Anaemia is relatively common in cats compared with other species, and FeLV infection is probably the most important cause. The anaemia may be primary or the result of lymphoid or myeloid leukaemia interfering with normal haematopoiesis. Primary red cell aplasia causes rapid onset anaemia. The packed cell volume may drop below 10%, although white cell counts remain normal. Because the anaemia is non-regenerative, RBCs are normocytic and normochromic.
A mild, often missed, haemolytic anaemia may also be common in FeLV infected cats.
Total marrow aplasia is rare. Affected cats have severe leucopenia and anaemia, giving rise to rapid onset weight loss, anorexia and pyrexia. At necropsy these cats may have a haemorrhagic enteritis and haemorrhagic mesenteric lymph nodes.
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