Anaemia may occur in an animal at any stage of its life and is observed in most common pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits and horses, also in farm and exotic zoo animals. Anaemia may result from a number of aetiologies; viral infection, parasite infestation (fleas, ticks, hookworms), duodenal ulcers, autoimmune diseases trauma and nutritional deficiency. It is characterised by the appearance pale gums, jaundice, lethargy, loss of appetite, darkening of urine and diagnosed by physical and histological examination of venous or capillary blood

According to a study performed by Banfield Hospital in 2007[1] the prevalence of anaemia in dogs from a population of 282,000 animals examined was 3%. In cats, it was 1% from a population of 75,000 examined. The incidence of anaemia reported in horses is much less, usually less than 1%.

The companion animal population in the EU, USA and emerging markets (China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico) is estimated to be 430 million and that of the horse population approximately 58-60 million.[2]According to the above figures, if 2% is considered as the average prevalence of anaemia in the companion animal population, one can estimate there are possibly 8.6 million animals in EU, USA and emerging market suffering from anaemia at any given time.

Reference range in various animal types


  Dog Cat Horse Cattle Others
Hct / PCV (%) 35 – 57 29 – 45 27 – 43 24 – 46 22 – 58
Hb (g/dL) 11.9 – 19 9.8 – 15.4 10.1 – 16.1 8 – 15 8 – 20


[1] Banfield Hospital Publication pages 16 to 24, 2007; ‘Population analyses of anaemia in pets’


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