Low White Blood Cell Count Average Cost

From 417 quotes ranging from $300 - 3,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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What is Low White Blood Cell Count?

Low white blood cell count may or may not be a serious condition based on the underlying cause. However, if you suspect your cat has a low white blood cell count, you should take them to the vet immediately, as a low white blood cell count can be indicative of feline leukemia.

Low white blood cell count in cats is usually secondary to disease or infection. There are many different types of white blood cells in cats. If the counts of all types of white blood cells are low, this is known as feline panleukopenia, which is also known as feline parvovirus. Low counts of certain types of white blood cells can be caused by other diseases, including cancer and chronic renal failure.

Symptoms of Low White Blood Cell Count in Cats

Please note that the following is not a comprehensive list of symptoms; signs may vary depending on the underlying disorder. Seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Gingivitis
  • Dehydration
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Mucus or cysts in the feces
  • Greasy or matted coat
  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Tumors or masses
  • Changes in behavior
  • Seizures

Causes of Low White Blood Cell Count in Cats

There are several causes of low white blood cell count in cats, including, but not limited to:

  • Feline infectious enteritis caused by feline parvovirus
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV)
  • Salmonella infection
  • Protozoan infection
  • Acute toxoplasmosis
  • Feline distemper
  • Side effect of medications
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Chronic renal failure

Some of these diseases, particularly feline parvovirus and feline leukemia, are contagious. Any infected cats must be isolated to prevent spread of the disease.

Diagnosis of Low White Blood Cell Count in Cats

Your vet may make a tentative diagnosis based on a physical examination and presentation of symptoms. Inform your vet of the nature, severity and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any medications your cat is currently taking. Also, be prepared to provide your cat’s full medical history.

Your vet will make a definitive diagnosis by performing blood tests. These may include complete blood cell count and blood chemical profile. Additional diagnostic testing may be utilized based on the suspected underlying cause.

Treatment of Low White Blood Cell Count in Cats

Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the underlying condition. 

Treatment methods for feline parvovirus may involve intravenous fluid therapy, antibiotics, and anti-emetic drugs to decrease vomiting. Protozoan infections and toxoplasmosis are generally treated with antibiotics. 

Cancer may be treated with chemotherapy or radiation. However, radiation therapy can cause damage to the white blood cells, so chemotherapy is often the treatment of choice for cats with low white blood cell counts. Surgery or cytotoxic drug therapy may also be recommended to treat cats with certain types of cancer.

Unfortunately, feline leukemia is the second leading cause of death in cats. There is currently no curative treatment for feline leukemia, and the prognosis for most affected cats is very poor. However, there are drugs that may help manage the symptoms of feline leukemia. Your vet may recommend these drugs based on your cat’s specific situation and your personal and financial preferences.

Recovery of Low White Blood Cell Count in Cats

Recovery and prognosis may vary depending on the treatment method and the underlying condition. Always follow your vet’s post-treatment and/or post-operative instructions carefully. Always administer any medications, particularly antibiotics, exactly as directed for the full duration of the recovery period to prevent aggressive recurrence.

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline parvovirus or feline leukemia, it is imperative that you wear protective clothing and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the infected cat. Keep your cat indoors to prevent further spread of infection. If you live in a multi-cat household, ensure your other cats have been vaccinated against feline parvovirus and feline leukemia.

If your cat has had surgery, do not allow them to irritate the surgery site. An Elizabethan collar may be recommended. Check the surgery site daily to ensure there are no signs of infection.

Your vet may schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor the condition or administer additional treatment. 

Low White Blood Cell Count Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Lexi
Ragdoll
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

pain in abdomen

My 9 year old ragdoll has been at the vets for three nights now after having a sore tummy st the front. When picked up she would cry and she was no longer eating or drinking, and was sleeping all day.
We then took her to the vets who tested her blood and urine, and conducted ultra sounds and xrays on her to see that her liver was inflamed. She was then put on iv fluids, antibiotics and pain killers and has since recieved better blood results and was eating small amounts. The vet took cells from her liver for a testing which came back with suggestions on lymphoma due to low white blood cells. She has not had a liver biopsy yet as I suggested to wait to see how she goes further on the supportive treatment but was wondering if this could be any thing else as well?

