PetMD Seal

Stem Cell Disorders Due to Abnormal Development and Maturation in Dogs

2 min read

Myelodysplastic Syndromes in Dogs


Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of disorders affecting the dog's hematopoietic stem cells, which forms all the types of blood cells in the body (i.e., red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets). These disorders are characterized by the abnormal development and maturation of hematopoietic stem cells, and may be primary (congenital) or secondary (due to cancer, drugs exposure, and/or infections).


Myelodysplastic syndromes more common in cats than dogs.


Symptoms and Types


  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Recurrent infections
  • Enlargement of spleen and liver




  • Infections
  • Bone marrow dysplasia
  • Immune-mediated neutropenia (due to steroids)
  • Drug toxicity (e.g., estrogen, cytotoxic anticancer agents, or trimethoprim and sulfa combination)




You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then conduct a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC). Blood testing is especially important in making the diagnosis, as it may reveal abnormal reduction in the number of blood cells (cytopenia). In some dogs, megaloblastic anemia is also seen.


Other abnormal findings may include large, bizarre platelets and immature granulocytes (type of white blood cells) with abnormal shape and sizes. Your veterinarian will also take bone marrow sample to evaluate the red blood cell and white blood cells production process and identify abnormalities.




Related Articles

Low White Blood Cell Count in Dogs

This genetic disease is found in the stem cells of bone marrow. Sometimes it is called “gray collie disease” by some scientists because it is...

Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) in Dogs

The mycoplasma is a class of bacterial parasites belonging to the order of Mollicutes. They are able to survive without oxygen, and lack true...

Anemia Due to Enlarged Blood Cells in Dogs

In this disease, red blood cells fail to divide and become abnormally large. These cells are also deficient in necessary DNA material. These...

Anemia, Nonregenerative in Dogs

A decrease in red blood cells is called anemia. Typically, bone marrow will respond to this decrease by increasing red blood cell production....