To your pet, you are their superhero – feeding them, taking them on walks, playtime & fighting fleas. And as their superhero, you take your job very seriously, finding every which way to make them happy and healthy. When it comes to their health, there are many diseases and conditions that you watch out for to keep your pet safe, one of them being anemia.
What is Anemia?
Anemia is one of those medical terms you may hear tossed around where you shake your head like you know what it is but in reality, you don’t. It’s okay, we’ve all tried to fake it till we make it. But to better understand what anemia is, let’s start with its origin story, or should we say its villain origin story?
The Greek root ‘an’ means without, while ‘emia’ refers to blood. So, when put together, you get ‘an-emia’, which means without blood! Being anemic means not having enough blood — not necessarily totally without blood, but close enough to make you sick.
How Does a Pet Become Anemic?
Well, there are 2 ways:
1. They can lose blood from a cut or parasitic infection.
2. They can suffer from diseases or toxins that destroy blood cells.
The result is the same: Body function begins to fail due to not enough oxygen getting to your pet’s organs.
Although it may not be common knowledge, veterinarians treat anemia in pets very frequently. It is called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia or IMHA. With IMHA, the immune system becomes confused and starts attacking your pet’s own red blood cells. It is tough to treat and even harder to prevent.
What Is Toxic for Pets
The ingestion of zinc or mothballs can cause your pet to get very sick. Their toxicity can cause red blood cells to pop and die through hemolysis. Keeping these materials away from your pet, as well as any type of object that may contain them, is essential to the maintenance of your pet’s health.
How To Prevent Anemia
Since flea infestations are one of the causes of anemia, it makes sense then that preventing flea infestations is the key to preventing anemia.
When a single flea bites your pet, it won’t do too much harm, but in the case of an infestation, hundreds of fleas can suck your pet’s blood and fast! And with essentially a real-life vampire on your hands, your pet would need a transfusion, which not only would be uncomfortable for any pet but also costly for a pet parent.Investing in over-the-counter preventive flea & tick products like collars, or squeeze-on products is a great way to fight disease before it happens. Read labels to ensure you’ve chosen the right product for your pet and identify if it kills flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, mosquitoes, chewing lice, and other parasites to help protect your pet from diseases.