Also the vet said on her ultra sound of her liver that there did not seem to be any tumors that he could see.

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Brownie
Persian
5 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

I had a 5 year old cat who died yesterday for the past 3 days he wasn’t well he had diarrhoea and wasn’t eating or drinking and had his mouth open and was drooling we took him to the vet n when blood test was done his wbc were very low at 1.2 k/ul and platelets were low as well.. does anyone know what could have caused this ?

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Molly
Persian
16 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Vomiting, lathargic, drooling

My 16 year old person died Friday night. Thursday night she started to vomit and had done so all night. I had an appt on Friday morning for her sedate/grooming. When I arrived I went over what happened the night before. They tried to get blood and urine but we're unsuccessful. The doctor didn't want to sedate but no other way to get samples. I gave OK to proceed. She never really recovered. She died that night. The blood work showed a very low WBC 100+, kidney, liver and urine normal. Doctor said possible infection. If infection wouldn't WBC be high? What about leukemia? I have another cat.

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Churro
Feline
11 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Urinted

Churro has 1200 white blood cell count and 2 weeks ago had 8 teeth removed. Test 2x, no feline leukemia. Has urinary problems and is on a CD Urinary RX and dry food diet for years. Just urinated for no reason in our bed and still keeps hitting his face. Spent $1500 already. Hates the vet (pees when we push him in the carrier). Will we be throwing away good money at this point?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I need to know quite a bit more information to give you a valid answer for your question. I'm not sure what Churro's signs are other than inappropriate urination. If he has a hard time with veterinary visits, you may be able to call your veterinarian and discuss his situation with them, as they know more about him. They may be able to let you know whether they think that he is going to improve from his current situation, or whether his condition is not one that is going to get better.

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Gigi
Marmalade
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Fever
Lethargy
Shaking

Medication Used

Mirtazapine
prednisone

Hi Doctor- my kitty is 8 years old and she has been her active, normal self when all of a sudden she started feeling lethargic, fever, etc. We took her in and she has low white blood cells/anemia and still a fever but the doctor had given her prednisone and an appetite stimulant. As soon as he gave her the stimulant, she came home and ran to her food to eat. She is now laying down and her ears are not as warm as they were earlier. I’m praying that whatever she has, passes and that it is not lukemia.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
There are various causes for a low white blood cell count which may include some infections, bone marrow disorders (would also explain the anaemia), cancer among other causes; see how Gigi goes with the medication prescribed by your Veterinarian and monitor for improvement. Follow up with another blood test after a week to see if there are any improvement in blood cell counts. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Nebula
european
10 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Low white blood cells count

Dear Doctor?
My cat lately started eating less, his body temperature increased. So, I took him to the vet. after a couple of weeks he’s better. I took the FIV and FPV test, bacteria, viruses and all kind of blood tests. I also did an X-Ray and an ultra sound. Nothing unsual and no signs og anything worrying. Although what worries me, are her low white blood cell count.
Should I be worried? What might that be that doesn’t come up on the tests?
Thanks a lot in advance!
Alisa

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
There are a few different possible causes for a low white blood cell count which may include infection (typically some viral infections), some cancers, localised inflammation, medication side effects, immune mediated conditions, bone marrow disorders among other causes; it is difficult to say what the specific cause is, but you should monitor Nebula and retake the blood counts later to see if there are any improvements in the counts (it is important also to see if there is a drop in a particular type of white blood cell). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.idexx.eu/globalassets/documents/parameters/8961-us-wbc-interpretive-summary.pdf

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Misty
American Shorthair
14 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Seizures

