Hi guys! I tried searching on this topic and didn't find too much, so I thought I'd post. As a lot of you know (since you've provided such great advice!) I've been considering having ED surgery done on Neiko. In anticipation of that, I had some bloodwork done at my regular vet and his WBC was low (3.5). We have had two previous analyses done over the past four years and it has been 6.54 and 6.55. Having that baseline and seeing this recent decrease, the ortho specialist was concerned and wanted to have it rechecked before proceeding with the surgery. He thought it sounded like a lab error since Neiko didn't have any outward signs of viral infection, etc.
I went back to my regular vet today and his WBC is even lower, 3.0. The vet said that I can A) watch and see, B) put him on antibiodics and maybe prednisone or C) check his bone marrow (it's the neutrophils and esophils that are low - please forgive the spelling ???)
Most of the info I can find is related to high WBC and infections. The vet is thinking about putting him on antibiotics, but they haven't even taken his temp. Wouldn't that be a logical place to start if infection is suspected? Neiko doesn't appear sick, but he has been very itchy lately and is starting to rub skin off his neck. I didn't even think to mention it to the vet, but tonight I read about autoimmune diseases and how skin irritation is a common symptom.
I also read one article that suggested low wbc could be a result of drug or chemical poisoning. That was the only source I saw that pointed to that, but with the food issues right now, I don't want to take anything for granted.
Can low WBC be an indication of cancer? He had melanoma removed from his ear four years ago but as far as I know it hasn't returned...
I am starting to get pretty stressed about all this. I don't feel that I'm getting much information from my regular vet. I really like the individual vets, but we see someone different everytime. I am finding myself having to make lists of all his past issues so that I can recite them to whatever vet we get. I understand that they just don't have the time to read through his entire chart, but I am becoming increasingly worried that Neiko is going to fall through the cracks and we're going to miss something. More than once I've had a vet make a recommendation and then I point out something about his history, they flip back into his chart, and change the treatment.
I can't imagine how paranoid I must sound writing a novel about my dog at midnight on a friday... I just want to make sure that there isn't something different I should be doing.
--On a side note, I've been wanting to say how great the members of this forum are. I'm on other forums that are horse related and this group in particular is far and away the most knowledgable and supportive of each other. You guys rock! I just wish I had stumbled upon it when Neiko was a pup ;D
How old is Neiko? I thought about autoimmune disorders too. You do need white cells to fight infection. Could he be using his up if it is some sort of autoimmune disorder that is going on? Usually with an infection the white count is up.
I hope you get an answer for Neiko. Please keep us posted.
Hi Georgie. Neiko will be 6 in June. Tonight I was looking at his neck where he's been itching and it's just raw. I took off his collar and bleached it in case there was something funky on it, but he's still scratching away. I'll hopefully know more next week when I can get in touch with the vet again. I'll definitely keep you posted.
Well, I just got off the phone with the vet and they're going to start Neiko on an antibiotic for a month. We'll recheck his blood after that. I guess Plan B is to do a bone marrow biopsy if the count is still low to look for autoimmune diseases or cancer. I hate even writing that word
The bone marrow biopsy is apparently pretty painful and that will be a last resort. I need to do more research on the autoimmune / leukemia subjects and see what options for treatment exist before I decide to put him through that, but I'll cross the bridge when I have to. I can't think about it now. I pray that he just has an infection going on somewhere and the drugs will know it out.
I will pray it is nothing serious. Our first lab, Shadow, had leukemia. I honestly don't rememebr the white count, I was too upset over her plaelet count, which was 36,000. Normal are well over 150,000 & over 200,000.