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Anybody know anybody with a cat that's anemic and have it managed?

July 27th, 2008, 10:02 PM
I posted this in the general cats and dogs forum but haven't gotten any response. But I really wish I can get some feedback from people that have any experience with their cat being anemic:

Does anybody know anybody or have a cat that's anemic and have the anemia managed? My baby is very sick and we're going to lose her one of these days if we go to the vet too late for a steroid injection or transfusion. We haven't given her any transfusions yet but she's been on the borderline so many times now. The vet has told us a few times to consider putting her down but it's just our stubbornness and not wanting to let her go. She's lost a lot of weight in the last few months. This is so depressing We really don't know what to do anymore as the steroid pills don't work and right now just the injections seem to be working for a week or so than it's not again. I've done research on the web and most cats don't survive but I've found a couple people on yahoo answers where their cat has successfully been able to manage their chronic anemia.

Thanks so much for your help in this.

July 28th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Sorry, I don't know anything about anemia in cats - but maybe another cat person will come along with some answers, so I'm giving you a bump.

Good luck!

July 28th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Hi setell. I'm sorry but I'm not going to be much help either.
Could I suggest you go to Search on this bar

User CP Blogs FAQ Calendar Arcade Today's Posts New Posts Search Quick Links Log Out

and click on it. I did and did an anemic cat search. There seems to be some info there in older posts. Don't know how much help it will be though.

For human anemic we take iron supplements. Is that something that was offered?

July 28th, 2008, 05:34 PM
What is causing the anemia?

I have only limited personal experience with anemia in a cat who crashed with FeLV - long before I discovered the Internet. I do have a couple of suggestions, however.

Many people who are dealing with a chronic condition receive excellent information, practical advice and support from others who have more experience dealing with that same condition. If you think you'd like to put your question to them - or at least check them out - you'll find a group here (
(I'm a member of a similar group and we all realize that our collective knowledge and experience outweighs that of out Vets.)

One of my discoveries has been a superb website dedicated to managing feline kidney insufficiency (CRF). There is a very extensive section on that site dealing with anemia. Ignore the fact that it is a CRF site - treating anemia is generic - you'll find it here (

July 28th, 2008, 06:06 PM
Thank you so much RUSTYcat. I really appreciate the help and to the others that responded. I'm really not sure what to do right now since we've had a lot of tests done and haven't found the root cause of the anemia :( that is why she keeps bouncing back and forth. We know that she doesn't have Feline Leukemia, any infections, but just a enlarged liver. The vet said it was ok that her liver was larger than most cats. She doesn't have any renal problems too so we've narrowed down a lot of possible reasons why she's anemic other than a genetic issue :( I am still try to get as much information as possible. I'm at the point that I'm second guessing my vet now and want a second opinion of my little girl's situation. It's also draining my emotions where every other visit and the bloody vet tells us to consider putting my baby down :sad: I wonder if he/she gets the point that I am not putting her down till I know I tried everything to save her.

July 28th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Given what you've said, I think that, if it were me, I would be asking for a referral to a specialist.

If I were within travelling distance of the ON Veterinary College in Guelph - that's where I would want to go.

If you decide to go with a "simple" second opinion, there's a site with info on Vets who have been recommended by owners of chronically ill cats - you'll find that info here (

July 28th, 2008, 08:23 PM
You can get a referral to a specialist? I'm going to do that first thing tomorrow since I had no clue you can do that. But I'm nowhere close to an veterinary college :( since she's in NS and I just moved to ON for a new job. My parents and siblings have been taking care of her. My sister took our cat to the vet the last Thursday and the vet increased her steroid dosage...'sigh' not even sure if it'll help at all. I will try to get a good second opinion vs just another vet that might tell us the same thing this vet is.

July 28th, 2008, 09:25 PM
OK - if the cat's in NS, the closest Veterinary College is the Atlantic Veterinary College ( in Charlottetown. The website is very skimpy for general information, but my sense is that their intake may be by referral from a Veterinarian only. (At Guelph, there is a small animal hospital open to the public.) But, if it's an option for your family in terms of travel, why not call them and ask about getting a consultation.

