Cat With Severe Anemia

by Anonymous Reader

Reader Question: How can you help a cat with chronic anemia>

At a veterinarian appointment to have our cats nails trimmed, the Doctor noticed her gums were very pale and that her abdomen felt "doughy".

We brought our cat back to the veterinarian the next day for blood work and x-rays. Blood work revealed that at some time in her life, she had been exposed to Coronavirus, but of major concern was very low rbc, x-ray noted enlarged spleen. PCV was 13% so took our girl to emergency hospital where she received a blood transfusion, antibiotics, and steroid treatment.

After 4 days in the hospital, she was discharged with PCV of 24%. Our girl was discharged on antibiotics and prednisolone.

After going home and one week later at our veterinarian, the pcv level was 10%. Our veterinarian added an additional antibiotic (doxy) and weekly b-12 injection. PCV went up to 12%. One week later, still at 12%. Our hospital veterinarian then added Mycophenolate Mofetil and after 4 days, pcv jumped to 16%, one week later it is 18%.

Many tests were done -- everything except bone marrow -- and everything "ruled out". No FIP, leukemia, no mass in abdomen, aspirate of spleen revealed nothing. Best guess was IMHA but based on the latest response to MMF, we have been told it is aplastic anemia.

Is there anything else we can do to save our beloved kitty? She is so very precious. We are heartbroken.

Suggestions from Our Veterinarian


I am so sorry to hear of what you and your cat have been through. I am not sure I understand why you were told that your cat’s response to mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) was indicative of aplastic anemia. MMF is commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases and based on the numbers you reported, it looks like her anemia did improve at least a little bit with treatment (her PCV increased from 12 to 18 in one week). To me (an only partially informed outsider), her response seems to fit better with immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) than with aplastic anemia.

It sounds as if your cat is getting excellent care. As long as her red blood cell count continues to go up, I wouldn’t recommend changing her treatment plan.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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