Anemia Due to Enlarged Blood Cells in Cats

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Anemia, Megaloblastic (Anemia, Nuclear Maturation Defects) in Cats

In this disease, red blood cells fail to divide and become abnormally large. These cells are also deficient in necessary DNA material. These giant cells with underdeveloped nuclei are called megaloblasts, or "big cells." Red blood cells are mainly affected, but white blood cells and platelets can also go through changes.

For cats that have anemia associated with feline leukemia virus (FeLV), this type of anemia is expected to occur. The seriousness of the anemia can rang from mild to severe.

Symptoms and Types

  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale skin color
  • Weakness
  • Sore mouth and tongue

Causes

  • Deficiencies of Vitamin B-12 and folic acid
  • Leukemia
  • Bone marrow disorder
  • Genetics
  • Drugs such as chemotherapy

Diagnosis

Tests will be conducted to rule out the following:

Complete blood count, biochemistry, and urinalysis will examine the following:

  • Whether the anemia mild or moderate
  • Whether the anemia is caused by over-sized cells
  • In cats with feline leukemia: whether the anemia associated with a disorder of the spinal column or, possibly, with a different leukemia
  • Bone marrow biopsy usually reveals variable marrow findings
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prognosis

The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance

urinalysis

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

malformation

Any growth or organ on an animal that is not normal

leukemia

An increase in the number of bad white blood cells

biopsy

The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.

anemia

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

Courtesy of petmd.com Original Article

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