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Anemia: overview

Clapis

Introduction

  • Cause: anemia is defined as a deficiency of erythrocytes either in number or volume or both, hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit. Causes include hemorrhage, hemolysis and reduced production of erythrocytes.
  • Signs: depend on chronicity. Pallor, weakness, lethargy, exercise intolerance, collapse. Signs related to underlying chronic disease process.
  • Diagnosis: hematological examination, including blood smear examination.
  • Treatment: depends on the cause of anemia.
  • Prognosis: depends on the cause of anemia.
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Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

Pathophysiology

  • Anemia can be induced be several mechanisms.
  • Hemorrhage: internal or external blood loss.
  • Hemolysis: destruction of red cells.
  • Failure of production of red cells: bone marrow disorders, neoplasia.
  • Anemia of chronic disease: reduced red cell lifespan and increased consumption.

Timecourse

  • Rapid onset anemia:
    • Blood loss.
    • Hemolysis.
  • Slow onset anemia:
    • Bone marrow suppression.
    • Parasitism.
    • Anemia of chronic disease.

Severity of anemia

  • Mild anemia has been found to be the most common (70%).
  • Moderate (19%).
  • Severe (11%) due to enteral coccidiosis, trauma, aneurysm, liver lobe torsion, and uterine neoplasia.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Dettweiler A, Klopfleisch R, Muller K (2017) Anemia in pet rabbits: causes, severity, and reticulocyte response. Vet Rec 181 (24), 656 PubMed.
  • Jeklova E, Leva L, Knotigova P & Faldyna M (2009) Age-related changes in selected haematology parameters in rabbits. Res Vet Sci 86 (3), 525–528 PubMed.
  • Marshall K L (2008) Rabbit haematology. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 11 (3), 551-567 PubMed.
  • Melillo A (2007) Rabbit clinical pathology. J Exotic Pet Med 16 (3), 135-145 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W (2021) Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Elsevier, USA.
  • Campbell T (2015) Peripheral Blood of Mammals. In: Exotic Animal Hematology and Cytology. 4th edn. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 3-36.
  • Varga M (2014) Clinical Pathology. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth Heinemann, UK. pp 111-136.
  • Wesche P (2014) Clinical Pathology. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, UK. pp 124-137.

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