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral

My 14-year-old love of my life developed a periodic leg or head twitch in the fall, not long after being diagnosed with very early CKD. She has also lost about three pounds in that time. She has been on Royal Canin renal food since she was diagnosed. The twitch progressed until Christmas weekend, when she had a really big, full-body twitch that sent her immediately from a playful cat to not being able (or not wanting) to stay awake. She would not stand for us. A weekend at the emergency vet determined her white blood cell count was practically 0. Antibiotics and IV brought the WBC count back to normal range. Everything else in blood and urine has looked normal the entire time, after many, many blood checks over the last several months. Antibiotic (and anti-inflammatory?) Clavamox drops twice a day all January and February took the twitches back down to almost nothing. When the round of treatment was done, I could barely see a twitch just in her eyelids, but I could tell it was still sometimes there (and thus sort of regret stopping and not going through another bottle or two of Clavamox, as we could be fighting an infection that was almost gone). Now that we have gotten off of Clavamox twice a day, the twitches have come back. Blood work looks normal. I am trying to decide which path to follow? Another two months of Clavamox and try to beat it? Neurology scans? Bone marrow? Biopsy? She tested negative for Toxo. They were also able to do an ultrasound over Christmas weekend, but most labs were closed for the holiday... The ultra showed a slight swelling in the GI area, but they said that could just be age, though we could go in for a biopsy. Which thread should we follow? She does not seem like she feels well and I feel time is of the essence.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
When it comes to long term use of antibiotics I am very hesitant, if there is an infection present it would be wise to attempt to identify it and test it to check susceptibility to different antibiotics (culture and sensitivity testing); long term use of antibiotics is leading to a worldwide problem with resistance, so the use of a widely used antibiotic like Clavamox (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) shouldn’t be done to ‘try to beat it’. It may be worth visiting a Specialist to get another opinion and to get a fresh set of eyes on this condition to see if they have any experience with something similar. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Sure, but a specialist in what?

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Oliver
Tuxedo
7 Days
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

No appetite

Oliver 7 years old diagnosed with low wbc wont eat at ALL!!
Tried everything from organic hard food to literally blending wet foods and using a syring to hand feed because he wont eat. Hes lost at least 5 lbs so far. Vet perscribed antibiotics and during his week long treatment he resorted to just laying there...all day. We just need to know why hes not eating but still gets excited everytime he hears someone open a can of wet food.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
There are a few possible causes for low white blood cells in cats which may include infections, cancer, bone marrow disorders, stress among other causes; further diagnostics are required to help narrow in on a diagnosis, an ultrasound or x-ray may be useful. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bon
Persian
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

No vomiting or diarrhae.

My 5 years old male cat has been acting really strange, about 5 months ago we have had his first dental clean (for bad gingivitis) at the same time we did blood work that presented with Extremely low PMS leading to low total WBC count (only PMNS levels were low), his other labs were normal (not anemic). We have also had a new kitten added to the family around the same time. His appetite decreased and so is his activity (he used to run around the house). Now, he is scared of everything and hisses at everything and just hides. He is very unfreindly to the new cat.

He was always an only cat and strictly indoor. I am not sure if his behavior is contributed to the new cat or a medical disorder.

We have roled out FIV (negative) and his doctor mentioned that his low PMNS can be due to his gingivitis.
I'm considered that this could be a bigger health issue.

He eats about 5 table spoons of wet food a day and snacks on dry food. (used to be 9 spoons a day). drinks good. always sleeping. weights 4.5kg.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
The number of polymorphonuclear cells may vary in cases of gingivitis so it is not a surprising finding on a differential leukocyte count; however a low number may be related to issues including infections, cancer, bone marrow disorders among other conditions. However, I would side on your Veterinarian’s opinion on this unless any other symptoms arise. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Hairava
Persian
4 Months
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Fpv positive

Is there any perticular treatment towards fpv to save my kitten.. my kitten is been admitted in hospital for the treatment he is so adorable we don't want to loose him at any cost

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Treatment for feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) is purely supportive and symptomatic consisting of fluid therapy, treatment against secondary infection along with other treatments as required. This disease has a vaccine which should be administered after six weeks of age with the last initial vaccination to be given after sixteen weeks of age. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/feline-panleukopenia/overview-of-feline-panleukopenia

