July 2008 Issue

Diagnosis: Feline Anemia

Routine blood counts can detect this dangerous disorder at an early stage. Here's why prompt diagnosis is vital.

Lethargy, weakness and a reluctance to exercise are among the clinical signs of many feline health disorders. If your cat is showing these signs and you notice that she is also breathing rapidly and that her mucous membranes ó especially her gums ó are pale, itís quite possible that she is suffering from anemia, a condition caused by an inadequate flow of oxygen throughout her system. If the cause of the anemia can be detected at an early stage, the condition is often treatable. If it remains undiagnosed and is allowed to progress, however, it can lead to a catís gradual disability and eventual death, says Richard Goldstein, DVM, an associate professor of small animal medicine at Cornell Universityís College of Veterinary Medicine.

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