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Why is my dog’s spleen enlarged?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – My pet was just to the vet today to get her teeth cleaned but when her blood was checked the vet noticed that her white blood cell count and platelets are low. Her spleen is also enlarged. The vet completed an x-ray and ultra sound and did not find any signs of cancer. Do you have any thoughts on why her spleen would be enlarged?
Thank you for your time.

Patti J.


Hi – thanks for your email Patti. You wrote that your dog had her teeth cleaned and they noticed some blood work abnormalities. The white blood cell count was high, the platelet count was low and they also found an enlarged spleen.

A large spleen – also referred to with the medical term as splenomegally is relatively common in dogs. There are several underlying causes. Generalized enlargement of the spleen associated with immune system disorders, certain anemias, massive production of red blood cells, and certain infections, following administration of some drugs.

You may benefit from this article Structure and Function of the Spleen in Dogs Also – we have an article on removal of the spleen and a detailed article about a tumor of the spleen called
Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. I would not be surprised if they give her a broad-spectrum antibiotic and repeat blood work and recommend an abdominal ultrasound.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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