Normal canine erythrocytes:
Normal dog RBC
The canine erythrocyte in health is a relatively large, uniform, biconcave disc. This is
Reproduced from: Schalm's Veterinary Hematology, Figu 20-7, page 537, with permission, © Lea & Febiger 1986
reflected in the Wright's stained blood film as a cell with an area of central pallor. The scanning electron micrograph at the right shows this shape most graphically. This fact makes recognition of spherocytic shape changes more clear in dog blood compared to that of other species which lack significant central pallor.
Small numbers of polychromatophilic erythrocytes are observed in blood smears from healthy dogs (<1.5% reticulocytes). Occasional nucleated red blood cells and Howell-jolly bodies may also be seen in blood smears from healthy, non-anemic dogs.
The canine erythrocyte lifespan varies from 110-120 days.