The second opinion option might be best pursued by contacting the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association ( and finding the closest Board Certified Feline Veterinarian.

Third best (from my perspective) would be finding the closest cat-only Vet practice - again, ask the NSVMA.

You might consider starting a new thread - maybe in the General Forum - "Need a Good Cat Vet in...."

Dr Lee
July 28th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Many thanks Rustycat for the PM on this thread!

Rustycat is correct, we really need to find the underlying cause of the anemia. Anemia can be caused from three main etiologies: 1) Blood loss, 2) Blood cell destruction and 3) lack of production.

It sounds like we can rule out blood loss. Blood destruction can occur as an immune mediated source like IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) but is rare in cats, from onion or garlic toxicity, drug reactions, blood borne parasites, or sepsis.

Lack of production can be from a primary bone marrow disease, lead toxicity and from any serious chronic disease.

A bone marrow biopsy may be very useful in this case and again as Rustycat pointed out - this will call for a specialist.

Epogen (erythropoietin) injections can help stimulate the body to create more red blood cells. I have used Epogen in several kidney failure cases and had some very good success. Results are not immediate but do happen. The medication can usually be obtained through a human hospital by your veterinarian and can be administered only by injection. Erythropoietin is the hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Amgen, a California based laboratory, isolated this hormone and replicated it in the 80's. Since then it has helped saved thousands of lives, including some cats.

I hope this helps a bit. :pawprint:

July 29th, 2008, 07:13 AM
I am sorry to hear about your kitty. I have no advice, but would like to send you a :grouphug:

Good luck and keep us updated on your kitty's health.

July 29th, 2008, 02:58 PM
Thank you all for your kind words and help. I don't think we can travel to Charlottetown to go to the vet college there. I'll call and book an appointment with the local Cat only vet hospital. Ironic how I used to take her there but stopped after I was insulted how they thought I was mistreating my little girl Peach. I've got to call around and find out where we can see a specialist as Peach's situation seems to beyond what a regular "vet" can do.

August 2nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
setell- check your Private Messages

August 24th, 2008, 06:57 PM
My cat has had severe anemia for 2 years now. In the beginning the steroid pills did nothing - except permanently mess up her eyes pretty bad- and she had two blood transfusions. Finally we tried a pill called Leukeran. It is used in humans who have cancer and one of the side effects is it kills off the immune system. My cat's anemia is caused from her immune system attacking her red blood cells. We have kept it under control until now but have over time, had to increase her dosage. Now we are spiralling downward again. The vet doesn't seem willing to do another transfusion and I am hoping I can talk her into it tomorrow. I don't know why your cat has anemia but I hope this helps.

August 28th, 2008, 06:36 PM
My cat developed sudden, acute anemia owing to liver failure. His red blood count was 15. I fed him pureed and very bloody raw beef liver - mixed with some corn syrup to make it somewhat palatable. This is so soupy it can be fed via an oral-type syringe. He also received Hills A/D wet cat food, made into an even goopier pate than it already was. In six days his count was up to 24. (See my Gollum update thread).

Chronic anemia is a different matter entirely but I do have a certain respect for raw beef liver, now I've seen what it can do. And it's so cheap.

I later started him on denamarin and the improvement in his liver function has been nothing short of astonishing. He's eating like a normal cat again.


October 14th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Thanks all for the help and support.

Our kitty is doing well right now. She's gained a lot of weight and we've narrowed down what is causing the anemia to just two possiblities (better than before!). She's keeping her PCV count high since we're feeding her Hills A/D and Medi Cal Preventive Care. This combination have really boosted her blood count and has kept it around 26% on average for the past month and a half. At the moment we've got her anemia controlled while we it gives us time to figure out what is causing it.

October 14th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Glad to hear your kitty is doing well and thanks for updating us.