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Denver ER Doc
Denver ER Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship, Veterinary Acupuncture trained, Wildlife and Exotics
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how much iron and b12 supplement can i give my anemic dog

Resolved Question:

how much iron and b12 supplement can i give my anemic dog?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

Are you giving injectable iron dextran or oral ferrous sulfate?

And injectable or oral B-12?

Dr. Paul
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
both would be oral, I want to help build his red blood cell count, I havent given any b12, but did give 45mg iron pill with vitamin c, but would like to know the max dose he should have in a day (weight is 76lb)
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 5 years ago.
OK, thanks for the information.

Iron supplementation is really only recommended in confirmed cases of iron-deficiency anemia, and it can actually be dangerous in other types of anemias and other diseases (ulcers, etc). It is also very dangerous if over-dosed. Unless you have a confirmed case of iron-deficiency anemia, it should be used with care and only with the approval of your veterinarian.

Typical oral dosing of ferrous sulfate (iron) is 100-300mg per day. It is best given about an hour before eating, and dosing should be decreased if any gastrointestinal side effects (vomiting, inappetance, diarrhea) are seen. There is another form called ferrous gluconate that is usually given as one tablet (325mg) per day.

B-12 is very safe to give, as it is a water-soluble vitamin and any excess should be removed by the kidneys. This vitamin, however, is given via subcutaneous injection and not available (to my knowledge) in an approved oral form for dogs. If you have a version that is approved for this, you should be fine following their dosing recommendations. As I said, it is a very safe substance to give. Barring that, general support with a good quality multivitamin may suffice as most should contain B-12.

Hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Paul
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok, but my dog has canine autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and his own body is destroying his red blood cells, so would this be a case to use an iron supplement??
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 5 years ago.
No. In fact, giving iron supplementation to dogs with AIHA can be very dangerous and is not recommended.

Typical therapy for AIHA involves giving drugs to suppress the immune system, usually a combination of prednisone for immediate effect and a longer-acting, safer immunosuppressant like azathioprine (Imuran) or cyclophosphamide that will allow you to slowly taper down the prednisone.

Dr. Paul
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