What are Overproduction of White Blood Cells?
The eosinophils release regulatory proteins into the tissues called eosinophil-derived cytokines and eosinophil granule products. When too many eosinophils release these proteins, organ damage and death may occur.
When the bone marrow produces a greater quantity than necessary of a type of white blood cell called eosinophils, the condition is known as hypereosinophilic syndrome. White blood cells are part of the immune system and help protect the cat's body from foreign invaders and infectious diseases. When the cat becomes ill, the hematopoietic stem cells in the blood marrow produce extra white blood cells to fight these foreign invaders. Normally eosinophils make up a small portion of the white blood cell production as they are typically produced in response to parasites and allergies.
Symptoms of Overproduction of White Blood Cells in Cats
Symptom severity typically increases gradually as the number of eosinophils increase. These symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea that may contain blood
- Enlarged liver
- Enlarged spleen
- Abdominal masses
- Thickened, non-painful intestines
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Skin lesions
- Chronic cough
Causes of Overproduction of White Blood Cells in Cats
It is not known what causes hypereosinophilic syndrome to occur. Researchers believe that it may be caused by an overreaction to an unidentified antigen. This antigenic stimulus may arise from two different viral strains, prompting the production of white blood cells. Cats who have had eosinophilic enteritis, a disease that causes inflammation in the small intestine, may be predisposed to hypereosinophilic syndrome.
Diagnosis of Overproduction of White Blood Cells in Cats
The veterinarian will need to know the cat's health history, when the symptoms first began and a detailed list of the symptoms. The veterinarian will physically examine the cat, listening to its heart and lungs and feeling for swollen lymph nodes and masses in its body.
Several labs will be performed in order to identify the condition and rule out other conditions that may present with similar symptoms. These labs include a complete blood count, a biochemical blood profile, a cytochemical staining, a fecal flotation test and a urinalysis. These tests will typically show a high number of white blood cells, anemia, and organ dysfunction in the affected organs.
A bone marrow aspiration will also be performed. The cat will be given anesthesia while the veterinarian removes a small amount of the bone marrow in order to determine what is causing the high levels of white blood cells to occur. Because blood cells are made from cells in the bone marrow, the aspiration is an important test to rule out similar conditions. The veterinarian may also biopsy the lymph nodes, spleen, liver or intestines. The biopsy can be particularly helpful in distinguishing the condition from eosinophilic leukemia. During the biopsy, the cat will be placed under general anesthesia while a small sample of tissue is removed from the organs.
Radiography may also be used to look at the condition of the affected organs. A special radiocontrast dye will be injected into the cat. Computed tomography (CT) scans and X-rays will then be taken. These tests may show thickened intestines, abnormal intestinal lining, fibrosis, coagulation of the heart arteries and enlarged lymph nodes.
Treatment of Overproduction of White Blood Cells in Cats
Steroids, such as prednisone or prednisolone, will be administered to the cat. Steroids will help to stop the production of eosinophils. Hydroxyurea, an antineoplastic drug, may also be administered. Hydroxyurea can also slow down the production of eosinophils, allowing the immunoglobulin concentrations to normalize and the organs to heal. If these medications are no longer working, the veterinarian may start the cat on chemotherapy, which can slow the reproduction of the white blood cells by inhibiting the DNA synthesis process.
Cats who are dehydrated will need to receive intravenous fluids to correct fluid loss due to diarrhea or vomiting. The veterinarian will keep a close watch on the affected organs during fluid therapy to ensure that the kidneys and heart are processing the fluids normally.
If the cat refuses food, nutritional support will need to be administered to ensure that the cat is receiving adequate calories for healing. A feeding tube may be inserted through the cat's nose in order to deliver this nutrition.
Recovery of Overproduction of White Blood Cells in Cats
Though medications normally work to resolve the overproduction of the white blood cells, they may lose their effectiveness over time. With treatment, cats typically live six months to three years after diagnosis. The cat will need to regularly follow up with the veterinarian in order to monitor its blood count levels and medication effectiveness. Because the prescribed medications have side effects, it's important to take note of any side effects the cat is experiencing in order to adjust medications accordingly.
