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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17080
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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I have just been told my dog (Labrador Guide Dog ) has pernicious

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I have just been told my dog (Labrador Guide Dog ) has pernicious anaemia can you please tell if this is treatable condition. He is a 9 year old dog who has helped me over a number of years, I would like him to have a quality of life over longevity.
The vet said he is only at this moment to find the cause of this condition after numerous blood tests and B12 injections on a monthly basis. He said he may have to look at his bone marrow condition coupled with an op to see what is going on inside.
Can you please guide me in the right direction to explore. I have pet insurance up to £12,000 but I don't want to put him through unnecessary stress.
I am sorry to hear about Raymond. My name isXXXXX am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

There are many different kinds and causes of anemia in dogs. How does your vet know for sure it is pernicious anemia? This type of anemia is caused by the intestines not being able to absorb vitamin B12 from the digestive tract, because they lack an enzyme called intrinsic factor. Usually dogs with B12 deficiency have diarrhea as well.

It should be fairly easy to diagnose pernicious anemia; just do a blood test to measure the amount of B12 in his blood. This would have to be done after any B12 injections he gets are worn off, so as to measure the true amount in his body.

There are many other causes of anemia: autoimmune disease, cancer of the bone marrow, drug reactions, toxins (lead, for instance), kidney disease, lack of the hormone erythropoeitin. Chronic disease anywhere in his body can cause "anemia of chronic inflammatory disease".

It would help to see his blood tests, to see how anemic he is, and if it is a "regenerative" anemia or not. That means checking his blood for the presence of immature red blood cells being prematurely released from the bone marrow, in an attempt to respond to the anemia. If it is regenerative, his bone marrow is functioning. If it is non regenerative, a bone marrow biopsy would be recommended.

I would also consider an ultrasound in a dog of his breed to check for a mass on his spleen. These may not show up on an Xray, but would be picked up by an experienced ultrasonographer. I would do an ultrasound of his abdomen before considering surgery.

Please let me know what else I can answer or help with.

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