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Gorestra
mixed
12
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Medication Used

Prednisolone

Hi, I have a cat (12 years) who had some kind of allergy and was prescribed with prednisolone, . I see in the blood report that the WBC dropped and today is below the normal average (5,4 x10) . I withdrawed prednisolone little by little, and since last week he stopped taking it-

So, Is it posible that he gets normal blood count after stopping prednisolone treatment?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Prednisolone may cause immunosuppression when used long-term, stopping treatment should help bring white blood cell counts up; it is important to wean a cat off prednisolone over a period of time which it sounds you have done. I would give it a few weeks and then have another blood count done to see if the results fall within reference range. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mocha
domestic short hair
8 Months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Medication Used

Danzen
Anti emetics
Vitamin b complex
Wide spectrum antibiotics
Immune booster

A vet did a blood smear on my 8 month old cat and diagnosed it to have FPL/ FPV after describing to hear that my cat has been vomitting yellow liquid and doesnt want to eat, but no diarrhea. How accurate are blood smears in confirming that a cat is infected with feline panleukopenia virus? I have given my cat little food every 2 hours but he doesnt seem to defecate. Is this a misdiagnosed situation, since he doesnt have diarrhea??

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Diarrhoea is not always present in panleukopenia, an examination of a blood smear to see the presence of low numbers of white blood cells (or complete blood counts with a machine) together with the symptoms would allow a presumptive diagnosis to be made. From your description it does look suggestive of panleukopenia; a faecal test may be carried out but produces a lot of false negatives so is usually not performed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/feline-panleukopenia/overview-of-feline-panleukopenia www.avma.org/public/petcare/pages/Feline-Panleukopenia.aspx

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Merlin
Unknown short hair
Four Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Not Eating

Almost 4yr old cat Merlin, Rarely eats dry food. Some special needs as was found abused, burned. Have had him 3yrs. Extremely picky eater, hasn't eaten any wet food in 4 days & counting. He plays, drinks, litter box used, etc. No symptoms of any other issues. Unsure if any wight loss as always been very long & skinny. Last wt. was 9 1/2 lbs. 2 months ago, 1 time in past low white count due to infection, any ideas of what to do, could it be this again? Vet said x-ray may be needed which I can't afford as told w/ vist about $200.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us about Merlin. Unfortunately, without examining him, I'm not sure what might be going on with him, but if he hasn't eaten in 4 days, that could be a problem for him, as cats can start to have liver problems if they don't eat for over 3-4 days. You can weigh him at home if you have a scale, weigh yourself, then weight yourself with him and his weight is the difference, so that you know if he is having weight loss as well. If he does have chronic bone marrow issues, he could be having a flare-up infection again, and if your veterinarian thought that he needed x-rays, they are probably right, as they have examined him and know his history. You might want to ask your veterinarian what sort of payment plan options that they have available, as most vet clinics take CareCredit for unexpected emergencies. If he is active, playful and otherwise acting normal, you should be able to wait until tomorrow to have him seen, but it would definitely be a good idea to have him seen then to figure out an affordable plan for you. I hope that he does well, it sounds like he had a rough start in life.

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cooper
dsh
9 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

hi , my kitten is 9 months old and is up to date with all his shots as well as being neutered, my vet just called and said his blood work came back with low white blood cell count ..

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
A low white blood cell count by itself isn’t suggestive of any particular condition; there are various causes for a low white blood cell count which may include some types of infections (bacterial, viral and parasites), medication side effects, cancer, environmental (radiation), hormonal conditions among other conditions. Further testing and examination but your Veterinarian is needed and also the differential count may be useful in determining a cause as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luna
Short hair blonde
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My 2 yr old cat has been kind of lethargic. She is usually very bouncy and talks all of the time. I took her to the vet and her white blood cell count was extremely low. She was tested for feline leukemia and that was negative. What else could she have? What should I do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I'm not sure what medications Luna is on, but a low WBC count typically indicates a viral challenge, or a problem with the bone marrow. Your veterinarian can guide you as to the next best step for her, as they know more about her physical condition and actual lab results. I hope that she is okay.

