Two male English springer spaniel dogs with a chronic hemolytic anemia and sporadic hemolytic crises, historically related to “stress” situations, were studied. Although canine erythrocytes are in general known to be more alkaline fragile, erythrocytes from both patients began to lyse earlier, at significantly lower pH values (near pH 7.4 at 37 degrees C), than erythrocytes from control dogs. Hyperventilation induced by 30 minutes of exercise, placement in a 39 degrees C water bath, or intravenous doxapram increased venous blood pH in dog 1 and control dogs, but transient hemoglobinemia, hemoglobinuria, and severe bilirubinuria occurred only in the studied patient. The erythrocyte phosphofructokinase (PFK) activity was severely decreased in both dogs (10% of controls). The erythrocyte 2,3-diphosphoglycerate content was markedly reduced and the cell chloride content was consequently increased. This change in cell chloride content is related to an increase in the erythrocyte pH, which may partially explain the pathogenesis of hemolysis in canine PFK deficiency. Thus, these studies demonstrate a presumably inherited erythrocyte PFK deficiency in English springer spaniels, which causes an increased in vitro and in vivo erythrocyte alkaline fragility. Dogs with PFK deficiency and inducible hemolytic crises may become a valuable genetic animal model in which to study the pathophysiology of hemolysis.

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