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Anemia, Nonregenerative in Dogs

Non-regenerative Anemia in Dogs

A decrease in red blood cells is called anemia. Typically, bone marrow will respond to this decrease by increasing red blood cell production. However, in non-regenerative anemia, the bone marrow response is inadequate when compared to the increased need. For this reason, dogs who suffer from anemia caused by lead poisoning are put in a very dangerous situation. Also, dogs that become anemic over a period of time will fare better than those who have a sudden onset of anemia. When the anemia progresses slowly, the body has time to adjust to the decreased red blood cell count. Dogs that become anemic quickly may die because of the sudden loss in red blood cells and oxygen.

There are three kinds of anemia: blood loss anemia caused by blood leaking out of the vascular system, as in the case of a wound; hemolytic anemia results from the destruction of red blood cells circulating within the blood stream; and non-regenerative anemia, which is caused by a decrease in red cell production.

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

  • Pale gums or mucous membrane
  • Eyes and ears may be pale as well
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • Stop grooming themselves
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased breathing and heart rate



  • Bone marrow disease
  • Infections (tick disease)
  • Abscesses
  • Cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • Drugs
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Radiation
  • Lead poisoning
  • Inherited disorders (giant Schnauzers, Border collies, and Beagles are most at risk)



Anemia is generally a symptom of another disease. Therefore, diagnosis is based on your dog's history and clinical symptoms, physical examination, complete blood counts, urinalysis, iron testing, and bone marrow testing.



An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness


The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance


The removal and destruction of red blood cells


A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.

mucous membrane

A special type of tissue that exudes mucus