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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29828
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog all of sudden developed severe anemia the past 3 days.

Customer Question

My dog all of sudden developed severe anemia the past 3 days. Exams and x- Rays were done and nothing was found except for very low RBC and swelling bladder. Please tell me what I should or can do for him now. He took a dose of steroid but still very weak.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
To fully understand why acute anemia arises, a thorough history and diagnostics are necessary. Has there been exposure to an anticoagulant rodenticide? How old is your dog and which breeds is he? Did X-rays reveal bleeding into a body cavity? Have you seen bleeding from any orifice? Is his anemia regenerative (he's able to replace the RBCs he lacks) or nonregenerative (he's unable to replace the RBCs he lacks)?
Can you upload a copy of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but his vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or by using an external app such as or
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They did not see abnormal bleeding anywhere or mass. He is an mixed Australian shepherd and 9 years old. He has been always a very strong and healthy dog.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. If there's been no exposure to an anticoagulant rodenticide such as d-CON, I'll need to review his test results - in particular, his hematocrit (HCT) or packed cell volume (PCV) (indicators of the severity of his anemia), absolute reticulocyte count (the best indicator of whether or not he can replace his red blood cells he lacks), and whether or not his blood autoagglutinates (indicator of autoimmune anemia). Please see if you can get me that information.
In general, if his PCV is lower than 20, he should be transfused with whole blood or packed RBCs. If poisoning is possible, he should be injected with vitamin K. If there's any question that immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) exists, he should be injected with an immunosuppressive dose of a corticosteroid such as prednisone.
Please continue our conversation if you wish.