Clinical Management Tools

Using Oxyglobin in the Treatment of Canine Anemia in Chronic Kidney or Liver Disease

Clinical Management Tools

  • One of the many clinical signs associated with chronic liver or kidney disease may be the development of a mild to moderate anemia.
  • In liver disease the anemia may be a result of:
    • Blood loss from gastrointestinal ulceration
    • Blood loss secondary to a coagulopathy (improper liver function diminishes the production of clotting factors)
    • Inefficient utilization of systemic iron stores (anemia of chronic disease)
  • In kidney disease a deficiency of erythropoietin (EPO) is the principal cause but other factors (anemia of chronic disease, and decreased RBC life span) contribute to the anemia.

Medical Problem

  • The varying combinations of medical abnormalities (anemia, azotemia and electrolyte imbalances related to chronic kidney disease or anemia, gastrointestinal and neurologic signs related to chronic liver disease) result in an animal that may have periods of relative stability interspersed with periods of clinical deterioration.
  • Any insult to this balance such as a medical or surgical procedure requiring anesthesia, a concurrent medical illness or a period of stress may cause an acute crisis of the chronic disease state.
  • This acute decompensation may exacerbate the signs associated with anemia.

Potential Red Blood Cell Transfusion Complications:

  • Transfusions of citrate-rich blood products to a dog with chronic liver disease can result in metabolic alkalosis, hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia. The latter may aggravate hemorrhagic tendencies.
  • Transfusion of stored blood to a dog with chronic liver disease can deliver substantial amounts of ammonia which may exacerbate hepatic encephalopathy.

Treatment Solution - Providing an Oxygen Bridge

  • During these periods of an acute crisis, Oxyglobin may be indicated for the treatment of anemia in cases of chronic kidney or liver disease.
  • Oxyglobin will increase the systemic oxygen content and improve the clinical signs associated with anemia.
  • Infusion of Oxyglobin to dogs with liver disease does not run the potential risks (noted above) that may be associated with blood transfusions.
  • This clinical support of the anemic condition may allow for:
    • Medical diagnostic procedures
    • Surgical procedures
    • Treatment of concurrent illness
    • An adjustment period by the owner to the idea of euthanasia


  • The use of Oxyglobin Solution to treat stable patients with chronic anemia may be limited because of Oxyglobin's half life (18-43 hours).
  • Patients with chronic anemia often have an expanded circulatory volume. Care should be taken to avoid circulatory overload, an important side effect of Oxyglobin.

Laboratory Interference Reference Guide

For individuals interested in the impact of hemoglobin based oxygen carriers on laboratory assays.

Learn More


Oxyglobin® Solution Use Video

View an Oxyglobin® Solution video case study of a dog with thrombocytopenia and IMHA being administered Oxyglobin.