If you are wondering whether anemia can affect cats, the answer is actually “yes”. Anemia affects cats just the same way it affects human beings. Every living organism has red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body for various purposes.
Red blood cells have a red coloring pigment (gives blood its red color) called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin plays quite a role in the delivery of oxygen to body cells. Anemic animals have compromised red blood cells that are unable to absorb sufficient oxygen from the air to the body.
Usually, the condition leads to more lung activity to acquire more oxygen in the blood circulation. Severe cases of anemia can pose threat to any living organism. Worse yet, cats are actually more prone to anemia because their red blood cells have a short lifespan that goes up to 70 days.
Types of anemia
The two broad divisions of anemia involve regenerative and non-regenerative forms. In regenerative anemia, the direct response of bone marrows to anemia is a production of new red blood cells to replace lost ones. For the latter, anemia gets to develop further because the bone marrows fail to produce new red blood cells once the old ones are lost.
Signs of anemia
Anemia comes about with a number of conspicuous signs. Therefore, when you see paleness of the mucous membrane in your cat it is easy to conclude it possibly has anemia. Mucus membranes are usually membranes of the skin lining the mouth and around the eyes. Though to some extent it may not be an absolute proof that your cat has anemia, it is good to take note of it so you can treat the cat at an early stage of infection. In severe cases, you will notice that your cat is growing more lethargic. Cats tend to be weak when they catch an infection. Another sign to look out for is the rate of heartbeat and respiration.
Carrying out a diagnosis
An anemia diagnosis entails taking the blood sample of cat and subjecting it to test and examination to determine whether the cat has anemia. A blood sample from a cat that reveals a reduced number of red blood cells clearly indicate that a cat has anemia. Alternatively, veterinarians can use another method referred to as “pack cell volume” to detect a high or low presence of red blood cells. It employs a centrifuge that displays the volume of red blood cells in the blood after spinning. When a vet finds out that your cat has anemia, he or she will determine whether it is regenerative or non-regenerative.
Generally, your cat may suffer from blood loss anemia that results from bleeding because of poor clotting, trauma, ulcers or tumors. If your cat suffers from hemolytic anemia, it may be from low phosphate in blood cells, incompatible blood transfusion, and leukemia infection. In worse cases, veterinarians recommend blood transfusion as a remedy for anemia. The blood used for transfusion needs to compatible with the cat’s blood otherwise It will lead to other complications. Sometimes your cat may have to be hospitalized at a veterinary hospital in Ossining, NY and will be closely monitored until its health condition improves.