Kidneys produce a hormone called Erythropoietin (EPO) that controls the production of red blood cells. Bone marrow requires an adequate supply of erythropoietin for the production of red blood cells. In cases of chronic kidney disease (CKD) since the kidney is unable to produce adequate amounts of EPO, the supply of red blood cells decreases. Insufficient RBC production leads to anemia. Anemia due to CKD is usually seen in middle-aged to older dogs but can also occur in young dogs.
The symptoms relate to both the CKD and anemia. Some common symptoms related to anemia in the presence of CKD are weight loss, fatigue, lethargy, depression, weakness, apathy, cold intolerance, changes in behavior, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, syncope, and seizures.