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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
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Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat Tuffy has cat anemia. What is the treatment

Customer Question

My cat Tuffy has cat anemia. What is the treatment for this condition. I have read that blood transfusion sometimes helps. the vet has him on predisone and an appeitite stimulant but he doesn't seem to be gaining weight. Help. Any idea of the cost of a blood transfusion. We live the the Mount Vernon, WA. Awaiting your response.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Do you know what type of anemia Tuffy has?

Did he have a recent trauma/injury? Has he been rupturing his own red blood cells (immune mediated hemolytic anemia)? Or does his vet think he has an issue with making red blood cells?

Do you know how low his blood volume is (PCV %)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sure but I think he is not manufacturing red cell.....he had very low red bolod count. Don't know about pvc
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

No worries, I appreciate that was a bit technical to ask but as I am sure you can appreciate, there are a few different types of anemia. And treatment does depend on what we are facing. Now if he isn't making red blood cells at all, then this is quite concerning. This is because a lack of red blood cell production (aka a non-regenerative anemia) can be seen with bone marrow dysfunction (often related to leukemia or lymphoma taking over the marrow) and secondary to kidney disease (since the organ also produces the hormone thatstimulates the marrow to make red blood cells). Diagnosis of which issue is to blame is often via bloods (to check kidney function) and bone marrow biopsies (to check the cells within).

In that case and in regards ***** ***** question, a blood transfusion is possible (we usually won't use one unless the PCV is under 20%, otherwise we could cause fluid overload and more trouble then good) but it tends to only buy time as opposed to curing the problem. Cost-wise, the do tend to run around $300-500 per transfusion depending on the blood source (it can be less costly if you have a donor cat as opposed to the vet using a pet blood bank). Otherwise, your vet's use of steroids is appropriate as it has a stimulating effect on the marrow and if that is functional we'd hope to see that push his body to make cells.

Overall a lack of red blood cel production is one of the most serious reasons for anemia. So, I am quite concerned about Tuffy. If his PCV is very low, then a transfusion can buy us time to work towards a diagnosis and start further treatment. But in it's self it will not be curative since it cannot get that marrow making its own cells as we need it to.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Your input has been helpful.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

Best wishes for Tuffy,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.**Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have received and read your response and found it helpful. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome & I am glad that has been of help. :)

Dr. B.


**Please remember to rate my service, as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.**Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joann,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.