ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diagnosing anemia in dogs

Updated on February 18, 2012

Dogs are wonderful animals to have around. A pet dog makes a lively playmate of the child, a jogging buddy of dad and an affectionate home companion of mom. Dogs are affectionate and always full of vim and vigor. A sick dog though would not be able to play with the kid, would have no energy to jog with dad and because sick dogs have the tendency to be alone, the pet would not appreciate the loving attention of mom. A dog that has no inclination to participate with the activities of the family, one that gets tired easily may be anemic. Anemia is a condition where the number of the dog’s red blood cells is below the normal level. Red blood cells are responsible for supplying oxygen to the different tissues of the body.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Symptoms of canine anemia

An anemic dog would be listless and lethargic. The pet would be seen sleeping more than it normally does. Dogs are voracious eaters but an anemic one would have no appetite. An owner that examines the dog will find that the gums, eyes and ears are pale. The dog would also have an increased heart beat.

Causes of canine anemia

There are three major causes of canine anemia. The number of red blood cells in the bloodstream is reduced because of conditions that cause blood loss. Diseases that cause the breakdown of red blood cells and diseases that slows down the production of red blood cells are other causes.

Diagnosing canine anemia

Hematocrit or the packed cell volume (PCV) is one of the tests done to diagnose if the dog has anemia. This test is done by placing the blood sample in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the liquid part of the blood or the plasma. The red blood cells should be 35 to 55 % of the dog’s blood. The dog has anemia if the PVC is below 35 %. A red blood cell count and a hemoglobin count are other tests done to diagnose canine anemia. Normal values for red blood cell count are 5.5 x 106/mm3 and 12 g/dl for hemoglobin. Reading below these normal values means that the dog is anemic. Anemia occurs if the pace of production of red blood cannot cope up with the destruction. The numbers of red blood cells are depleted at a fast rate and the dog’s system cannot adequately replace them because a disease may be slowing down the production. A stained blood smear will determine if there is an increased number of young red blood cells in the blood as this will indicate that the bone marrow is responding to the body’s need for more red blood cells. A bone marrow biopsy will identify the cause of the anemia.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)