Canine cyclic neutropenia (Gray Collie syndrome) is an autosomal-recessive genetic disease of dogs characterized by oscillations in the the number of neutrophils between almost zero and normal values with two week frequency.
The disease, which primarily affects the Gray Collie, is caused by a missense mutation in the canine AP3B1 gene, resulting in decreased neutrophil elastase enzymatic activitym leading to a defect in the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor signal transduction pathway at a point distal to receptor binding.
Heterozygous carriers are unaffected and homoxygous dogs present with variable clinical symptoms. Affected puppies have a silver gray hair coat that ranges in color from very light, to darkish pewter grey, sometimes with a slight yellowing due to a mixture of light beige and light gray hair. No matter what color variation or type, all Collies have black noses except those with gray collie syndrome.
Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, joint pain, or other signs associated with eye, respiratory, or skin infections. They are also prone to bleeding episodes. Affected puppies are smaller and weaker, with a noticeable pale gray or pinkish/gray or beige color. These puppies rarely live beyond a couple of days and when they do survive, they are susceptible to numerous bacterial infections. With proper treatment they can be kept alive, but few have lived beyond 2 to 3 years of age.
In affected dogs, the B lymphocytes in the lymph nodes are significantly increased while the T lymphocytes, although normal in numbers in peripheral lymph nodes but reduced in ciculation, have changes in receptor fraction bindings. Other blood lineages (monocytes, lymphocytes, reticulocytes and platelets) also cycle, but do so in a phase opposite to that of neutrophils.
Affected dogs exhibit coat color dilution and are vulnerable to periodic infections on account of their neutropenia.
Diagnosis may only be achieved incidentally during routine hematological analysis of a dog for routine blood tests, but some dogs may present with vague illness supported by hematological evidence of neutropenia. DNA testing is usually confirmatory.
- Pennylane Collies
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