Idiopathic asymptomatic thrombocytopenia in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is an autosomal recessive trait

J Vet Intern Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;16(2):169-73. doi: 10.1892/0891-6640(2002)016<0169:iatick>;2.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) often have idiopathic asymptomatic thrombocytopenia. In affected dogs, the thrombocytes often are large, and it has been speculated that the condition could be an inherited macrothrombocytopenia. The aim of this study was to examine the inheritance of idiopathic, asymptomatic thrombocytopenia in CKCS. Sixteen families (both parents and > or = 3 offspring) of privately owned CKCS were included. There were 105 clinically healthy dogs (50 from Denmark and 55 from Sweden): 81 offspring and 26 parents (2 dogs had both roles). Because autoanalyzers have difficulty counting large platelets, the platelets were counted manually, with a counting chamber. Platelet counts were not influenced by age, gender, or heart murmur status. Thrombocytopenia (< or = 100,000 platelets/microL) was found in 46% of the parents. The pedigrees indicated that thrombocytopenia segregated as an autosomal recessive trait and that 100,000 platelets/microL was appropriate as a lower limit of normal. Affected offspring were found in all families, showing that all of the included parents were at least carriers. Therefore, the expected segregation ratios (which were in good accordance with the observed ones) were 1:0, 1:1, and 1:3 for the 3 crosses: affected x affected, normal x affected, and normal x normal. Within a given cross, the mean parental platelet count had no influence on the platelet counts of the offspring. We conclude that idiopathic, asymptomatic thrombocytopenia in CKCS is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. The condition most likely constitutes an inherited macrothrombocytopenia in dogs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoanalysis / veterinary
  • Cell Size
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Dog Diseases / blood
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive*
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Platelet Count / methods
  • Platelet Count / veterinary
  • Thrombocytopenia / blood
  • Thrombocytopenia / genetics
  • Thrombocytopenia / veterinary*