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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12085
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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Question about slightly low WBC count on 8 year old female

Customer Question

Question about slightly low WBC count on 8 year old female italian greyhound
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

How can I assist you with Bella's white cell count number?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. altman
Bella got routine blood work the other day and her WBC count came back as 3.6 (normal range started at 4.0 according to Antech parameters.) Vetsaid not to worry. She has atypical addisons and is on 0.5 mg of pred. Very stable. She has has addisons for 3 years now and it is very managed. Her phosphorous was also low.. at 1.6. Worried! My vet said not to worry about either, but of course I am googling and finding very bad things!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
see attached
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I do understand your concern but Italian Greyhounds are a breed that can be slightly lower than average with numbers such as the white cell count. If she is doing well otherwise then I would simply recheck in a few weeks and monitor closely.

If she is a dog that has a history of being on the lower end of the curve then this might be a simple trough but again sight hounds have been known to have some differences in their blood values and I simply monitor as long as there is no alarm or cause for concern.

CLICK HERE for an article on this from a few years ago

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I looked through her past blood work.. we usually do every 3-6 months and her WBC were all within the normal ranges
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I have a dog that actually tends to have a slightly high phosphorus level and it is almost every other year when we check it the number is *****% above normal, I worry but then recheck it and it is back in the curve again

I do understand your concerns, I am a worrier for my pets as well but this is one of those occasions it is explained by breed

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Her previous bloodwork didn't include the cbc and it was also a different lab so variations can be seen from one lab (in house) to another (antech)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her phosphorous was low before (~1.7) last year, but went up. It has been on the low end of normal for a little now, but it was never mentioned to be a problem. Clinically, she is normal. She had a bought of diarrhea ~2 weeks ago, but it went away. I attributed it to stress..it was around the holidays and we had a lot of company over.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry the second attachment was blood work from the same day ! they ran in house chem and cbc outside lab i believe
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Yes and it can be dietary as well so please make sure she is on a well balanced, organic diet with no by products

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

The first was a CBC and chemistry to antech (the same lab I use) while the second appears to be in house but could simply be another format without the information on top

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry yes, second was in house. Here is her blood work from november
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is on Honest Kitchen + Merrick dog food.
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Does this information make sense? I typically will recheck a CBC in 2 weeks when I have a low number but especially since hers is just outside the range and she is a sight hound I am not concerned either...

I never truly worry until the repeat bloodwork confirms the changes unless the increase/ decrease is significant then I would be more aggressive

I believe Merrick has by products but give me a moment to review

I hope this helps calm your concerns but if there is anything else I can clarify please don't hesitate to ask

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The vet i saw mentioned low WBC can be related to stress, but, I cannot find anything that states that. Everything I read is about leukemia and cancer
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Were you able to open the attachment I gave you?

There are normal variations and I do have several patients that simply ebb and flow a little below normal regularly for years. I have one cat that is now 15 that has been doing this for about 6 years now

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It makes sense, sorry. I'm a licensed vet tech and I cannot think rationally when it comes to my own dogs. (awful, i know! hah) I've literally been sitting on the internet for days reading about tons of negative stuff. :/ My vet said not to even bother repeating-- do you think I should? and if so, how long should I wait? Do I have to be worried about her being susceptible to things given her slightly low WBC?Also-- as for the phosphourous--She has always ran low with that. Not sure If i can make diet changes to help increase that?Are there any diseases that would link the two for being low? Sorry!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I am the same way with my pets believe me, someone else works them up when they are ill for the same reason.

I would repeat for peace of mind which is worth the money, about 2 weeks after this one

With the very slightly lowered white cell count I wouldn't worry about susceptibility

For the phosphorus nothing comes to mind but you might want to talk to your vet about a multivitamin supplement for the phosphorus because a low phosphorus can lead to a low calcium level over time and we don't want that either

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I am online just a few more moments tonight if I can aid with any additional questions?

If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept with the stars on the top of your screen so I may be compensated for my time. If you are having any difficulties you can also state your rating (excellent, good, fair) in our chat as an alternative. Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, thank you. I appreciate your responses. Just one more question, i'm sorry. All her other values look okay, correct?
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Yes, the elevated PCV is also very normal with the breed as well :)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great thanks have a good night!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

You as well, good luck to you both :)

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

If you are having any difficulties you can also state your rating (excellent, good, fair) in our chat as an alternative along with stating you are having these difficulties. Thank you!

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Good morning, I wanted to check in with you and Bella to see if you have any additional questions I can answer?

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both

If you were satisfied with my responses I would be very grateful if you would please rate our chat at the top of your screen (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thank you