Anemia and Chronic Kidney

Anemia and Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs

Tycle is a 7-year old Shih Tzu. He presented to Miami Veterinary Specialists due to intermittent seizure activity for the past 25 days. For the past 25 days he lost significant weight, his appetite decreased, and became very thirsty all the time.

Tycle was seen by Dr. Stephanie Cerovsky and Dr. Rebecca Aldoretta, two of our veterinarians. Blood work and other diagnostic tests were performed and revealed that Tycle was in a critical state. He was hospitalized and was put under supportive care and monitoring in order to stabilize him.

After going over Tycle’s results, he was diagnosed with anemia and chronic kidney disease. Anemia refers to the reduced number of circulating red blood cells, hemoglobin or both. One of the symptoms of this disease is the abnormal white color of the gums, one of the first signs that Tycle was showing.

Chronic kidney disease is a very complex and progressive disease that has no cure. The treatment is based on slowing the disease process. The two key elements to treatment are hydration and diet. Successful hydration will be accomplished via regular administration of subcutaneous fluids. This means that Tycle’s owner will need to apply fluid injections multiple times per week to keep him fully hydrated.

The anemia was caused by the chronic kidney disease due to the lack of production of erythropoietin (hormone which plays a role in the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow). Tycle’s chest and abdominal radiographs did not show evidence of any masses, which is also a possible cause of anemia.

Tycle was also was suffering from azotemia (high blood urea nitrogen and creatinine), hyperkalemia (elevated potassium) and hyperphosphatemia (elevated phosphorous) which are being resolved. These were all signs that Tycle had blood and electrolyte abnormalities, which began resolving with fluid therapy and medical management. His anemia improved with packed red blood cell transfusions, but has not been resolved completely. Even though he was under seizure watch, Tycle did not present a single seizure episode. His past seizure activity was most likely caused by his electrolyte abnormalities.

After a few days of hospitalization, Tycle was stabilized and was feeling a lot better. He went back home with orders of diet change, good hydration and very close monitoring of his daily performance. He may need to receive erythropoietin injections in the future for stabilization.
He will be back soon for a recheck. See you soon Tycle!

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