Cyclic Neutropenia, Gray Collie Syndrome

Cyclic neutropenia, also called 'gray collie syndrome,' is a lethal condition characterized by cycles of low neutrophil counts leading to overwhelming infections. Untreated dogs die within several weeks mostly because of systemic infections. With antibiotic treatment, they survive only to succumb in early adulthood to enteritis, pneumonia and other bacterial infectons. Amyloidosis is often a complication in this terminal illness.

In Collies the disease is associated with silver/gray gene and occurs in autosomal-recessive form. Affected dogs bear a striking gray coat, which is different from the normal sable or tricolor coat, and have eye defects such as microphthalmia and scleral ectasia. The light-colored nose is a characteristic and diagnostic feature.5 Puppies are stunted and weak and less active at birth than their normal litter mates. The term 'cyclic' means the appearance of neutropenia alternating with normal neutrophil count. Beginning within 12 days after birth, the pups show marked sign of cyclic neutropenia associated with infections (diarrhea, conjunctivitis, gingivitis, or arthritis) at 11- to 14-day intervals.

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Recent advances in stem cell transplantation showed a thrapeutic potential of allogeneic DLA-identical Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) has been investigated for a wide range of canine non-malignant hematological and non-hematological disorders, such as congenital immunological and enzymatic deficiencies, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Allogeneic marrow grafts from dog leukocyte antigen (DLA)-identical littermates corrected cyclic neutropenia.6


  1. Chris Walkowicz, Bonnie Wilcox. Successful Dog Breeding: The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery
  2. Maxwell Myer Wintrobe, John P. Greer, John Foerster, John N. Lukens, George M Rodgers, Frixos Paraskevas. Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology
  3. Nemi C. Jain. Essentials of Veterinary Hematology
  4. Norman F. Cheville. Ultrastructural Pathology
  5. George H. Muller, Danny W. Scott, Robert Warren Kirk, William Howard Miller, Craig E. Griffin.Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology
  6. Five decades of progress in hematopoietic cell transplantation based on the preclinical canine model

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