The disease results in persistently hyposegmented nuclei in leucocytes with mature dense chromatin material.
Parents or siblings of the affected dogs may also be affected and a breed predisposition has been reported in the Australian Shepherd, American Foxhound, Basenji, Border Collie, Boston Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd, Samoyed and Coonhound.
Many affected dogs are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.
Diagnosis is based on demonstration of granulocytic (especially neutrophilic) nuclear hyposegmentation with the retention of a mature, coarse chromatin pattern on the Romanowsky-stained blood smear.
An hereditary basis for the anomaly can usually be demonstrated by examining stained blood smears from the siblings, sire, or dam. Bone marrow biopsies usually show the same characteristic nuclear hyposegmentation of the leukocytes as observed on the stained blood smear. Blast cell counts on bone marrow aspirates remain within reference intervals.
No treatment is recommended for this disease due primarily to the asymptomatic state of most affected patients.
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