Chronic renal disease Renal Dysfunction in Small Animals Failure of the filtration function of the kidneys leads to the development of azotemia (an excess of nitrogenous compounds in the blood), which may be classified as prerenal, renal, postrenal... read more is a common cause of nonregenerative anemia in animals. Erythropoietin is normally produced by the peritubular endothelial cells in the renal cortex. Animals with renal disease produce less erythropoietin, leading to anemia. Darbepoetin is hyperglycosylated compared with recombinant human erythropoietin and anecdotally is associated with a reduced risk of red cell aplasia. The recommended starting dose is 1 mcg/kg SC once weekly in cats and 0.45 mcg/kg SC once weekly in dogs. PCV is monitored weekly until the desired improvement is reached (this will vary with the initial degree of anemia), after which the dose interval is increased. Animals receiving darbepoetin or recombinant human erythropoietin require supplemental iron to support RBC production. (Also see Hematinics Hematinics Anemia can be treated pharmacologically by providing components needed for RBC production, including hemoglobin synthesis, and by stimulating bone marrow formation of RBCs. Vitamin B12 is essential... read more .)
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Also see Pet Health content regarding anemia caused by renal disease in dogs Kidney Disease Anemia occurs when there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells, which can be measured by red blood cell count or hemoglobin concentration. It can develop from loss, destruction, or... read more , anemia caused by renal disease in cats Nonregenerative Anemias , and anemia caused by renal disease in horses Nonregenerative Anemias .