Home » other animals » Anemia in a cat: symptoms and treatment [Lek wet Jarosław Sałek

Anemia in a cat: symptoms and treatment [Lek wet Jarosław Sałek

Anemia in a cat, also called anemia, it is an organism condition which affects both humans and animals. In this article you will learn how to recognize your kitten's anemia, what could be causing it and what symptoms should worry you.

Anemia in a cat

Has your cat lost its playfulness recently and is (more than usual) lethargic? In spite of the fact that you serve him only delicacies, he has no appetite?

This condition may be due to anemia, otherwise known anemia in the cat.

Despite the fact that anemia in a cat it does not pose a direct threat to the animal's life, it may be a symptom of other serious diseases.

Anemia can have many causes, and its picture can vary, and the clinical picture is influenced by:

  • age,
  • physiological state,
  • accompanying diseases of anemia.
  • What is anemia?
  • Cause cat anemia
  • Cat regenerative anemia
  • Non-regenerative anemia
    • Anemia of chronic diseases
    • Bone marrow diseases
    • Anemia with kidney disease
    • Partially regenerative anemia
  • How to deal with a cat with suspected anemia
  • Symptoms of anemia in a cat
  • Infectious diseases of cats with anemia
    • Cat's infectious anemia (Hemobartonellosis)
    • Feline erlichiosis
    • Cytauxzoon felis
  • Recognizing anemia
  • Treatment of cat anemia

What is anemia?

Anemia (anemia) is defined as a decrease in the mass of red blood cells, i.e. red blood cells.

In practice, this may reflect a lowering hematocrit, hemoglobin levels and red blood cell counts below reference values.

From a clinical point of view, anemia can be divided into:

  • regenerative anemia,
  • non-regenerative anemia.

The factors predisposing to the occurrence of anemia are the age of the animal and the way of living.

Older cats are more likely to suffer from anemia as a secondary disease, as they have an increased risk of cancer or kidney failure.

Outdoor cats are more likely to suffer from anemia

On the other hand, free-living, outdoor cats are more vulnerable to the effects of ticks, which are vectors for the transmission of infectious anemia in cats.

Cause cat anemia

Disorders in the red blood cell system with the development of anemia can often be accompanied by:

  • enlarged liver,
  • enlargement of the spleen,
  • enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Then anemia occurs against the background of such diseases as:

  • lymphoma,
  • hemobartonellosis,
  • acute leukemia,
  • mastocytosis,
  • underdevelopment of the bone marrow,
  • large spleen syndrome,
  • hemolytic anemia.
Anemia can also be caused medication use and toxic compounds.

Such drugs include, among others:

  • acetaminophen,
  • antiarrhythmic drugs,
  • anticonvulsants,
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,
  • beta-lactam antibiotics,
  • chloramphenicol,
  • benzocaine,
  • metamizole,
  • cimetidine,
  • levamisole,
  • penicillins.

Cat regenerative anemia

What could be the causes of anemia in a cat?

Regenerative anemia can arise due to blood loss.

They usually affect healthy individuals with sudden bleeding for various reasons.

Most often, this condition occurs after massive hemorrhages, e.g. after traffic accidents or organ fractures, internal tumors.

In such cases, you should:

  1. Determine the source of the bleeding.
  2. Keep them.
  3. Introduce intensive fluid therapy.

The second type of regenerative anemia is hemolytic anemia.

It consists of hemolysis, i.e breakdown of red blood cells, which may be extravascular or intravascular.

This condition in cats most often occurs against the background immunological.

Destruction of red blood cells related to immune reactions occurs with the use of drugs, e.g. beta-lactam antibiotics be at the performance vaccinations.

In cats, such an image occurs most often secondary to the parasitic disease Kri - Hemobartonelli.

Non-regenerative anemia

Non-regenerative anemia they appear to be much more common in cats than the regenerative forms.

In most cases, they are of a character chronic and thus allow the body to adapt physiologically to the reduced mass of red blood cells.

Such forms of anemia can be detected accidentally by performing routine examinations in your cat.

The most common causes of non-regenerative anemia in cats are:

  • Chronic Disease Anemia (NCP),
  • bone marrow diseases,
  • anemia with kidney disease,
  • anemia with disorders of the endocrine system.

