2020 Case #4

Venous blood smear from a Hedgehog

Case Information

A 3.5 year-old, intact male hedgehog presented to Cornell University Hospital for Animals Emergency Service for inappetence, lethargy, and ataxia. The owner had been away for 7 days and left the animal with enough food and water to last the week. Upon return, the owner noticed that the hedgehog had only consumed about 25% of the food and water.  Upon presentation, the patient weighed 304 grams (expected weight, 400-600 grams), had pale mucous membranes and was mildly tachypneic (54 breaths/minute; expected normal, 25-50 breaths/minute). The animal had a normal heart rate of 240 beats/minute (expected normal, 180-280 beats/minute) and temperature (96°F, expected normal, 96-99°F).1  The patient was anesthetized for collection of blood for a complete blood count (CBC) and biochemical panel as well as whole body radiographs. 

The CBC revealed that the animal was anemic (hematocrit, 23%, reference interval [RI], 36-47%2) and had a marked leukocytosis (109.1 x 103/μL, RI, 11.5-21.7 x 103/μL2). The automated platelet count was 277 x 103/μL (no available RI). Biochemical testing revealed a mildly increased creatinine concentration (1.5 mg/dL, RI, 0.5-1.0 mg.dL2) with  normal urea nitrogen concentration (52 mg/dL, RI, 34-57 mg/dL2), and increased liver enzyme activities (alanine aminotransferase [ALT], 269 U/L, RI, 15-29 U/L2, alkaline phosphatase [ALP], 2820 U/L, RI, 18-26 U/L2) and hyperbilirubinemia (3.2 mg/dL, ISIS mean ± SD, 0.5 ± 0.1 mg/dL, Physiological Data Reference Values, International Species Information System, 1996). Representative images of the blood smear are shown (Figures 1-4).

Figure 1: Venous blood from a Hedgehog (Wright’s stain, 50x)

Figure 2: Venous blood from a Hedgehog (Wright’s stain, 50x)

Figure 3: Venous blood from a Hedgehog (Wright’s, 100x)

Figure 4: Venous blood from a Hedgehog (Wright’s stain, 50x)

After viewing the images, answer the posed questions:

  1. What is the lineage of most of the cells represented in the images?
  2. What are your differential diagnoses?
  3. What additional testing can be done to help clarify cell lineages in this species?

Answers on next page

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