Histiocytosis in Dogs

Overview of Canine Histiocytosis

Histiocytosis is a disorder that can occur in dogs resulting from the proliferation or multiplication of cells from the cells that are involved in the inflammatory response, which are the monocyte-macrophage line.

There are two types of histiocytosis:

The cause of histiocytosis is unknown though it is thought to be hereditary. Middle aged male dogs and Bernese mountain dogs seem to be predisposed to developing systemic histiocytosis. Older dogs tend to develop malignant histiocytosis. Breeds prone to malignant histiocytosis include Bernese mountain dogs, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers, flat-coated retrievers and golden retrievers.

What to Watch For

Signs seen common to both types of histiocytosis including:

In patients with systemic histiocytosis watch for skin lesions or masses and ocular (eye) changes of any sort.

In patients with malignant histiocytosis watch for pale mucous membranes, weakness, neurologic signs, and severe respiratory signs

Diagnosis of Histiocytosis in Dogs

Treatment of Histiocytosis in Dogs

There is no definitive treatment for histiocytosis, and prognosis, especially the malignant form, is poor. Your veterinarian may recommend the following for your dog:

Home Care and Prevention

Administer all medication and diet as directed by your veterinarian. If any change is noted in your dog’s condition, notify your veterinarian.

Return for follow up examination and testing as recommended by your veterinarian.

There is no prevention for histiocytosis.