Introduction and Presentation
Toby, an 11-month-old cat, has exhibited a lack of appetite and increased fatigue, which was observed by his owners. The first stage of a physical examination would be to determine the history of the patient, especially vaccination records, as Toby is a kitten. Then the cats’ general appearance would have been noted. The cats body condition, mentation, posture/gait and hydration status would be examined before continuing the physical examination. Next, the vet would check Toby’s vital signs, which include: body weight, temperature using a rectal thermometer (normal temperature for a feline is between 100.5 and 102.5°F), heart/pulse (normal heart/pulse rate in felines is 110-200 bpm), respiratory rate (normal rate for felines is 20-40 bpm) and perfusion indicators which include checking the mucous membrane colour and capillary refill time (normal refill time is <2 seconds). The vet would then complete a thorough head to toe examination, palpating essential organs for signs of abnormality (Wojdak, 2013). The vet discovered Toby had pale mucous membranes, a weak pulse, a dull coat, and was lethargic.
In response to the findings from the physical examination, several diagnostic techniques are required to determine the diagnosis of the suspected anemia (Fleischman, 2012). The required tests are packed cell volume measurement, a reticulocytes count, blood smear examination and a completed blood count. The packed cell volume, which measures the percentage of red blood cells present in the blood, can be determined by centrifuging a small amount of blood using microhematocrit tubes (Fleischman, 2012). On analysis of the packed cell count obtained for Toby, it was apparent that the value was lower that the reference range at 18%. A blood smear provides information on the morphology of red blood cells including the presence of autoaglutination, Heinz bodies, poikilocytes, erythroparasites and nucleated red blood cells (Fleischman, 2012). A reticulocyte count shows the percentage of reticulocytes in the blood, which are red blood cells that have been released form the bone marrow before RNA and other cellular organelles have been extracted, this test can also identify whether new blood cells are being made. The reticulocytes RNA can be stained using new methylene blue or brilliant cresyl blue. The presence of aggregate reticulocytes (larger, less mature than punctate reticulocytes) is considered to be a sign of regenerative anemia in cats. The reticulocyte value for Toby is higher at 75x109/l than the reference range of 0-60x109/l. A higher reticulocyte count indicates hemolytic anemia compared to blood-loss anemia (Harvey, 2008). A complete blood count will highlight any discrepancies in red blood cell count, hematocrit and hemoglobin levels. This test indicated that Toby’s red blood cell count was lower than the reference range at 4.29 x 1012/l, however his hemoglobin levels were within...