Overproduction of White Blood Cells Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
I adopted my cat Ollie last September. He was approximately 1 and a half years old. He had a cold at the time of adoption, but I was told he was healthy otherwise. He was supposed to have just finished a round of antibiotics. After I took him home, his cold became worse. Took him to the vet, and she gave him more antibiotics and ran a blood test. At that time, his wbc count was elevated, assumingly from the cold. He did get better after the antibiotics, but, by the end of December, he had another cold. Took him back to the vet, she gave him an antibiotic injection this time. Took blood again...now his lymphocyte count was very high. However, from September , when we adopted him, to December when we brought him back in with the second cold....he seemed to be thriving...he had gained 3 lbs and was quite active, appetite very good. He had the cold symptoms and was a bit tired from that, but not much. He had no swollen lymph nodes or any other symptoms. Also, at the time of this second visit, the vet ordered a stool sample to check for parasites, and he did have 2 parasites, which he probably had since adoption....we just hadn’t tested for that yet. So, he got meds for the parasites, and that cleared up. Vet suggested we give him one more injection of antibiotics and then check his blood again in 2 months. We go back next week for another blood test. If lymphocytes are still high, then we will decide what to do next. So...my question is...how likely would it be for a cat to have lymphoma or leukemia (which I’m most afraid of) and still be very active with a great appetite ?
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My cat Lily was taken to the vets yesterday (21/11/18) after going off her food the day before (20/11/18) and become very lethargic. Between Sunday 18th & Wed 21st she had lost a lot of weight, from being probably a little bit over weight to feeling her ribs/spine & pelvis.
The vet checked her over, no obvious signs of tumours or swollen lymph nodes, however her gums were virtually white, very clear sign she was anaemic. The vet took bloods and put her on fluids. Bloods came back, organ function fine, FIV negative, FeLV negative but a red blood cell count of 9%. The vet explained a normal sound should be between 35/40% and believed this is most likely cased by cancer of the bone marrow. Initially we agreed to proceed with an abdominal ultrasound and chest X-rays but then the vet said she was 90% certain it was cancer and a very aggressive form due to the very little time she went from being bright eyed to almost completely unresponsive.
Further testing would involve a blood transfusion, bone marrow biopsy and potentially chemo and the vet said coming out of the at the other end was very unlikely. We didn't think that would be fair on her at her age and sadly made the decision to have her euthanised :( it was the most deviating thing I have ever done! Now I am winding myself up reading other potential causes I.E toxins, she had recently been seen drinking out of a dirty bucket that someones cigarettes had been floating around in....it is possible we were too hasty to put it down to cancer when in fact it could have been come kind of poisoning? Am I being stupid, would toxins have shown up in the bloods or would you have to specifically look for them?
I'm not questioning the vets judgment, well I kind of am, I just want to know if poisoning could have been the case and if we could have saved her?
as i was reading your story, i found myself drawn to it and began feeling your pains for your cat and your decision making and how it had made you feel. so much so, i felt compelled to weigh in my thoughts hoping you might find some ease and lighten up on yourself.
