Anemia in cats – symptoms, causes and treatment

What is anemia?

Anemia is a medical term that describes a decrease in the number of red blood cells, hemoglobin, or both of them. This is not specific a disease, and a syndrome resulting from many others diseases and disorders. Hemoglobin delivers oxygen to cells body tissues and a patient suffering from anemia will have symptoms associated with a lack of oxygen are observed.

Anemia in cats - symptoms, causes and treatment

Red blood cells are produced by the bone marrow and then enter blood flow, where they circulate for about two months. By as they age or damage, they are removed from the blood so that from their components to produce new. Red blood cell count may decrease due to a decrease in their production or increased losses.

What are the symptoms of anemia?

The most obvious and primary clinical sign of anemia in cats, like dogs, is a change in normal pink color gums, they can turn pale pink or even white. Cats those suffering from anemia also have low stamina and seem lethargic. Pale gums, lips, and general lethargy indicate the need for a blood test.


Anemia in cats is diagnosed using advanced analysis blood. In the event that the percentage of red blood cells is low enough, the cat will be diagnosed with anemia.

If your cat has been diagnosed with anemia, it’s important to determine does her bone marrow produce the necessary number of red blood cells, in response to their decline.

A bone marrow biopsy is required if there is concern that it is not responds properly to anemia. Bone sample the brain is extracted and analyzed, thus obtaining valuable information about his condition, and sometimes about the causes of anemia.

Biochemical blood test, urinalysis and other important tests necessary to assess the general condition of a cat with anemia. These analyzes give information about the functions of the internal organs and level electrolyte.

Fecal analysis is performed to diagnose the presence of parasites in gastrointestinal tract, which may be the cause of the loss blood.

Finally, a cat with anemia should be checked for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus since these viruses are common causes of anemia.

What diseases can cause anemia?

Many diseases can lead to a decrease in the number of red blood cells. and hemoglobin in the blood. As a rule, they are grouped by: 1) diseases that cause blood loss, 2) diseases that cause hemolysis (damage and destruction of red blood cells), and 3) diseases, which cause a decrease in red blood cell production by bone marrow suppression.

What diseases in cats cause blood loss?

The main causes of blood loss in cats are:

  • Injury or damage to blood vessels or internal organs causing bleeding
  • Severe parasitic infestations by fleas, ticks or nematodes
  • Tumors in the digestive tract, kidneys or bladder
  • Blood clotting disorders

What diseases in cats cause hemolysis?

The main causes of hemolysis in cats are:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Feline Leukemia Virus
  • Blood parasites
  • Chemicals or toxins
  • Neoplasia (cancer)

What cat diseases can inhibit production red blood cells marrow?

The main causes of bone marrow suppression are:

  • Any serious or chronic illness (e.g. chronic renal failure or liver disease)
  • Poor nutrition or nutrient imbalance
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Feline Leukemia Virus
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Chemicals or toxins
  • Neoplasia (cancer)

Can cats develop iron deficiency anemia?

Iron deficiency anemia is a common disease in people, especially women. However, iron deficiency is rare develops in cats, and occurs, as a rule, only because of severe blood loss or a very unbalanced diet.

How to treat anemia?

If the cat’s anemia is so severe that it is a threat for life, she will need a blood transfusion. the main goal transfusion is to stabilize the cat’s condition, but radical the cause of anemia should be diagnosed by examination and analyzes, and then appropriate treatment.

Treatment is based on controlling a disease that causes anemia Corticosteroids may be used in treatment, antiparasitic drugs, other medicines, or surgery. The veterinarian should summarize a treatment plan based on your cat’s specific needs and test results.

What is the prognosis for cats diagnosed with anemia?

The prognosis for cats with anemia depends on the diagnosis and condition. animal before treatment. Most cats if anemia diagnosed in a timely manner, have a favorable prognosis. Cats who suffer from cancer, autoimmune diseases or severe injuries have a less favorable prognosis.

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