Pelger-Huët anomaly

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Peripheral blood neutrophils and eosinophils from a Danish dog with Pelger-Huët anomaly[1]

Pelger-Huët (P-H) anomaly is an autosomal-recessive genetic disease of dogs characterized by morphological changes of granulocytes and monocytes[2].

The disease results in persistently hyposegmented nuclei in leucocytes[3] with mature dense chromatin material.

Pseudo-Pelger-Huët anomaly, which is a transient disease in dogs may be caused by infection, neoplastic change or drug-induced cellular change[4][5].

Parents or siblings of the affected dogs may also be affected and a breed predisposition has been reported in the Australian Shepherd[6], American Foxhound, Basenji, Border Collie, Boston Terrier, Cocker Spaniel[7], German Shepherd, Samoyed and Coonhound[8].

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[9].

No treatment is recommended for this disease due primarily to the asymptomatic state of most affected patients.


  1. Lukaszewska J et al (2011) Congenital Pelger-Huët anomaly in a Danish/Swedish Farmdog: case report. Acta Vet Scand 53:14
  2. Logan, LA et al (2006) Pelger-Huët Anomaly in Dogs
  3. Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC (2000) Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Diseases of the Dog and Cat, 5th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Co., pp:1849, 1979, 1990
  4. Latimer KS et al (1987) Nuclear segmentation, ultrastructure, and cytochemistry of blood cells from dogs with Pelger- Huët anomaly. Journal of comparative pathology 97:61–72
  5. Latimer KS et al (2004) Homozygous Pelger-Huët anomaly and chondrodysplasia in a stillborn kitten. Vet Pathol 25:325-328
  6. Latimer KS, et al (1989) Leukocyte function in Pelger-Huët anomaly of dogs. J Leukocyte Biol 45:301-310
  7. Feldman BF & Ramans AU (1976) The Pelger-Hüt anomaly of the granulocytic leukocytes in the dog. Canine Pract 3:22–31
  8. Latimer KS (2006) Pelger-Huët anomaly. In: Schalm’s veterinary hematology, ed. Feldman BF, Zinkl JG, Jain NC, 5th ed., pp. 976–983. Blackwell, Ames, IA
  9. Tilley LP, Smith FWK (2000) The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult, 2nd ed. Baltimore, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, pp:1051