Canine Paraproteinemia

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In order to understand what canine paraproteinemia is, it’s first necessary to learn about plasma cells. They are a type of white blood cells responsible for producing antibodies for the immune system. Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulin, are protein molecules the body uses to clear infections in the body.

Canine paraproteinemia is a health condition in dogs in which plasma cells produce irregular proteins known as paraproteins. More common in older canines, these proteins are found in the bloodstream and urine. The condition can stem from various factors, including genetic susceptibility, viral infections, and cancer.


Some of the symptoms associated with canine paraproteinemia are:

  • Reduced activity
  • Decreased physical strength
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Vision loss
  • Thirstiness
  • Urinating frequently
  • Memory issues
  • Seizures


If you suspect your dog may have paraproteinemia, it’s important that you relate your concern to your vet and include as much detail as possible. Symptoms as well as what you believe could have led to the development of the condition are important for your veterinarian to know. A physical exam, blood work, and urine test will be necessary to start.

A complete blood count as well as a chemistry test will allow the doctor to check the levels of different blood cells and proteins in the body. The urinalysis can also help detect protein in the urine. If your vet believes cancer may be the culprit of your dog’s condition, other tests such as X-rays, bone marrow tests, and lymph node tests may also be ordered.


Canine paraproteinemia treatment is based on the underlying issue. For example, if cancer is the cause, chemotherapy and other types of treatment recommended by a vet oncologist will be required to treat paraproteinemia. In cases where bacteria are the cause, antibiotics will be prescribed.