Anxious about Anemia? Check out this refresher
Anemia is defined as a decrease in red blood cell mass
There are different ways to measure a patient’s degree of anemia. Automated analyzers calculate hematocrit (HCT), while manual techniques measure packed cell volume (PCV)
The two major classifications of anemia are whether it is regenerative or non-regenerative; the main difference is reticulocytosis; however, keep in mind it can take 3-5 days for the bone marrow to reach a peak regenerative response
The main causes of regenerative anemia are hemolysis and blood loss
Some causes of hemolysis could include immune-mediated, parasites, oxidative damage, among others
Cases of blood loss anemia would have decreased total protein (TP) values
Clinical signs indicative of blood loss can shows signs of petechiae, epistaxis and melena
The main cause of non-regenerative anemia is decreased production
MCV and MCHC can used to identify patterns of anemia
Regenerative anemias are usually macrocytic and hypochromic
Iron deficiency anemia is characterized by microcytosis and is hypochromic
Non-regenerative anemia is normocytic and normochromic
Tilley, L. P., & Smith, F. W. (2005). The 5-minute veterinary consult: Canine and feline. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Yin, S. A. (2010). The small animal veterinary nerdbook. Davis, CA: CattleDog Pub.