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Avatar universal

Very worried about elevated HCT values

singular episode of vomiting, 10 hrs after breakfast, just bile, had some unsteady gait during the event, so considered this a red flag. Abdominal plapating revealed that the dog tensed during the process. Vet recommended xray of abdomen and blood panel. The dog was taken away for over one hr for xray, blood draw and catheter to draw urine. Dog is extermely anxious, sensitive and fearful at the best of times. Received bloods the next day and some concern was raised over possible renal cancer causing elevated HCT. My reserach has taught me that:
1. Splenic contarctions under duress can affect HCT count
2. Dehaydration can also be a cause, though vet said potassium levels were normal, in fact they were super high-normal, one more point and they would be high on the reference range
2. Dipstick analysis prone to false positives, therefore questioning accuracy of +++ on protein
My questions:
1) Blood was drawn at 6pm, did not leave for the lab until after 9am the following morning. Could suspect handling/storage impact HCT readings?
2) Can splenic contractions raise HCT significantly, and if yes, how long would this value stay in circulation. I understand that RBC has about 90 day life cycle before the cells get replaced
3) How concerned should i be about a 3+ on dipstick for protein when all other blood work is fine (other than HCT)?. Urine was in hold before transport for 15 hrs.
4) Can Polycythemia be a monitored condition? The dog is clinical fine in behavior, appetite, stools etc. Maybe a tad slower, but i have noticed this pattern over a long period, maybe 6 months. She is in fact 7 yrs old.
5) How common is renal cancer and what do you think the chances are that the HCT is elevated by an increased EPO resulting from renal or other cancer?
6) Do you think there is a correlation between low glucose and HIgh HCT? Can the excessive RBCs be cannibalizing any circulating glucose?
Very concerned and worried. Any guidance?

2 Responses
234713 tn?1283530259
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
That is an exceptionally high HCT.  I think that you are over analyzing a bit.  All of the handling of blood and stress related issues and splenic contractions would only have marginal effect on results.  When X-Rays are inconclusive an abdominal ultrasound should be performed as the kidneys, spleen and other organs could be visualized more easily. This would be your best bet.  Also, a urinalysis can be sent to an outside lab for more accurate diagnosis.
Avatar universal
Hi Dr Cheng and thank you for your reply. In fact we did have an ultrasound yesterday and it revealed something unknown in the spleen. Vet said it could be anything from a benign bleed to cancer. She recommended going straight into surgery to remove the spleen. Are there no other diagnostic tools, such as biopsy, CT Scan, MRI blood tests to detect cancer etc that should/could be done before opening up a 7.5 yr old dog? Can you tell me how prevalent cancer of the spleen is? Really my questions is, of all the things it could be, how likley is it to be cancer. If 10 conditions can cause bleeding, one being cancer, I feel more reassured going into surgery vs 2 things that can bleeding and 1 being cancer. Finally do you think the high RBC and HCT is linked to a unhealthy spleen?
Thank You very much
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