Q: Low lymphocyte count in cats...?

December 4, 2008 | By Cindy | 2 answers | Expired: 2605 days ago


What are some of the possible causes of a low lymphocyte count in cats when all the rest of the blood chemistry and blood count are normal?

(I am already seeing a veterinarian for this, and awaiting test results.)

Readers' Answers (2)
Kristen H.

Dec 05, 2008

Lymphopenia (decreased lymphocytes) is usually due to a stress response in cats. Normally along with this you would see a slight increase in neutrophils (segs on the CBC) and monocytes. It may be that the other values are on the low range of normal to begin with so any increase doesn't necessarily show as being above the normal range. The other things that could cause it would be acute inflammation (but this is unlikely if the rest of the CBC is normal), depletion (this would be due to a loss of lymphatic fluid so you would probably see fluid building up somewhere or a loss of protein - through the intestine normally), or rarely can be caused by lymphoid hypoplasia or aplasia which could be due to immunosuppressive drugs (like many steroids) or destruction of lymphoid tissue due to inflammation or neoplasia (generally with neoplasia they would have noted abnormal cell types on the bloodwork and with inflammation you would probably see changes in other cells as well).

So long story short my best guess is that it would be a stress response (which is pretty common in cats - especially when they go to the vet).
And thanks for the opportunity for a good clinical pathology review cause I have this final on Monday.

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Monique W.

Dec 04, 2008

I'm sorry your cat is not doing well. My question is what did the vet say to you because it could be a number of things from a thyroid conditions to anemia. but the test results from the CBT would have shown that. It could be excessive oxident( oxygen) stress which causes hemolysis (the break down of red blood cells). Is your cats shots up to date to rule out leukemia. The immune system might not be responding properly to see host tissues as itself.. I'm not a doctor but these are some possible answers to ask at your next visit.

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