High blood viscosity, a thickening of the blood, typically results from markedly high concentration of blood plasma proteins, although it can also result (rarely) from an extremely high red blood cell count. It is most frequently seen as a paraneoplastic syndrome (the consequence of the presence of cancer in the body), and is often associated with multiple myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cell) and other lymphoid tumors or leukemias.
The clinical signs that are associated with hyperviscosity are caused by reduced blood flow through smaller vessels, high plasma volume, and associated coagulopathy (a defect in the body's mechanism for blood clotting). There are no gender or breed predilections, and it is more common in older dogs.
Hyperviscosity is a syndrome, not a final diagnosis; however, your veterinarian will want to know what accounts for the symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your pet, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Your doctor will be specifically looking at total plasma protein count and evidence of blood disorders. Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, your veterinarian will work out a treatment plan.
Generally, dogs that present with this disease are treated as inpatients. It will be the underlying disease that will be the focus of the treatment. The total treatment plan will be based upon whether the symptoms are being caused by cancer or by an inflammatory condition.
Even after you take your dog home, your veterinarian will want to monitor your dog's serum or plasma proteins frequently to mark the effectiveness of the treatment. Follow-up blood tests will also be conducted, along with urinalyses from time to time, to determine how well your dog is dealing with its disease.
A type of tumor made up of certain cells in the bone marrow
A type of slime that is made up of certain salts, cells, or leukocytes
A condition of different cells; means extra erythrocytes
Something that is related to the whole body and not just one particular part or organ
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A term for a type of neoplasm that is made up of lymphoid tissue; these masses are usually malignant in nature
Any tissue belonging to the lymphatic system
Deviating from the normal; not typical.
Any disease in which an animal's body creates antibodies that are used against itself.
Extreme loss of blood
An increase in the number of bad white blood cells
A medical condition in which the joints become inflamed and causes a great deal of pain.