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Comparisons of hematologic results for juvenile versus adult shelter dogs presented for ovariohysterectomy or castration

Kate S. KuKanich DVM, PhD1, Nora L. Springer DVM, PhD2, Joshuah B. Klutzke DVM1, and Butch KuKanich DVM, PhD3
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  • 1 From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 2 Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 3 Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare hematologic results for juvenile versus adult dogs from shelters that outwardly appeared healthy and were presented for ovariohysterectomy or castration.

ANIMALS

138 dogs from 13 regional shelters.

PROCEDURES

Each dog underwent a physical examination (including use of a flea comb), age estimation by dental eruption characteristics, PCV, CBC, and tests for Dirofilaria immitis antigen and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Ehrlichia canis antibodies. Additional diagnostic tests were performed as needed. Dogs were grouped by age as < 3, ≥ 3 to ≤ 6, or > 6 months of age, with dogs ≤ 6 months of age considered juveniles and dogs > 6 months of age considered adults. Hematologic results were compared across groups.

RESULTS

There were 138 dogs, of which 56 were juveniles (34 dogs < 3 months old; 22 dogs ≥ 3 to ≤ 6 months old) and 82 were adults. Juvenile (vs adult) dogs had lower mean calculated Hct and mean PCV whether dogs with infectious agents or parasites were included or excluded. The mean PCV and mean cell hemoglobin concentration were lower and the reticulocyte count higher for juvenile dogs < 3 months old (35.8%, 33.1 g/dL, and 135,000 reticulocytes/μL) versus adults (44.9%, 34.7 g/dL, and 68,500 reticulocytes/ μL). Most (98.6%) dogs underwent surgery as scheduled; 2 dogs had surgery postponed because of thrombocytopenia or parvovirus infection.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Our findings indicated that outwardly healthy-appearing juvenile shelter dogs often have results for PCV and calculated Hct that are lower than those for adult shelter dogs and adult dog reference intervals but rarely require postponement of ovariohysterectomy or castration.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare hematologic results for juvenile versus adult dogs from shelters that outwardly appeared healthy and were presented for ovariohysterectomy or castration.

ANIMALS

138 dogs from 13 regional shelters.

PROCEDURES

Each dog underwent a physical examination (including use of a flea comb), age estimation by dental eruption characteristics, PCV, CBC, and tests for Dirofilaria immitis antigen and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Ehrlichia canis antibodies. Additional diagnostic tests were performed as needed. Dogs were grouped by age as < 3, ≥ 3 to ≤ 6, or > 6 months of age, with dogs ≤ 6 months of age considered juveniles and dogs > 6 months of age considered adults. Hematologic results were compared across groups.

RESULTS

There were 138 dogs, of which 56 were juveniles (34 dogs < 3 months old; 22 dogs ≥ 3 to ≤ 6 months old) and 82 were adults. Juvenile (vs adult) dogs had lower mean calculated Hct and mean PCV whether dogs with infectious agents or parasites were included or excluded. The mean PCV and mean cell hemoglobin concentration were lower and the reticulocyte count higher for juvenile dogs < 3 months old (35.8%, 33.1 g/dL, and 135,000 reticulocytes/μL) versus adults (44.9%, 34.7 g/dL, and 68,500 reticulocytes/ μL). Most (98.6%) dogs underwent surgery as scheduled; 2 dogs had surgery postponed because of thrombocytopenia or parvovirus infection.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Our findings indicated that outwardly healthy-appearing juvenile shelter dogs often have results for PCV and calculated Hct that are lower than those for adult shelter dogs and adult dog reference intervals but rarely require postponement of ovariohysterectomy or castration.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Kate S. KuKanich (kstenske@ksu.edu).