High White Cell Blood Counts in Dogs

The white cell blood counts may be indicative of the dog’s health. An increased level of white blood cells may mean that the dog has an infection or even cancer. The rest of the symptoms as well as additional test results will be needed to diagnose the pet’s condition.

Blood Cell Count in Dogs

A complete blood cell count in dogs is typically performed when the dog is suspected to have a disease. However, periodical checkups and running a CBC may also be common.

The blood cell count in dogs is important to monitor the dog’s overall health. The most important values to look out for are the red and the white blood cell counts.

The white blood cells may be of several types such as:

  • Neutrophils
  • Eosinophils
  • Basophils
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes

Causes of High White Cell Blood Counts

The white blood cells, also known as leucocytes perform the task of defending the body from viruses, bacteria, fungi and other intruders.

The normal levels of white cell blood counts may depend on the dog’s breed and age, however, the average count is between 6,000 and 17,000 per microliter of blood.

The possible causes of increased levels of white blood cells include:

  • Viral infections, which will be indicated by a high count of neutrophils (the normal level of these cells is between 3,000 and 12,000 per microliter)
  • Bacterial infections, which may be present inside the dog’s organism or outside (i.e. skin infections)
  • Yeast or other fungal infections
  • Presence of parasites, indicated by a high count of eosinophils (normally 100 to 1,200 per microliter)
  • Stress, indicated by a high level of neutrophil cells
  • Autoimmune diseases, indicated by an increased count of lymphocytes (normal count of 500 to 4,500 per microliter)
  • Allergic reactions, when the level of eosinophils is high
  • Leukemia or other types of cancer (a high level of lymphocytes and monocytes)

Symptoms of High White Cell Blood Count

The dog may not have any symptoms, but he may also present some signs that are indicative of the medical issue causing the high white cell blood count:

  • Lethargy and fever, due to an infection
  • A visible infected wound and pus accumulation
  • Sneezing and itchiness, if the dog is allergic
  • Visible lumps on the skin or palpable in various areas of the dog’s body

Diagnosing a Dog with High White Cell Blood Count

The vet will perform some blood tests and will examine which types of white cells are in excess, as this can help in the diagnosis. Additional trials will be needed to isolate the condition affecting the dog.

The symptoms of the pet should also be considered when reaching a diagnosis.

Treatment Options for High White Blood Cell Count

The treatment for a high white blood cell count will aim at reducing these levels. This can be done by dealing with the underlying condition affecting the pet.

The dog may require treatments ranging from antibiotics to surgery.