Blood is the most important component of any body. Its composition determines the well-being and health of any living creature, whether human or animal. Among all the components that make up the blood, one of the most serious functions is performed by hemoglobin.
The percentage of this substance is an indicator of well-being or the presence of pathology in the body, so when analyzing blood, special attention is paid to it.
Hemoglobin and its role in humans and animals
Hemoglobin is a special protein that contains iron. It is this element that provides the coloring of our blood in shades of red. It is responsible for transporting oxygen to the organs and tissues of the body, performs buffer functions. Hemoglobin is present in the blood of all living creatures that have a circulatory system.
The lungs of humans and animals are filled with oxygen, which saturates the blood through the capillary system. Hemoglobin, contained in red blood cells — red blood cells — in a bound form carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. In them, oxygen is released, supporting the oxidation processes necessary for the normal functioning of cells and organs.
Hemoglobin has the property of partially binding carbon dioxide and removing it from the body, so the role of this substance is extremely important for the health of any living being.
Norms of hemoglobin in humans, cats and dogs
The amount of hemoglobin in different sexes differs:
- men — 130-160 g/l (minimum 120, maximum 180 g/l);
- women — 120— 50 g/l;
- children: newborns — 145-225 g/l, from 3 months to six months — 95-135 g/l, from one year to 18 years — a gradual increase in indicators to the “adult” level.
During pregnancy, the concentration of hemoglobin decreases due to the increased load on the woman’s body, so it is important for a pregnant woman to monitor blood parameters.
In dogs, the norm of hemoglobin is equal to the same norm in an adult male — 120-180 g/l, in puppies — 74-180 g/l.
In cats, the indicators are normally lower — 80-150 g/l.
Elevated hemoglobin levels
The growth of hemoglobin indicators in most cases indicates the presence of pathological processes in the body. They are mainly associated with blood thickening and an increase in the concentration of red blood cells.
This condition is called “hyperchromia”. It can occur as a result of the following diseases or conditions:
- Hypoxia, or oxygen starvation. It occurs both in adult animals or humans, and in young or fetuses during intrauterine development.
- Physical overload. Dogs often show excessive activity, and cats can be chased by yard dogs or children, which leads not only to physical fatigue, but also to a violation of the overall health of the animal.
- Stressful conditions. For dogs and cats, this may be a change of residence, new owners, a trip to a veterinary clinic, or even the appearance of a child or other pet in the family.
- Dehydration or dehydration. This condition can be caused by both the disease and the usual reasons: too hot weather, being in a warm room, increased activity, high dryness of the air, lack of drinking water, especially when eating dry feed mixtures.
- Blood diseases, such as erythrocytosis or hemolysis of red blood cells in the blood vessels.
A slight increase in the level of hemoglobin does not mean that there is a serious problem, but may be caused by physiological reasons.
This will require a second blood test. If he shows the norm, there’s nothing to worry about.
Reduced hemoglobin levels
Low hemoglobin levels are more common, but are of greater concern. This is due to the fact that low indicators indicate the presence of serious violations in the functioning of the human or animal body:
- Anemia. A significant decrease in hemoglobin indicates that tissues and organs suffer from an acute lack of oxygen. This can lead to the development of many dangerous diseases.
- Large blood loss. It is mainly found in severe injuries, for example, when a cat falls out of a window or a dog gets under the wheels of a car.
- Internal bleeding. It can be the result of trauma and various pathological processes in the organs, for example, perforation of an ulcer or piercing the intestinal wall with swallowed bones with sharp edges.
- Bone marrow lesions. These diseases lead to changes in the blood formula.
- Of kidney disease. With them, the outflow of urine is disrupted, and the blood is “poisoned” by decay products, which affects its composition and the amount of hemoglobin.
- Liver damage.
- Disorders of the digestive tract.
- Hormonal problems.
- The presence of lice, ticks and fleas in large numbers.
- Long-term use of antibiotics.
- Improper, unbalanced nutrition with acute iron deficiency.
- Malignant neoplasms. Tumors of various organs greatly weaken the body and affect all its functions, and cancer intoxication leads to changes in the composition of the blood.
- Metastases. The spread of malignant neoplasms causes serious disorders in the entire body and necessarily affects the blood.
In the presence of anemia, which was previously called anemia, a person or animal is characterized by weakness, lethargy, inertia, pale skin and mucous membranes.
There is also a perversion of taste — a person or animal can start eating earth, chalk, plaster and other substances that are not suitable for food. In the presence of such manifestations, urgent medical attention is necessary.
Ways to normalize indicators
In no case should you try to treat an increase in hemoglobin levels at home, regardless of whether it is a person or a cat with a dog. This requires a full examination and determination of the cause of the condition. If we are talking about light dehydration, to normalize the indicators, it is enough to simply increase the volume of clean drinking water.
But if you are without water for a long time, an animal or a person should not be allowed to drink copiously at once — this will lead to a painful and rapid death. Drink often, but little by little, so that the tormented body gets used to the abundance of liquid and copes with it.
If a cat or dog has low hemoglobin, treatment is also associated with the cause of this condition. If it is not related to the disease, we recommend using the following methods:
- Increase the percentage of red meat and liver — they are rich in iron and b vitamins.you can also give your pet a Hematogen on the advice of a doctor.
- According to the doctor’s recommendation, change the diet and add vitamins with an increased concentration of iron or iron-containing supplements.
- More often walk on the street, but do not bring the dog to fatigue. If we are talking about a cat, then allow it to be on a closed (safe) balcony or take it out to the country in the summer.
- Do basic exercises with the animal in the form of a game.
- Perform a light massage to stimulate blood circulation.
It is very important to make the right diet for a cat or dog. It is best to consult an experienced veterinarian who will take into account the age of the dog or cat, as well as the presence of various diseases, injuries and pathologies.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.