QUESTION: I have a 1 month old foster kitten that only weighs 12 oz. It is a male torbie kitten. He is eating well and had loose stool until I took it to the vet last Thursday.
The vet put the kitten on Panacur .15 cc daily for 5 days and then stop for 2 weeks and redose again for 5 days. He also gave me ProViable for the kitten to have 2-3 times daily. They ran a FeLV test which came back Neg. The vet did a full blood workup on him and said the white blood cells have bands around them. We started the kitten on .1cc Clavamox on Sunday 12/2 for 10 days. Any ideas what would be causing the bands around the white blood cells?
I'm worried about this baby.
I took your question to the fanciers' health list #for answers to veterinary types of questions and received a number of consistent answers which I have reproduced below.
Send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe
How is your kitten doing?
Seasonal regards... Norm.
White Blood Cells:
"'Bands' refer to immature neutrophils. Neutrophils are the white blood cells that fight bacteria #There are 6 types of white blood cells, IIRC# . So, basically, it means the kitten has a bacterial infection, his bone marrow is producing lots of white blood cells and some of the ones that are released are immature. Hopefully, the Clavamox will cure the infection and the kitten will be fine."
"from an article on interpreting CBC results:
"Neutrophils are the one of the body's main defenses against bacteria. They kill bacteria by actually ingesting them #this is called phagocytosis#. Neutrophils can phagocytize five to 20 bacteria in their lifetime. Neutrophils have a multi-lobed, segmented or polymorphonuclear nucleus and so are also called PMNs, polys or segs. Bands are immature neutrophils that are seen in the blood. When a bacterial infection is present, an increase of neutrophils and bands are seen."
"Yes, that means that the cells in question are neutrophils #aka bands#, which are immature white blood cells. Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow and are released to fight infection. They fight infection by actually engulfing bacteria and small particles. An increase is seen in them when there is an infection brewing or in times of extreme stress. If there are more bands than segmented cells aka "segs" #mature neutrophils# then the infection is thought to be a more severe one."
"There're different types of white blood cells--neutrophils, bands, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes and lymphocytes; each combats a different type of infection. Band cells are immature neutrophil cells. They're normally a very small constituent of the mix #1 to 3%, maybe# because in normal circumstances, they stay in the bone marrow until they mature... in response to a #usually bacterial# infection, bands are released early and their number rises, as do the number of neutrophils #mature white blood sells#, sometimes dramatically. I would be concerned as well, but bands are also a sign that the immune system is working, so in some ways, it's a positive thing."
I am not a vet, but I will see if I can find out.
Please let me know how the little tyke is doing.
Concerned regards... Norm.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your response Norm. The kitten, now named Tater Tot is doing quite well. Tater Tot will be going back to the vet on Dec. 19th for follow up bloodwork to see how the white blood cells responded to the antibiotics. Tater Tot has been gaining weight and is now 1 lb. 1.2 oz. at 6 weeks old. She is on the small side for her size, but the weight is average, so she may just be a runt. She is eating and drinking well and plays like a normal kitten. I am feeding her Royal Canin Baby Cat dry and canned and also giving her KMR from a bowl. :) Hopefully she will be able to go up for adoption sometime towards the end of January.
Congratulations! It sounds as if Tater Tot is on his way to a full recovery. If he is eating normal cat food, you might want to stop the KMR.
Anyway, it sounds like a happy holiday for you and Tater Tot (who is too, too cute!!!!!!).
Thanks for letting me know and seasonal regards... Norm.