as any real, good pet owner- we love our pets. we take good care of them and make sure that we try to do right by them- keeping them happy and healthy and to comfort them as they comfort us in their many loving ways and as well as, periodically, get underfoot and frustrate the snot out of us(the younger kitty that they were, once upon a time-so hyper-skitting around the house) and through the years grow into that mellow, laid back, sleep all day, lazy -(i'll catch that mouse later cuz im too tired to catch him right now), cat pile of fur, that loved so incredibly well....was the best thing ever and wouldnt trade those memory making, time shared moments for anything in this world. not even at their most frustrating moment, right down to the most destructive behavior of shredding my black leather sectional, that i already fixed part of(coming in pretty close on considering a possible trade(just joking)(sorta)(not really) i still love my cat so very, very much. i would do anything in the world for them. cuz i just adore the cat that adopted me at first sight. which was my first thought about her too when i first seen her. i said to myself that -that sure is a beautiful, friendly cat and that i sure wished she could be mine. she looked happy and healthy and must belong to someone around here. so the short story of her and i was/is...(if i can keep it short) i had got involved with trapping some local feral cats to get them their shots, spayed & nuetered, and relocate to a wonderful new place to thrive instead of the current alternative of being hit by cars, sick and/or pregnant. so while trapping, which all started when a small litter of feral kittens lived under a building next door- i took under my wing to gain trust to help later down the road(as per the time for trapping)and fed them daily and made sure they were warm and dry at the times when needed. anywho... the mother was semi -tame and apparently someones pet at one time until dumped and left to fiend for herself, which is so un-cool. i suppose thats why i took them under my wing. but, in all the trapping- we caught 7 total. as i was outside, my now current cat, wanders over and starts heading towards one of the traps and it obvious she wasnt wild(so friendly), so i told her not to go in there- youre not wild. so she looked over at me with this look on her face..."fine" and walk off(so i thought). i go upstairs for a while until later to check on the traps to see if we had caught anymore feral cats and when i approached the trap i notice my friendly little cat sitting inside looking like she was just waiting for me to come out again just so we could hang out together. i told you that you didnt belong in there, i said. and her expression said, "but, i knew i would find you here, so i got in and waited" and here you are". out of 7 caught- she was the only one that was "catch & release". and as much as i admired her and loved to keep her- i didnt take her thinking there must be an owner somewhere. so for a month she would hang outside and every single time i would go outside-she would run over to me and we would hangout. every single time..everyday for a month. such good times we had then- bonding and such. well one day i figure no owner. so both the cat and i went to upstairs to test the waters and see if were a good fit. if we got along. if she liked my apt. etc etc. she stayed the night. next day she refused to leave and made herself comfortable on a freshly washed blanket and looked as if she was truly smiling from ear to ear with contentment right where she was. here its 1 yr later and still refuses to leave with the exception a 2 trips to the vet, which she really didnt mind going to by the ear to ear smile i saw her doing then too. such an amazing love story of cat and her owner from the cats point of view. well keeping it short wasnt my best forte'. sorry....theres more to this story too but, i will stop here and be happy about it. i wrote you again in the first place was to ask if you would post a picture of lily, if you would? if possible to do so? as i read your story and was drawn in by it...i increasingly became curious of what she looked like?
i think that poisoning could very well be the answer. it stands to be a reasonable thought that the chemicals in cigarettes, that we all know to be, at high concentrations, ie: a butt can with water-soaking up multiple butts worth of tobacco and the chemicals that come with in, im assuming to be a small amount of water, would undoubtedly create a higher concentration of toxins vs. if it were more diluted per single cigarette-water ratio. you follow me...? but dont beat yourself up over this, please. you were just going off what the vet and the tests said and again you mentioned the cat was an older cat and i can tell that you loved your cat and couldnt stand to see them suffer and did what a good pet owner knows that when its time to decide that inevitable, heart-breaking decision, ...although hard to do, must be done. i mean,...could you now be right that possibly you could have saved your cat..., truthfully, maybe yes. do you know for sure...? no. it was pretty apparent that your cat was very ill and despite the cause, whether by cancer or by the chemical and toxins, there still was no real guarantee that the cat would of recovered from either. sounds like, either condition had the ability to shut down the organs at a rapid pace and that seems to be what had happened. i think you did a honorable, loving thing that is very hard to do and that is to not be selfish, just to keep who we love with us as long as can be, even when we know that the quality of a cat suffering- is no quality of life at all. make peace with your decision instead of the time spent 2nd guessing it and spend it remembering all of the wonderful times and the memories you made throughout your time together
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My Bengal girl aged 14 suddenly developed a loss of weight over a period of a week that I could identify. She was eating and drinking but I wasn't taking much notice as I have 3 other cats with two eating stations. Ice was fed mostly on top of the kitchen counter to minimise her being bullied. I noticed a behavioural change, she normally sleeps on top of the fridge with a heat pad, but during the last week she hid behind the TV. I took her up to bed with me and she sleeps under the duvet but this time she slept on the pillow beside me. I stroke her back in the mornings and noticed that she had become a bit bony. I fed her on my bed which she ate half and gave her a drink of water from my glass. I picked her up and she passed urine on me which she has never done. I took her to the vets who ran tests. The bloods came back normal RBC, but her WBC was high, Neutrophils high, Monocytes off the scale high, Eosinophils high, and Basophils high. All other bloods were normal Creatinine low, urea low, Calcium low. The vet diagnosed lymphoma. I asked if anything could be done and he said no, so she was put to sleep. Now reading about it I could have given her a chance with meds and feel desperately guilty not giving her a chance. Could I have done something more positive as this my support others who are caught in a similar situation. Leaping to put her to sleep may not be the wisest choice that I made.
