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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32873
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my English cocker spaniel is suffering as she has a low red

Customer Question

my English cocker spaniel is suffering as she has a low red blood count, she is only 7 months old and has had a fit ,she is currently on steroids and has been on them for 11 days now, she is a pet and not a working dog is there anything I can do or is there no hope for her, I don't want her to be in pain as she is so young so i am prepared to help her in any way I can, any suggestions as I don't want her to be put to sleep
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Jessey. I can be more help to you if I could review Jessey's last test results. Can you upload a copy of her test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but her vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or by using an external app such as or

I'm particularly interested in her complete blood count. I hear that she's anemic but I need to know the severity of her anemia and whether it's regenerative (she can replace the red blood cells she lacks) or non-regenerative (she's unable to replace the red blood cells she lacks).

What did you see that constituted a "fit", please? Have you been given a diagnosis for Jessey's anemia? I know I'm very nosy but I can be more accurate for you knowing the answers to these questions. I'll await your reply.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she had a fit so we took her to local vets,vet did a blood count and said it was only 20,she gave us a prescription of prednisolone which is a steroid,she has since been back and I was given another corse of prednisolne for another 7 days,my dog looks very sad and is sleeping all the time,her gums are white in colour which is ameania ,she needs to produce more red blood sells,how can I help her.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
You'll need to find out why she has become so anemic and treat the primary cause. For example, if a regenerative anemia is present due to autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), the prednisolone will be helpful if not curative. If a regenerative anemia is due to a poisoning with an anticoagulant rodenticide, however, prednisolone won't be helpful. Instead, vitamin K - the antidote for such a poisoning needs to be administered.

Nonregenerative anemias can be caused by any disease process that causes significant inflammation or simply diseases that have persisted for quite some time. Diseases of the bone marrow and cancers are common causes of nonregenerative anemias. To track down these diseases, you'll need to have diagnostics in the form of blood/urine tests and perhaps her bone marrow aspirated and examined as well as imaging in the form of X-rays or ultrasound performed. This can be an challenge - both for your veterinarian and your pocketbook.

Once again, I'd be pleased to review the results of any testing that has been performed to date and comment further.