What are Blood Related Deficiencies?
Blood-related deficiencies in dogs could be a symptom of different disorders. Many things, both physical and environmental, can affect the blood cells in your dog’s body. This is actually a decline in the circulation of all your dog’s marrow cell lines, such as megakaryocytic, erythroid, and myeloid. If you have noticed that your dog has been looking pale or ashen, or you see that your dog has bloodshot eyes or blood in their nose it is time to make an appointment with your veterinarian. However, the symptoms of the blood deficiency depend on the underlying illness that is causing it.
Blood-related deficiency (pancytopenia) is an uncommon immune system disorder of dogs categorized by anemia and fat penetration of the bone marrow. This is not a true illness, but a symptom of many disorders such as lymphoma, lupus, anemia, thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets), and drugs toxicity.
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Symptoms of Blood Related Deficiencies in Dogs
Symptoms will vary greatly, depending on what is causing the blood-related deficiency in your dog. The symptoms of each individual disorder are listed under each one:
- Loss of weight
- Appetite loss
- Losing appetite
- Muscular pain
- Excessive tiredness
- Decreased appetite
- Reluctance to exercise
- Pale gums
- Appetite loss
- Blotches inside mouth
- Bruises on abdomen or groin
- Bleeding gums
- Bloody nose
- Pale gums
- Dark or bloody stools
- Blood in urine
- Red eyes
- Painful abdomen
- Appetite loss
- Falling down
- Leukopenia - Low White Blood Cell Count
- Nonregenerative anemia - Low Red Blood Cell Count
- Thrombocytopenia - Low Platelet Count
Causes of Blood Related Deficiencies in Dogs
- Drugs (various medications)
- Chemicals (poison)
- Immune system disorders (aplastic anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus)
Diagnosis of Blood Related Deficiencies in Dogs
The veterinarian will start by asking you questions about your dog’s history, medical records, recent illnesses or injuries, any new foods or medications you have started, and any symptoms you have observed. Since you know your dog better than the veterinarian does, he relies on your knowledge to help him know where to start. The veterinarian will then perform a complete physical examination, taking care to look at your dog’s eyes, mouth, and abdomen.
Several tests will be performed on your dog, such as a complete blood count (CBC), blood gases and chemical panel, blood glucose test, Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbant Assay (ELISA) test, urinalysis, stool sample, and a fine needle aspiration of your dog’s bone marrow. They will also need to get some x-rays of your dog’s head, chest, and abdomen, as well as an ultrasound of the abdomen.
Based on what the veterinarian finds in the tests, he may also perform a blood clotting test and liver biopsy to determine if the problem caused by liver disorder. The veterinarian may also need a CT scan, or MRI to determine what is causing the blood-related deficiency.
Treatment of Blood Related Deficiencies in Dogs
- If your dog tests positive for Parvovirus he will have to be hospitalized There is no medication to treat the virus, but antibiotics, IV fluids, and medication to control The veterinarian can also provide oxygen therapy in case of respiratory distress, which is common with this virus.
- Hospitalization for IV fluids, electrolytes, blood transfusion, and other medications will be required for one or two days. If there is significant amount of fluid retention, the veterinarian may do an abdominocentesis.
- This fungal infection can usually be treated successfully with anti-fungal drugs and a special diet to help with recovery.
Drugs or Chemicals
- This problem can usually be cleared with a gastric lavage and a short hospital stay with IV fluids and antidotes if needed.
- Chemotherapy is the usual treatment for most forms of cancer in your dog that causes blood- related deficiencies. A bone marrow transplant is the best treatment for lymphoma.
- This disorder can be treated with a blood transfusion and antibiotics temporarily, but the reason for the anemia has to be found. If the veterinarian can find the cause (infection, toxins) it can be treated accordingly.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or corticosteroids, antibiotics, and chemotherapy are the usual course of treatment. A bone marrow transplant can be performed if necessary.
Recovery of Blood Related Deficiencies in Dogs
With every one of these disorders, it is essential to follow the veterinarian’s instructions exactly with your dog’s medication. Be sure to follow up with the veterinarian as requested. If you have any other problems or questions in the meantime you should call the veterinarian’s office.
Most of the disorders that cause blood-related deficiencies can be treated successfully if caught right away. The prognosis for most of these illnesses is excellent with a good chance for complete recovery.
Cancer, lupus, and hepatitis tend to be chronic diseases that need continuous veterinarian appointments and treatments. The prognosis for cancer is good if it is caught early enough for treatment to work. Lupus and hepatitis are both chronic disorders that will require constant treatment and follow-up appointments.