Anemia in Dogs (cont.)

Congenital Hemolytic Anemia

Several inherited abnormalities in the structure of red blood cells can result in their premature destruction. Phosphofructokinase deficiency is an autosomal recessive trait that occurs in English Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels. A deficiency of this enzyme results in changes in the pH of red blood cells, causing the cells to periodically fragment and produce bouts of hemoglobinuria. There is no effective treatment.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is another red blood cell enzyme deficiency caused by an autosomal recessive gene. This disease is recognized in several breeds, including Basenjis, Beagles, and West Highland White Terriers. Puppies usually develop the hemolytic anemia at 2 to 12 months of age. Death by age 3 is the usual outcome.

Genetic tests for phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase deficiency are available through the University of Pennsylvania at PennGen, and from OptiGen and VetGen.

This article is excerpted from “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.