From Dog

Neutropenia is an uncommon hematological disease of dogs characterized by low circulating neutrophils < 3 x 109/L[1].

Neutropenia is uncommon in dogs[2] and in almost all patients, it is an important primary or secondary indicator of significant underlying disease[3].

Neutropenia usually occurs as a result of increased demand due to acute severe inflammation (infectious or non-infectious) with a shift of neutrophils from the circulating to the marginal and or tissue pools, immune-mediated destruction of circulating neutrophils or decreased bone marrow production[4].

Although most cases of canine neutropenia are the result of acute bacterial infections, other causes include:

- Ehrlichia canis[15], Hepatozoon canis[16], Anaplasma spp[17], Babesia canis[18], Leishmania chagasi[19], Acanthamoeba spp[20]

Depending on the cause of the neutropenia, affected dogs present clinically with recurrent respiratory or gastrointestinal disorders and sepsis.

The value of examining a blood smear for toxic changes in neutrophils cannot be overemphasized. Hematology examinations should also evaluate the presence of concurrent lymphopenia, anemia and thrombocytopenia.

Treatment usually requires long-term therapy with broad-spectrum antimicrobials and addressing the underlying cause of the condition.


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  4. Stockham SL & Scott MA (2002) Veterinary Clinical Pathology. Vol. 121. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State Univ Press. pp:474
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  18. Kirtz G et al (2012) In-clinic laboratory diagnosis of canine babesiosis (Babesia canis canis) for veterinary practitioners in Central Europe. Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 40(2):87-94
  19. Freitas JC et al (2012) Clinical and laboratory alterations in dogs naturally infected by Leishmania chagasi. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 45(1):24-29
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  21. Donahue RE et al (2011) Leukocyte integrin activation mediates transient neutropenia after G-CSF administration. Blood 118(15):4209-4214
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