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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Features May 2018 Issue

What a CBC Printout Looks Like

Here is a CBC for a recent patient of Tufts Cummings School veterinarian Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM — a two-year-old Labrador retriever named Harry. Normally, she says, the CBC is a starting place for figuring out what’s wrong. It tells the doctor what tests have to be ordered next as clues to the problem unfold. For this particular dog, there are a lot of abnormal numbers, making it seem like a diagnosis might get complicated. But in this case, Dr. Rozanski comments, the extremely high white blood cell count (as seen on the first line of numbers), along with the fact that on a blood smear almost all the normal white blood cells were replaced with blasts —immature, uncharacterized cells — led straight to the diagnosis of leukemia. Low red blood cell count also supported the diagnosis of leukemia. Leukemias are always in the bone marrow, decreasing the production of red cells as well as platelets.

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