Our rescue group has been dealing with very high white blood counts on one of our little guys for a few months. When we first took him to the vet she said it was the highest she had ever seen. We've had him to a couple of vets, been on very strong antibiotics but it's still high. I just wondered if anyone has ever heard of something odd that might be special to a cavalier...or dog from a puppy mill?
To look at this little guy you would never know there was anything wrong with him. He is happy playful and the cutest little guy. I just wish someone could figure out what's wrong.
Here's a pic of him getting ready to curl up for a nap with one of his foster sister. Sadie (the one laying down) was also a mill rescue. She was about 2 when we got her and expecting pups very soon. She has stayed with her foster mom because she has vision problems ... she is always ready to take care of any of our little ones that need mothering...what a sweetie :)
He may have large platelets. If the blood sample is run through a machine counter, it may count the platelets as white blood cells. One of my cavaliers has large platelets, and his blood samples must be hand counted. Last time they had to hand count two samples before they found any platelets! But he is perfectly healthy.
Here is a link to a document explaining the condition; you might want to print a copy and take it to your vet:
Here is the link from the CavTalk health library:
With people very high white counts are associated with viral infections. Is the Veterinary School close to where he's staying? Wonder about sending a blood sample there with history and past bloodwork.
Thanks so much for the info! I will forward it to his foster mom.
We thought about the vet school but aren't near any but if we can't figure things out soon, we'll have to go that route.
Please make sure they investigate the large platelets first!! Some cavaliers have been given heavy doses of drugs they do not need ion the assumption they have high white cell counts. I would do the hand count as a matter of urgency now -- it will be very hard on this dog to be on antibiotics he doesn;t need, which will be hard on his immune system, the LAST thing a rescue dog needs, as you'll know well. I'd print out the document on large platelets and cavaliers and send it to every single vet practice that has misdiagnosed this (if this is the case as I am pretty sure it will be).
About 30% of cavaliers have large platelets which will make it appear they are anemic and have a very high white cell count. As Cathy sys they actually do not and the appearance is NORMAL for such dogs. Have the vets do a hand count on the blood test.
I am willing to bet this is a totally healthy cavalier, especially if outwardly the pup isn;t showing any signs of illness. :thmbsup:
I know it isn't the best internet ettiquete, but I would say what the others have said: absolutely do the hand count. The machine count just plain is not reliable. Anyone who takes a dog to the vet should tell the vet to hand count with Cavaliers.
Originally Posted by Karlin
Originally Posted by Bruce H
Can only echo what Karlin and Bruce have both said already, insist on a platelet count first!! This would not be the first time that a white blood cell count and a platelet count have conflicted and affected a dogs treatment via the prescribing of totally un-necessary medication!
Cavaliers have NOTORIOUSLY large platelets that almost always need to be hand counted!!
For your fosters and the vets your rescue deals with: you might want to print out and give them this document which lists all key cavalier health issues and offers numerous links for more information:
What ever happened with this little guy?
Good question; if anyone knows, please update. :thmbsup: The key point about large platelets was explained several times regarding this particular pup, here and I was told, prior to this thread -- so I hope someone took this information to the vets so that they could stop unnecessary treatment if the mystery illness was due to this. It would be very sad to keep giving any animal unnecessary medication. I have been told of dogs having organs removed in the mistaken belief that the 'problem' was due to another cause when it was only large platelets being counted incorrectly. :(