adopted two cats from the Animal Compassion Network. I noticed one of them eating dirt out of my planters. Many tests and $1,200 later, the diagnosis was acute feline anemia. I am giving her prednisone every day. Nothing seems to help her blood count. Do you have any suggestions? Two different vets have tried everything they know.
L.P., Hendersonville, NC Jan 17, 2010
Obsessive dirt eating by dogs and cats can be a cardinal sign of anemia. In many cases, the anemia owes to an autoimmune disease that may be triggered by vaccinations. Or it may have a hereditary basis. Cats can develop anemia with adverse drug reactions, blood parasites (such as haemobartonellosis), viral infections (such as feline leukemia), bone-marrow diseases and hypothyroidism, etc. Because the veterinarians have been able to identify the type of anemia afflicting your cat, I would follow their course of treatment. Discuss with them the possibilities of adjunctive treatment with blood transfusions, Procrit, cyclosporine, human gamma globulin and folate.
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