darker feces than usual. If you notice any side effects, contact your vet immediately. They may be able to prescribe additional medications to manage the side effects.

If you have been feeding your cat an improper diet, you will need to transition to a commercial diet that is high in protein and fat.

For mild cases of anemia treated with oral iron supplements, follow-up appointments may not be required. For more severe cases, your vet may schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor the condition or to administer additional transfusions, if required.

If you have any questions, or if the condition does not seem to be improving despite treatment, contact your vet immediately.

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Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency Average Cost

From 484 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,500

Average Cost

$800

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Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Mixed kitten

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5 months

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss, Anemic

I took my kitten to the vet, a week ago. He had lost weight and his backbone and hip bones were noticeable. The vet advised that he had a bad infection and was anemic. Prescribed Clindamycin, iron and a medicine to make him thirsty. Kitten was getting better, the back and hip bones were less noticeable and then on Friday I noticed his back and hip bones were again noticeable. He is lethargic and this morning I found a large liquid green circle of diarrhea on the floor. We used a new insect killing gel before the kitten became sick and reapplied it on Wednesday. Could that cause his symptoms?

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, Yes that can be the cause of his issues. I would not use this anymore. There are many great products that are also safe to use around pets. Try to clean the area that you used this and wash your kitten if possible. If he continues to act this way, he may need to see the vet again. Good Luck.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Jicky

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Dom

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3 Years

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Licking Faux Leather

I want to prevent my cat Jicky from becoming anemic. Which supplements are safe to give and what is the dose, he’s 18 pounds. He is eating normal and energetic. The vet said he has feline leukemia but it was not confirmed by further testing because of lack of funds. This is why I want to prevent. Thanks!!

Aug. 22, 2018

Jicky's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

There isn't really any way to prevent anemia, but this problem is more one that is treated if it is a problem. If Jicky is healthy and acting normally, you may not need to do anything differently to keep him healthy other than feed his a good quality cat food, keep him on flea prevention, and keep him inside where he isn't exposed to other diseases.

Aug. 22, 2018

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Anemia Due to Iron Deficiency Average Cost

From 484 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,500

Average Cost

$800

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