Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Anemia (Methemoglobinemia) in Dogs




  • Mild to moderate — no treatment necessary
  • If drug-induced, discontinuation of the drug
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen overdose — vomiting induced immediately
  • Inherited — animals have normal life expectancy and do not require treatment
  • Severely anemic — blood transfusions
  • Electrolyte imbalances resulting from vomiting, diarrhea, kidney injury, or impending shock may be treated with IVs
  • In cases of severe anemia, methylene blue may be administered intravenously to reduce the methemoglobin count


Living and Management


Exercise extreme care when using acetaminophen and ibuprofen medications. If your pet has ingested them by accident, induce vomiting and take it to the veterinarian immediately. If you are giving your pet ibuprofen for pain, be alert for symptoms of anemia. Color should return to the skin and mucous membranes once the amount of methemoglobin in the blood has returned to a level that is not critical, and blood on the spot test appears bright red. If methylene blue treatment has been given, the proportion of red cells in the blood should be monitored closely.



Related Articles

Lizard Venom Poisoning in Dogs

While Gila Monsters and Mexican Beaded Lizards are normally docile and do not often attack, it is important to be aware of the danger if a bite...

Clotting Deficiency (Inherited) in Dogs

The process of coagulation takes place when blood transforms from a free flowing liquid into a thickened gel like state. In this state the gelled...

Hemoglobin and Myoglobin in Urine in Dogs

Hemoglobin is an oxygen carrier in the red blood cells, which also serves to carry oxygen to the tissues, as well as the pigment that makes the...

Blood Transfusion Reactions in Dogs

There are a variety of reactions that can occur with the transfusion of any blood product. Most reactions usually occur during or shortly after...