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Vet Clin Pathol. 1999;28(4):131-138.

Diagnostic and hematologic features of probable essential thrombocythemia in two dogs.

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Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 OES, UK.


The clinical and hematologic features of two cases of probable essential thrombocythemia in the dog are described. Both dogs presented with hepatosplenomegaly, severe nonregenerative anemia, neutrophilia and Thrombocytosis. Mean platelet volume and percentages of large platelets were markedly increased in both dogs. Platelet aggregation studies demonstrated hyperaggregability in one dog; platelets from the other dog aggregated spontaneously, precluding further investigation. Cytologic and histologic examination of bone marrow showed pronounced megakaryocytic hyperplasia, with erythroid hypoplasia and relative myeloid hyperplasia. Megakaryocyte morphology was abnormal, with increased numbers of small mononuclear and binucleate cells. Normal to increased hemosiderin stores suggested that apparent macrocytosis in one dog, rather than being due to iron deficiency, resulted from the hematology analyzer counting large platelets as small red blood cells. Megakaryocytic infiltration of the spleen was evident in both dogs. The hematologic findings in dogs with essential thrombocythemia can mimic those associated with iron deficiency anemia, such that diagnostic investigations should be aimed at ruling out chronic blood loss and other causes of reactive Thrombocytosis.

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