Antibody molecules (immunoglobulins) fall into several classes, each with its own functional characteristics. For example, IgA is the principal antibody of respiratory and intestinal secretions, IgM is the first antibody produced inresponse to a newly recognized antigen, IgG is the principal antibody of the circulating blood, and IgE is the principalantibody involved in allergic reactions.Helper T cells are required for full expression of a humoral immune response. Suppressor T cells dampen the production of a given antibody. Natural killer cells, which are a class of lymphocyte distinct from T cells and B cells,destroy foreign cells (eg, neoplastic cells) even without prior sensitization.Lymphocyte response in disease may be appropriate (activation of the immune system) or inappropriate (immune-mediated disease and lymphoproliferative malignancies).
. Immune-mediated disease resultsfrom failure of the immune system to recognize host tissues as self. For example, in immune-mediated hemolytic anemia,antibodies are produced against the host's own RBC.
Platelets form the initial hemostatic plug whenever hemorrhage occurs. They also are the source of phospholipid, whichis needed for coagulation factors to interact to form a fibrin clot. Platelets are produced in the bone marrow frommegakaryocytes, under the influence of thrombopoietin. Platelet production begins with invagination of the megakaryocytecell membrane and the formation of cytoplasmic channels and islands.Platelet disorders are either quantitative (thrombocytopenia or thrombocytosis) or qualitative (thrombocytopathy).Thrombocytopenia is one of the most common bleeding disorders of animals. In general, platelet counts must fall to<50,000/µL before the risk of hemorrhage increases.Thrombocytosis occurs only rarely and is often idiopathic. It may be associated with primary marrow disease such as inmegakaryocytic leukemia. Thrombocytosis is often associated with chronic blood loss and iron deficiency because of increased platelet production in the marrow reacting to continued consumption and loss.Thrombocytopathies comprise a poorly defined group of diseases in which platelet numbers are normal, but their function is impaired. Von Willebrand's disease is characterized by both a plasma coagulation defect and a defect in plateletadhesion to the endothelium.
Anemia is a condition characterized by insufficient circulating hemoglobin (Hgb). It results from excessive red bloodcell (RBC) destruction, RBC loss, or decreased RBC production. Anemias can be regenerative or nonregenerative (
). Regenerative anemias show evidence of response by the bone marrow to increase the number of circulating RBC. This response is measured by the quantity of reticulocytes (immature RBC) present in the circulation.Regenerative anemias have a high reticulocyte count and are due to RBC loss or destruction. In a nonregenerative anemia,the bone marrow responds poorly and the reticulocyte count is low. Anemias can also be acute or chronic. Most commonly,acute anemias are due to either RBC loss or destruction. Chronic anemias are usually due to lack of RBC production,although slow blood loss can also be a cause.
are used to further characterize and classify anemias. The mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is anindication of RBC size. The MCV (femtoliters) = (PCV × 10) ÷ RBC (millions). As RBC precursors mature in the bonemarrow, their volume decreases as the Hgb content increases. Therefore, reticulocytes have a higher MCV, and the MCV isincreased in regenerative anemias.
An anemia with a high MCV is classified as a macrocytic anemia
. RBC size issmaller than normal when iron is insufficient, which results in decreased quantities of Hgb and a decreased MCV.
Ananemia with a low MCV is classified as a microcytic anemia
. A low MCV in an anemic adult animal indicates irondeficiency from a slow loss of blood (usually GI or renal). A low MCV is seen in the Akita and Shiba Inu, which normallyhave small RBC. A low MCV may be seen in some cases of congenital hepatic shunts. The mean corpuscular hemoglobinconcentration (MCHC) indicates the concentration of hemoglobin per unit volume of RBC. The MCHC (g/dL) = (Hgb ×100) ÷ PCV. It provides similar information as the mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) but is considered to be moreaccurate. The MCH (picograms) = (Hgb × 10) ÷ RBC (millions). A low MCHC accompanying macrocytosis is indicative of a regenerative anemia.Laboratory diagnosis of anemia is based on the Hgb concentration, the number of RBC, and the hematocrit or packedcell volume (PCV). The next essential test is the reticulocyte count. Reticulocytes are polychromatic cells when stained withWright's stain or a Giemsa-type stain. The vital stain new methylene blue specifically stains reticulocytes. Reticulocytosis isfirst seen 72 hr after the onset of significant blood loss or hemolysis. Peak reticulocyte response occurs within 5-7 days.The reticulocyte index = animal's PCV × % reticulocytes ÷ normal PCV. A value >1 indicates an appropriate response.
Merck Veterinary Manual - Summary3