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Changes in lymphocyte parameters in healthy dogs and dogs with cancer

A. Watabe, S. Fukumoto, T. Komatsu, Y. Endo, T. Kadosawa

CHANGES in immune status are considered to be significant contributors to the mortality of aging and cancer morbidity. This study examined immunological parameters in healthy dogs of various ages and dogs with different stage tumours.

Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 160 healthy dogs aged one to 17 years. Dogs were grouped according to age: one to two years, three to seven years, and over eight years. Samples were also obtained from 365 dogs with malignant tumours (cases of multiple myeloma or lymphoma were excluded), with a mean (sd) age of 10.4 (2.6) years. The clinical stage of the tumour was graded. None of the animals had received any treatment for the tumour at the time of sampling. White blood cell count was measured with an automated analyser. Two-colour flow cytometry was used to calculate the relative percentages of CD3+ (T cells), CD21+-like (B cells), CD4+ (T helper cells), and CD8+ (T cytotoxic cells) cells. Results from dogs with tumours were compared with age-matched healthy controls.

In healthy dogs, the absolute numbers of white blood …

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