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Why Are My Dog's Red Blood Cell Numbers Abnormal ?

Why Are My Cat's Red Blood Cell Numbers Abnormal ?

= RBC s

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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Your Pet's Red Blood Cell Count

Erythrocyte Count


Reasons my pet's red blood cell count might be low :

Read over my entries for PCV and hemoglobin and for the causes of low (= anemia) read an article about anemia in dogs and cats here. and high (= polycythemia) RBC counts.

The most common signs of a low RBC count and anemia are a lack of energy, pale gums and in increased respiratory rate.

Reasons my pet's red blood cell count might be high :

The most common cause for a transient (temporary) high red blood cell count is dehydration. Living at high altitudes can also cause higher red blood cell numbers than living at sea level. But there are several diseases that can also elevate your pet's red blood cell numbers. One is a failing heart. Low blood oxygen levels due to heart failure can stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells. Blood cell numbers increase in response to a hormone, erythropoetin (aka EPO). Both kidney and lung disease have been known to elevate blood erythropoetin levels, causing abnormally high red blood cell levels. Your pet's red blood cells are produced in its bone marrow. Certain tumors of the stem cells that produce red blood cells can also cause RBC numbers to be high.

What would be a normal red blood cell count in most dogs is abnormally low in greyhounds (and possibly other sight hounds [ref] Whereas 5.5-8.5 million RBCs/mm3 is normal for most dogs, 7.5-9 is normal for greyhounds)

.................... DxMe