Anemia, Regenerative in Cats

Cecilia de Cardenas
Jan 20, 2009
2 min read
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Regenerative Anemia in Cats

Regenerative anemia occurs when the body loses blood faster than it can be regenerated, despite the fact that red blood cells are being produced in the bone marrow.  

Symptoms and Types

  • Pale gums
  • Pale eyes and ears
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Depression
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • Failure to groom
  • Weak appetite
  • Excessive panting
  • Heart murmur
  • Hemolytic anemia:
    • Yellow gums
    • Yellowing of whites of eyes

Causes

  • Parasites (worms)
  • Fleas
  • Wound
  • Cancer
  • Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Hemolytic anemia, which can be due to :
    • Ingestion of toxic materials
    • Ingestion of pennies
    • Ingestion of onions and/or acetaminophen
    • Bacterial and viral infections
    • Defective red blood cells
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Parasites of the blood

Diagnosis

  • Complete blood test (CBC)
  • Packed cell volume test (PCV)
  • Urinalysis
  • Bone marrow aspirate

Treatment

Blood-building vitamins and minerals are the treatment regimen of choice; transfusions will be required in severe cases. In the case of hemolytic anemia, this is usually a crisis situation, and transfusions are not effective because the new blood is destroyed as soon as it is added. Hemolytic anemia is treated with antibiotics and drugs, slowing the destruction of red blood cells.

Living and Management

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for treatment. If your cat is severely anemic, it will probably need repeated transfusions. Extra care and protection will be required during this period. Also, keep your cat away from other animals during recovery, as they may overexert your pet. Keeping it in a cage may help in this case.

At first, your cat will need to be checked by your veterinarian every 24 hours, to be sure that its red blood cell count begins to rise, and then every three to five days for check-ups. In cases of acute bleeding, normal values should be seen after about 14 days; however, it may take longer if the anemia had other causes.

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