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Hematologic

This is a Blood condition.

Methemoglobinemia

What is Methemoglobinemia?

Oxygen is carried in the blood by hemoglobin. Methemoglobin forms when hemoglobin iron is oxidized, and it cannot carry oxygen in the blood. Methemoglobinemia is a disease where too much methemoglobin is present and the body no longer has the oxygen supply it needs to function. This disease was first described in a mixed breed dog. This disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that a dog must have two copies of the mutation to be affected. Signs often first appear with a concurrent disease, such as a respiratory infection, that causes affected dogs to decompensate. Your dog may have a rapid respiratory rate, blue gums, and have exercise intolerance. Genetic and laboratory testing can be used to diagnose this condition. Please note that there are also toxins that can cause this condition. Methylene blue can be administered to control the clinical signs, however, this is not a cure and is a long term therapy. Treatment of concurrent infections or inflammation is also recommended. Please see your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect a respiratory infection or any other breathing difficulties as these can become life threatening if not addressed.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Your dog may have a rapid respiratory rate, blue gums, and have exercise intolerance.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs often first appear with a concurrent disease, such as a respiratory infection, that causes affected dogs to decompensate.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic and laboratory testing can be used to diagnose this condition. Please note that there are also toxins that can cause this condition.

How is this condition treated?

Methylene blue can be administered to control the clinical signs, however, this is not a cure and is a long term therapy. Treatment of concurrent infections or inflammation is also recommended.

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