Why Is My Dog Or Cat's Band Neutrophil Count High Or Low ?













Ron Hines DVM PhD

To see what normal blood and urine values are, go here

For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests, go here

To see how tests are grouped, go here

Your Pet's Band Neutrophils = Band Cells, Immatures

You can read about what your pet’s neutrophils do in more detail here. They are produced in your dog or cat ’s bone marrow and circulate in its blood where their job is to police the body against invading organisms.

The more stimulated your pet’s bone marrow is to produce neutrophils, the more likely it is to release them when the neutrophils are a bit young and less mature in their form. Those slightly immature neutrophils are called band cells.

When blood from your pets CBC/WBC is examined at the lab and high band cell numbers are observed, your veterinarian refers to it as a “shift to the left” - meaning more young neutrophils (band cells) are present than normal. If the total neutrophil count is still normal or high and older segmented neutrophils still outnumber the young band cells, it is a "regenerative shift left" (a good sign). If the total number of neutrophils has dropped and young band cells outnumber older segmented neutrophils, that is a "degenerative shift left" (a bad sign).


Why Your Pet’s Band Cell (Band Neutrophil) Count Might Be High :

Any infection that is severe enough to cause a major response from your pet’s immune system will usually cause band neutrophil numbers to go up (severe enough to cause cytokine release). This response is usually due to Endotoxins released into your pet’s system from invading bacteria.

Severe stress of any kind that causes the release of corticosteroids from your pet’s adrenal glands can temporarily elevate neutrophil band cell counts in dogs and cats.

Reasons Why Your Pet’s Band Cell (Band Neutrophil) Count Might Be Low ?

The health problems that reduce band cell numbers are the same ones that reduce total neutrophil numbers. Read about them in the section on Neutrophils just above this one.