Objective—To determine the frequency of clinically relevant abnormalities missed by failure to perform a blood smear evaluation in a specific subset of dogs receiving chemotherapy and to compare automated and manual neutrophil counts in the same population
Design—Retrospective case series
Animals—50 dogs receiving chemotherapy with a total nucleated cell count > 4,000 nucleated cells/μL.
Procedures—50 blood smears were evaluated for abnormalities that have strong potential to change the medical plan for a patient: presence of blast cells, band neutrophils, nucleated RBCs, toxic change, hemoparasites, schistocytes, and spherocytes. Automated and manual neutrophil counts were compared.
Results—Blood smears from 10 (20%) patients had ≥ 1 abnormalities. Blast cells were identified on 4 (8%) blood smears, increased nucleated RBCs were identified on 5 (10%), and very mild toxic change was identified on 2 (4%). Correlation coefficient of the neutrophil counts was 0.96. Analysis revealed a slight bias between the automated and manual neutrophil counts (mean ± SD difference, −0.43 × 103/μL ± 1.10 × 103/μL)
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this series of patients, neutrophil count correlation was very good. Clinically relevant abnormalities were found on 20% of the blood smears. An automated CBC appears to be accurate for neutrophil counts, but a microscopic examination of the corresponding blood smear is still recommended; further studies are needed to determine whether the detection or frequency of these abnormalities would differ dependent on chemotherapy protocol, neoplastic disease, and decision thresholds used by the oncologist in the ordering of a CBC without a blood smear evaluation.
Objective—To determine whether bronchial brushings from dogs with chronic cough have increased numbers of goblet cells and WBCs, compared with numbers for healthy dogs, or have differing WBC populations, compared with populations in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid obtained from dogs with chronic cough.
Animals—9 healthy dogs and 10 dogs with chronic cough.
Procedure—Specimens were collected by use of bronchoscopy. Cellular composition was determined for brushings, and results from dogs with chronic cough were compared with those from healthy dogs. Cellular composition of brushings was compared with composition of BAL obtained from dogs with chronic cough.
Results—Brushings from healthy dogs contained a median of 2.9 × 106 epithelial cells, comprising 100% epithelial cells (96% ciliated, 3% goblet, and 1% other) and no WBCs. Brushings from dogs with chronic cough had 4.5 × 106 epithelial cells, comprising 93% epithelial cells (86% ciliated, 2% goblet, and 12% other). Dogs with chronic cough had significantly greater percentages of WBCs (7%) and neutrophils (6%), compared with values for healthy dogs. Five dogs with chronic cough had no neutrophilic inflammation evident in BAL, but 4 of these had evidence of neutrophilic inflammation in brushings.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neutrophils, but not goblet cells, were increased in brushings from dogs with chronic cough. Analysis of bronchial brushings provides information about airway inflammation that differs from that found by examination of BAL in some dogs with chronic cough and is a more sensitive indicator of airway inflammation than cytologic examination of BAL in these dogs.
Objective—To determine historical, physical examination,
hematologic, and serologic findings in dogs
with Ehrlichia ewingii infection.
Procedure—In all dogs, infection with E ewingii was
confirmed with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
assay. Follow-up information and clarification of information
recorded in the medical records was obtained
by telephone interviews and facsimile correspondence
with referring veterinarians and owners.
Results—Fever and lameness were the most common
findings with each occurring in 8 dogs. Five dogs
had neurologic abnormalities including ataxia, paresis,
proprioceptive deficits, anisocoria, intention tremor,
and head tilt. Neutrophilic polyarthritis was identified
in 4 dogs. No clinical signs were reported in 3 dogs.
The predominant hematologic abnormality was
thrombocytopenia, which was identified in all 12 dogs
for which a platelet count was available. Reactive lymphocytes
were seen in 5 of 13 dogs. Concurrent
infection with another rickettsial organism was identified
in 4 dogs. Of the 13 dogs tested, 7 were seroreactive
to E canis antigens. Morulae consistent with E
ewingii infection were identified in neutrophils in 8
dogs. Treatment with doxycycline, with or without
prednisone, resulted in a rapid, favorable clinical
response in the 9 dogs for which follow-up information
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that PCR testing for E ewingii infection should
be considered in dogs with fever, neutrophilic polyarthritis,
unexplained ataxia or paresis, thrombocytopenia,
or unexplained reactive lymphocytes, and in
dogs with clinical signs suggestive of ehrlichiosis that
are seronegative for E canis. Following treatment
with doxycycline, the prognosis for recovery is good.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:1102–1107)