A Retrospective Study of Canine Pancytopenia

Douglas J. Weiss, Oral A. Evanson, Jane E Sykes

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33 Scopus citations


To better define the incidence and causes of canine pancytopenia, we retrospectively evaluated the results of complete blood counts submitted to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Teaching Hospital during a 1-year period. Pancytopenia was defined as packed cell volume < 36%, total leukocyte count < 6,000/μL or total segmented neutrophil count < 3,000/μL, and platelet count < 200,000/μL. Of 4,560 complete blood counts, 110 (2.4%) samples from 51 dogs met the criteria for pancytopenia. Eleven different disease processes were identified. These included chemotherapy-associated pancytopenia (n = 22), parvovirus infection (n = 5), malignant histiocytosis (n = 5), idiopathic aplastic anemia (n = 3), sepsis (n = 3), myelodysplastic syndrome (n = 3), immune-mediated hematologic disease (n = 3), lymphoblastic leukemia (n = 2), ehrlichiosis (n = 2), estrogen toxicity (n = 2), and multiple myeloma (n = 1). Malignant histiocytosis and idiopathic aplastic anemia occurred more frequently than was expected. Doxorubicin was the chemotherapeutic agent associated with pancytopenia. Hematologic recovery and patient survival time varied with the cause of pancytopenia; therefore, a specific diagnosis was essential for establishing prognosis. Differentiation among causes of pancytopenia requires a systematic approach that includes elimination of infectious and drug-induced causes, and examination of bone marrow aspiration and core biopsy specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aplasia
  • Bone marrow
  • Canine
  • Dysplasia
  • Pancytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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