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Lilly
Cat
14 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Mass In Abdomen

My 13 yr old cat has low WBC and a 4cm mass in her stomach which we've been told isn't touching any of her organs and can be removed. Our vet is now doing another blood test to see if surgery is an option as she may bleed to death if the WBC is too low. She's eating normally, going to the toilet normally and isn't losing any weight but she does vomit alot...normal vomit not discoloured or bile like. She has been vomiting like this for around 2 years now.
Do you have any advice as to what this could be?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Many types of cancer and masses start to affect our pets as they get older. IF it is affecting her life, and your veterinarian thinks that it would be best to remove the mass, they'll be able to see what kind of mass it is once they get it out. You may want to have a conversation with your veterinarian about risks vs. benefits for the surgery, especially if her blood work is questionable. Without seeing her bloodwork, or the mass, I can't comment on which direction would be best for Lilly, but your veterinarian will be able to guide you in that decision. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Minou
American Shorthair
11 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Balance
Weight Loss
Eye Clouding
Sleepiness
Loss of Appetite

Medication Used

prednisone

My 11 year old cat has become sick since wearing a flea collar last summer (about 4-6 months ago). She once weighed 14lbs, and today she is at 6.58lbs. As of last night she has become very fatigued, weak, and stumbles upon her own feet. She isn't eating, she is very dehydrated. Another cat of mine had the same issues after wearing the same flea collar, and has passed on. Now, she is exerting the same symptoms. She has been taking a half of a steroid pill once a day, to help to keep her weight up. After I noticed that her symptoms were much worse this morning, we went to the vet for blood work. Her white blood cells were so low they didn't even show up on her blood work. The vet did a blood smear, and they showed how low they were. Her sodium was also extremely high, indicating that she is in fact dehydrated. The vet told me she had no idea what could happen, but this is a very critical case. Minou could have a week or less to live. She gave my cat a steroid injection and a fluid injection to help her dehydration. I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to make her white blood cell count raise, or if anybody has any other opinions or experiences with this. Thank you so much for taking the time from your day.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that is happening to Minou, that is very sad. Without examining her or knowing more about her condition, I am not sure what might be causing this condition, but low white blood cell counts can occur with bone cancer, infectious disease or viral diseases. Your veterinarian may be able to get a bone marrow sample to determine the cause if Minou is stable enough for anesthesia. If not, we often treat symptomatically with steroids and fluids. I hope that she recovers.

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Jake
American Bobtail
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

I have a 3 yr old male cat we have had from a kitten. Feline leukemia negative as a kitten. He is extremely active, good appetite, no diarrhea or vomiting. Lab work Dec 2016 WBC 3.7. Repeat Leukemia test negative. 2 weeks later WBC 4.6. Today WBC 2.9. All chemistries have always been normal. Cat continues to be asymptomatic. What could be happening to my cat?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3318 Recommendations
Low white blood cell count may be attributable to a few causes and also may vary depending on the type of white blood cell which is affected (if a particular type of white blood cell is low in comparison to the others); infections, inflammation, bone marrow disorders and radiation poisoning are the usual causes for a low white blood cell count. If an underlying cause cannot be identified, a bone marrow biopsy may be the next step in determining a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Estella & Vilinelle
Siamese
10 Days
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Hi
I have 2 10 yr old Siamese sisters who have been diagnosed with low white blood cels. The have no symptoms and are perfectly healthy with normal energy and eating payers. Coat, eyes and gums are healthy with normal toilet routine.
One of the 2 were diagnosed about 4-5 mths ago, now they both are showing low wbc.
Any ideas what may be causing this?
Regards,
Adam

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Causes for a low white blood cell count can include a viral disease, bone marrow problem, or infectious disease. I'm not sure how low 'low' is, but if they are clinically acting normal, it may be something that your veterinarian chooses to monitor, vs. performing invasive testing. I hope that they are okay.

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