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Epogen for cat with anemia.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domestic Long Hair C
Age: More than 15 ye
Hi Dr. Marie,

I need a second opinion. My 19 year old male cat was recently diagnosed with anemia.
Here are the blood results:
Red blood cell count: 3.94
Hemoglobin: 5.5
Hematocrit: 15.7

The vet wants to give my cat Epogen injections 3 times a week for 3 weeks. It will be very difficult for me to travel to the vet's office this often. Do you think this amount of injections is necessary?

Steve


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear that your cat is having problems with anemia. These values definitely are lower than normal and significantly low as well.

Do you know if he is dealing with kidney problems as well? Cats with kidney disease can often have anemia and these are the cases where Epogen can help to get the red cell level up. The reason for this is that cats in kidney failure will often not produce a substance in their kidneys called erythropoietin which is partly produced in the kidneys. If we substitute with Epogen then this can really help.

But, if there is no kidney failure, then it is debatable whether Epogen will be of use.

With that being said, I have heard of cases where vets were quite certain that Epogen helped anemia in non-renal failure kitties. If your vet has recommended this treatment then it is possible that they have had good experience with using it.

I think the biggest concern here is why your cat has anemia as we don't tend to just see anemia in cats. There has to be some type of underlying reason for it. Hopefully you and your vet are able to sort that out.

I can't give you a definitive yes or no answer to your question. But, I can tell you that your vet would not have recommended it unless they felt it was going to help.

I hope things look up soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you for replying. I think they said the kidney values were on the high side but I do not have them. My concern is the dosage. Do you find the dosage frequency normal? I feel that I'm being taken advantage of and thinking of finding another vet.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Epogen does indeed need to be given regularly to be effective.

I have found that it is quite rare for a vet to prescribe a treatment just to make money. Still, if you don't feel comfortable, there is no harm in seeking a second opinion.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.