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Hi there! My Bengal kitty was found to have bilateral rim signs on both of his kidneys and mixed echogenicity within his left kidney through an abdominal ultra sound. He is only a year old. On his last CBC Aug. 6th he had a total WBC of 21.8(range 3.2-16.8) with his neutrophils being 11,554(range 2500-8500) and Lymphocytes being 8,938(range 1200-8000) and basophils 0....... today, Aug.19th, his total WBC increased to 22.01(range 2.87-17.02) with his Lymphocytes being 11.22(range 0.92-6.88) and neutrophils decreasing to 9.49 (range 1.48-10.29) with his basophils being high at 1.6% (.35 in a range of 0.01-0.26)
Should I be worried about GI/Renal lymphoma?
He has had chronic diahrrea with blood/mucus ever since I picked him up from the airport from the breeder back in December(8 months ago). Has tried multiple diets and all possible diahrrea medications/probiotics with no improvement and was just prescribed prednisone. He has not yet had a biopsy done for IBD. He has tested negative for all parasites/Felv/FIV. Dry FIP is a possibility due to the specific structural changes in his kidney so young. His tummy is a little swollen, but with no sign of fluid build up. As of now, his kidney functions normally at 1.6.
Should I be concerned for future kidney function?
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My 12 year old cat was diagnosed with acute leukemia with anemia. The anemia came on pretty quickly over about a 2-week period. She received a blood transfusion 2 weeks ago and I was told that would last 2 weeks at the most. We are now at 15 days and she seems to be doing quite well still (not 100%, but much much better than pre transfusion). Her white blood cell count was extremely high and they were not able to tell if she has myeloid or lymphoid leukemia (was examined by 3 different facilities). My question is, since she is doing so well with the transfusion, is it possible that it kicked the leukemia into "remission"? Her transfusion brought PCV from 10% to 20%. Here are some of her blood cell counts:WBC: 52,510/ul (N: 5500-19500), Reticulocytes: 67,000/ul (0-50000), PLT: 2,450,000 (N:300,000-700,000). She is back to eating fairly normally, using litter box, grooming, greeting me at the door. She is still not quite as active - but it's a subtle difference. If doing well, would it make the white blood cell count drop back down closer to normal levels - or will that remain high because of leukemia? Are we still on borrowed time - waiting for the symptoms of anemia/leukemia to surface again very soon (just not as soon as was originally expected)? I was told she'd have 2 weeks to 6 months to live and that was if she got chemo which I'm not doing. But since she responded well to the transfusion - it has just left me 2nd guessing a lot of the diagnosis. Any insights would be helpful.
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My cat has high WBC count. 28.8- Neutrophil 23.9, Moncyte -1.152,
Basophil 0.576. He's on 1/2 tablet of Pred 2 x a week. Everything else is normal. I just want a second opinion. What else can I do to improve his condition?
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