A case of metastatic splenic haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma (HHS) in a 6-year-old neutered male flat-coated retriever is described. The main clinical findings were hypoalbuminaemia and regenerative anaemia. The diagnosis was based on histological features and expression of CD11d by the neoplastic cells. Tumour cells were shown to produce interleukin (IL)-6, to phagocytose erythrocytes and to take up albumin, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and ultrastructural examination. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction identified increased IL-6 gene expression in affected organs. These findings suggest that neoplastic cells are responsible for the clinical features of HHS, by removing erythrocytes and albumin from the blood and releasing cytokines, such as IL-6. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.