Anemia of chronic diseases

Chronic disease anemia is the most common form of anemia in cats.

Due to the mild character, the character is almost it never leads to the development of clinical symptoms, which usually result from a primary disease.

NCP it appears secondary to many inflammatory, neoplastic or degenerative processes.

Treatment of this anemia is not necessary as treatment of the underlying disease will resolve the anemia.

Bone marrow diseases

Bone marrow disease can lead to anemia and a shortage of other blood cells. These include, among others:

  • tumors,
  • hypoplasia,
  • dysplasia.

In the course of such diseases, normal precursor cells are displaced by neoplastic or inflammatory cells, leading to their deficiency.

To determine the type of bone marrow disorder should be done bone marrow biopsy, and recognition is based on Pap smear or histopathological examination.

Anemia with kidney disease

Anemia with kidney disease occurs very often in elderly cats, above 10 years old.

The kidneys are the main source of synthesis erythropoietin, that is, an enzyme that stimulates the process of creating red blood cells.

In cats with renal insufficiency, red blood cell survival is much shorter, clinical and subclinical gastrointestinal bleeding occurs.

The improvement in kidney function may lead to a slight increase in the red blood cell mass.

In this form of anemia in a cat, it is worth giving it additionally human erythropoietin in dose 100-150 j.m / kg m.c 2 times a week.

Partially regenerative anemia

Less common is anemia partially regenerative. It occurs against the background iron deficiency.

This form of anemia is extremely rare in adult cats. More often it may concern kittens separated from their mother, in whom administration of iron rapidly relieves clinical symptoms.

In adult cats, it may occur in the event of prolonged, chronic bleeding, resulting in a slow loss of blood with iron.

How to deal with a cat with suspected anemia

The basic rule of thumb in the management of an anemic or haemorrhagic patient is to collect blood samples for all possible tests prior to any treatment.

The condition of most of these patients may indeed require the introduction of intensive care immediately at the time of consultation, and therefore delays the collection of samples until the patient's condition is stabilized.

During the visit of a patient with suspected anemia, the history and observation of clinical symptoms are very important.

The interview should include information such as:

  • Figures indicating the family background.
  • Exercise intolerance, fainting.
  • Paleness or jaundice.
  • An incident of local or systemic haemorrhage.
  • Confirmed infection with leukemia virus or feline immune deficiency virus.
  • Malnutrition or malabsorption.
  • Chronic inflammation or diagnosed neoplasms.
  • Travels made.

Symptoms of anemia in a cat

Cat anemia symptoms

When examining a patient with suspected anemia, we are able to observe:

  • pallor of the mucous membranes,
  • jaundice,
  • spot ecchymosis,
  • haemorrhages,
  • lymphadenopathy.

Easily palpable when palpating the abdominal cavity the edges of the liver which proves its enlargement and enlargement of the spleen.

Additionally, there may be:

  • tachycardia,
  • heart murmurs,
  • hematuria.

After stabilization of the patient's condition and determination of the regenerative or non-regenerative nature of the anemia, causal treatment is initiated.

Infectious diseases of cats with anemia

Cat's infectious anemia (Hemobartonellosis)

Infectious anemia in a cat can be caused by a tick bite

Is it infectious disease but no contagious caused by Mycoplasma haemofelis (formerly Haemobartonella Felis).

The disease is transmitted by blood-sucking ectoparasites, such as.in. ticks, therefore mainly applies to cats that go outside.

Individuals with reduced immunity, infected with a virus FIV or FeLV, as well as individuals after surgery removal of the spleen.

The clinical form is characterized by very severe anemia, accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • lack of appetite,
  • apathy,
  • weakness,
  • pale or yellow mucous membranes,
  • during the examination we observe enlargement of the liver and spleen.

The disease may be mild or asymptomatic.

Diagnosis is made on the basis of a blood smear and anemia present in the morphology.

Treatment is based on ongoing antibiotic therapy minimum 3 weeks, and in severe cases it is additionally used glucocorticosteroids and blood transfusions.

In the video below you can see a blood transfusion in a cat with severe anemia

Kitten Blood Transfusion Today
Watch this video on YouTube

Feline erlichiosis

Until infection erlichia comes through bite of an infected tick.

