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My dog has a reticulocyte count of 200. He was slightly

My dog has a...

My dog has a reticulocyte count of 200. He was slightly anemic earlier but less so now. He had a little blood is his urine earlier but in every way seems fine the last few days.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?

Boru

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your dog?

Well he has been battling Lyme disease for the last few months

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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/21/2017
Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,498
Experience: UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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Welcome! My name is***** am a 2003 UC Davis graduate and practice owner.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thanks Dr. Andy

An increased reticulocyte count is to be expected when a pet is anemic. It is an indication that they body is "reacting" to the lower blood count (anemia) and is responding by having the bone marrow kick up some immature red blood cells to help out.

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So, not an abnormal finding to have reticulocytes in a pet who is anemic. Actually, its a good sign. Of course, once the lympe disease is addressed and the red blood cell count is back to normal, I wouldn't expect reticulocytes to still be present.

Lyme can be difficult to treat. It takes time.
Dr. Andy

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My vet seems concerned he has internal bleeding and a tumor yet there is not tightness nor sensitivity in jis abdomen.

Understood.

Well, if the vet feels that it is NOT due to the lyme disease and there is a concurrent problem, than absolutely, it would be well worthwhile to do a abdominal ultrasound. That would be a very easy way to evaluate for internal bleeding, including bleeding from the spleen.

Many times, bleeding in the belly is due to a bleeding tumor in the spleen.

Either way, even if no sensitivity in the abdomen, the ultrasound would be wise.

Dr.Andy

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok but the diagnosis was based entirely on the reticulocyte count. It seems if there is a tumor on the spleen, the prognosis is grim regardless.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I will do the ultrasound but I don't sense the urgency.

Diagnosis based on reticulocyte count is worthless. Worthless.

Increase in reticulocytes only suggests the body trying to help address the lower blood count (being anemic). Nothing more.

Yes, there could be an internal bleed.

Some pets have a lower blood count due to "anemia of chronic disease".

That simply means that the blood count can tend to drop when the body is dealing with disease over a long period of time.

Ultrasound would be wise.

Urgency is dependent on the overall blood count.

But, if bleeding, you don't want to wait until the count is really low, because then you have to deal with blood transfusions to help out.
Worth doing sooner than later.

I hope my responses have been satisfactory.

Dr. Andy

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Dr. Andy you have been great thanks a million

Very welcome!

Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30,498
Experience: UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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