Why Is My Dog Or Cat’s Blood Hemoglobin Level Low Or High?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

See What Normal Blood & Urine Values Are

Causes Of Most Abnormal Blood & Urine Tests

See How Tests Are Grouped

The Causes Of Anemia

The Level Of Hemoglobin In Your Pet’s Blood = Hg = Hgb

Hemoglobin is the iron-containing reddish molecule within your pet’s red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen.

Reasons Why Your Dog Or Cat’s Hemoglobin Level Might Be Low:

Your pet’s hemoglobin level will be low for all the same reasons that the pet’s PCV would be low. It is also possible for red blood cells to carry less than their normal amount of hemoglobin but for their number to be normal. In that case, RBC numbers would be normal, but the pet’s hemoglobin would be low. That is also reflected in a blood tests that measure average red blood cell hemoglobin concentration (MCHC).

Reasons Why Your Pet’s Hemoglobin Levels Might Be High:

For all the same reasons that your pet’s Packed Cell Volume (PCV) might be high. The most common reason is dehydration due to diarrhea, vomiting, excess heat in the environment or the inability to drink.

Sluggish blood flow throughout the body, as occurs in congestive heart disease, can also be the cause of increased hemoglobin level.

Heinz bodies, fatty blood samples (=lipemia) and other blood turbidity problems (cloudiness) can cause blood hemoglobin level to be falsely measured as high by analytical machines.

If your dog is a sighthound, such as a greyhound, its hemoglobin levels will normally be high.

Complementary Tests:

The same ones as for anemia,   hematocrit,   PCV,   MCHC,   MCV,    poikilocytosis,    reticulocyte count and other erythrocyte indices


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