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Signs & Causes of Anemia in Cats

Anemia in cats is a symptom of an underlying health issue. If you believe that your cat is suffering from anemia a trip to the vet is essential. Today our Orange County emergency vets share some causes, signs, symptoms, and treatments for anemia in cats.

How Anemia Could Affect Your Cat

Anemia is a medical term that represents a drop in the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin circulating in your cat’s body. Anemia is actually a symptom of an underlying health issue, not a disease itself.

If you have noticed that your kitty has been more lethargic than usual, seems uninterested in treats or other food, or is breathing rapidly even when lying still, they may be suffering from anemia.

Typical Symptoms of Anemia in Cats

The underlying cause of illness, as well as its severity and duration, determine which symptoms of anemia your cat will exhibit.

The most common symptoms can include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargy or lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite

Other symptoms associated with anemia in cats include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Jaundice (yellowish color in eyes, skin or gums if red blood cells have been destroyed)
  • Pale or white gums
  • Weakness

What To Do If Your Kitty Shows Signs of Anemia in Cats

If your cat is displaying any of the symptoms above, book an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible for an exam or visit your local emergency veterinary hospital. The vet may take a series of diagnostic blood tests. This is often called a complete blood count (CBC).

Your vet will likely recommend running a number of tests to identify which type of anemia your cat has, as well as the underlying injury, illness or disease that is causing your pet's symptoms.

If you discover blood in your cat’s feces or vomit, this is a medical emergency. Contact your vet right away or visit your nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

Treatment for Cats With Anemia

The severity of the underlying condition responsible for your cat's anemia will determine the most appropriate treatment for your kitty.

The diagnosis of your cat's condition will be based on a comprehensive assessment of your pet’s medical history and clinical symptoms, in addition to a physical examination. The exam may involve bone marrow testing, a complete blood cell count, iron testing, and urinalysis.

Non-regenerative anemia in cats can typically be resolved by diagnosing and treating the underlying disease. 

For secondary AIHA, the goal will be to treat the underlying cause, potentially with toxin antidotes or numerous antibiotics.

Your vet may also recommend changes to medication and diet. If your cat is diagnosed with severe anemia, a blood transfusion may be required.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat showing severe signs of anemia? Contact us right away. Our Orange County emergency vets can provide you with a diagnosis of your cat's condition quickly and provide treatment options right away.

New Patients Welcome

Veterinary Medical And Surgical Group–OC (VMSG-OC) accepts new clients to our specialty services and 24/7 emergency services.

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Contact (949) 201-4100