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Companion Animal Practice
Diagnosis and management of leukaemia in dogs and cats
  1. Jane Dobson

    Jane Dobson graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 1982. She is a senior lecturer in veterinary clinical oncology at Cambridge.

  2. Elizabeth Villiers

    Elizabeth Villiers graduated from Bristol in 1989. She is a lecturer in veterinary clinical pathology at Cambridge.

  3. Joanna Morris

    Joanna Morris graduated from Bristol in 1988. She is a senior lecturer in veterinary oncology at Glasgow.


NEOPLASIA of the haematopoietic system is common in dogs and cats. In both species, lymphoma (eg, malignant lymphoma, lymphosarcoma) occurs far more frequently than leukaemia and multiple myeloma. Nevertheless, these conditions are important in the differential diagnosis of haematological and some metabolic problems. Animals with leukaemia do not present with an obvious tumour mass or lump, but rather with vague and non‐specific clinical signs. Diagnosis, therefore, relies on a series of laboratory‐based investigations ‐ some more specialist than others. The aim of this article is to update practitioners on current diagnostic and treatment approaches for dogs and cats with leukaemia, using case examples as illustrations.

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