It is a disease relatively rare in cats, leading to the appearance non-regenerative anemia.

Anemia symptoms such as:

  • lethargy,
  • lack of appetite,
  • fever,
  • weight loss,
  • hyperesthesia and joint pain,
  • pallor of the mucous membranes,
  • enlargement of the lymph nodes,
  • enlargement of the spleen.

Hematologically, apart from anemia, it occurs leukopenia, leukocytosis, hyperglobylinemia and thrombocytopenia.

Occasionally, comorbidities have been reported as Haemobartonella Felis.

Treatment of the disease is based on antibiotic therapy using tetracyclines: doxycycline or imidocarb.

Cytauxzoon felis

Anemia in a cat - pale mucous membranes

Another infectious agent that can cause anemia in cats is the protozoan Cytauxzoon felis.

It occurs in the south-eastern part and in the south of the central region of the USA.

Due to the highly developed tourism industry nowadays, it is worth getting acquainted with this disease. It usually concerns outgoing cats.

The infection occurs through the bite of a tick that was the carrier of the protozoan.

Infected cats develop symptoms of anemia such as:

  • lack of appetite,
  • pallor of the mucous membranes,
  • jaundice,
  • fever,
  • dyspnoea.

In the differential diagnosis, haemobartonella should be additionally considered.

Most often, hematological disorders are found in such cats, that is regenerative anemia, leukocytosis, and less often decrease in the number of blood platelets.

Recognition may also be possible on the basis of blood smears and the presence of a protozoan.

The treatment is used fluid therapy, blood transfusion and drugs such as imidocarb or diminazen.

Recognizing anemia

Diagnosis of cat anemia

When interpreting the results of hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell counts, it should be noted that in some situations these values ​​remain above or below (e.g. pregnancy, puppy period) the reference range for cats.

The basis for the diagnosis of anemia is blood count, and symptoms of anemia such as:

  • pallor or yellowing of the mucous membranes,
  • lethargy,
  • exercise intolerance,
  • distorted appetite.

Once anemia is diagnosed, it should be determined whether it is regenerative or not. Such differentiation is accomplished by counting the number of reticulocytes or by exercise blood smear.

This reflects the pathogenesis of anemia and thus determines the choice of the most logical diagnostic and therapeutic procedure.

Treatment of cat anemia

Treatment really depends on the level of anemia.

Sometimes the treatment of the primary disease results in an increase in red cell parameters.

In case of kidney failure, in addition to fluid therapy, human erythropoietin is used in a dose of 100-150 I.m / kg body weight 2 times a week.

Fluid therapy is especially important in patients with anemia caused by sudden blood loss. For this purpose it applies crystalloids, colloids or is performed whole blood transfusions or is it giving blood preparations.

Blood transfusions are performed in both cats and dogs. For this purpose, you can use:

  • whole blood,
  • frozen plasma,
  • plasma rich in platelets,
  • blood cell concentrate.

Such steps are necessary to restore the oxygen carrying capacity.

In cats, we distinguish 3 blood groups:

  • AND,
  • B,
  • AB.

In the case of the first blood transfusion, the risk of post-transfusion shock is low, therefore blood type determination is not necessary.

In case of necessity re-transfusion, a cross test must be performed and determine the blood type of the cat.


Prevention, or how to protect your cat from anemia

Activities that may protect against deep anemia in cats are blood control tests, especially in the elderly.

The use of preparations against fleas and ticks also reduces the risk of infection with pathogens that cause anemia.

Anemia is a clinical condition of the body that poses no immediate threat to humans or cats living in the environment. It also does not spread from cat to cat.

A decrease in red cell parameters causes the cat to be weakened, and the severity of clinical symptoms depends on the level of anemia, therefore the prognosis varies from case to case.

Let's try to carefully observe our cats in every respect, thanks to which we will be able to detect the beginnings of anemia, and as a result, the treatment will be shorter and more effective.

You have questions about anemia in cats? Or maybe you suspect autohemolytic anemia (AIHA, IMHA) in your pet?

Let me know in the comment below - I will answer as soon as possible.

Sources used >>

Leave Your Comment