Why Is My Dog's Monocyte Level Increased ?
Why Is My Cat's Monocyte Level Increased ?
To see what normal blood and urine values are for your pet, go here
For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests go here
To see how tests are often grouped, go here
Ron Hines DVM PhD
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Monocytes In Your Pet's Blood
When your veterinarian orders a CBC/WBC (complete blood cell count) for your pet, monocytes will be one of the cell types listed in the results. Monocytes are cells that is quite variable in size and appearance (pleomorphic) . They are a bit larger than neutrophils, lymphocytes and eosinophils – the more common white blood cells listed in the CBC/WBC.
Monocytes are manufactured in your pet’s bone marrow after which they circulate in your dog or cat's blood briefly. They then take up residence in tissues throughout its body as macrophages – cells whose job it is to engulf (eat, vacuum cleaner effect) undesirable things that pass their way. Macrophages can also deliver the material (antigen presentation)they have engulfed (phagocytized) to your pet’s T cells so its immune system is quicker in dealing with invading organisms when they are encountered again in the future. (Within the last few years, it has become apparent that resident monocytes (ie macrophages) have other important duties that do not involve your pet's immune system. Things as amazing as maintaining proper body temperature and regulating heartbeat [ref])
Persistently high monocyte numbers only confirm the obvious, that your pet is quite ill and has been for some time. The lab or your veterinarian might see phagocytized bacteria within them?
Some Reasons Why Your Pet’s Monocyte Count Might Be High (Monocytosis) :
All chronic infectious and non-infectious diseases that produce inflammation can increase monocyte numbers in your pet. Stress or a trip to the veterinary office (in dogs), corticosteroid administration (in dogs) can also cause monocyte numbers to rise briefly.
On very rare occasions, leukemia of the monocyte cell line (monocytic leukemia) can elevate blood monocyte numbers can account for high monocyte numbers.
Some Reasons Your Pet’s Monocyte Count Could be Low Or Absent :
Less than normal, or no monocytes (monocytopenia) are occasionally found in blood samples. When that occurs, it does not appear to relate to any disease or health issue.