What Causes a Low Blood Cell Count in a Dog?

A low blood cell count in dogs may refer to the lack of white or red blood cells. Common causes are the ingestion of chemicals, infectious diseases such as parvovirus and genetic factors such as the inherited B12 malabsorption in giant schnauzers.

A lack of red blood cells is referred to as anaemia. Anaemia in dogs can be caused by blood loss, inadequate reproduction of red blood cells or the destruction of existing red blood cells. Dogs heavily infested with fleas, ticks or worms may also develop a low blood cell count. In more extreme cases, internal injuries to blood vessels and organs or persistent tumours lead to a low blood cell count. Cancer may also cause a dog’s blood cell count to be lower than normal.

Additionally, conditions such as hypothyroidism, poor nutrition and chemical imbalances affect blood cell count.