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Readers Respond: Thrombocytopenia: Dealing with your pet's disease and low platelet count

Responses: 47


Thrombocytopenia is a low blood platelet count. Thrombocytopenia isn't a disease in and of itself, but a potential sign of many different diseases. The disease process may be immune-mediated (the body destroying its own platelets), a decrease in production (as with bone marrow disease) or a toxic or infectious agent (parasites, bacteria, drug-induced, etc.).

Whatever the cause, this condition can be dangerous. Please share your pet's story here to help others dealing with this condition.

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The Vet is in the early stages of trying to stop the bleeding in my malti-pom, but I can say that there were signs that something was wrong for a while. Purplish splotches on his skin and a raspy bark after a stay at the kennel. I didn't recognize these symptoms as being at all serious, just thought they were birthmarks and a mild cold. He is bleeding from several orifices now, but not his nose or mouth which is a good sign. He has plenty of energy, but is drinking a lot of water and peeing a lot. They have him at the pet hospital for the night and are recommending drugs to increase his platelet count, some that are used in chemotherapy and prednisone. He is dripping blood everywhere when he pees, it is quite profuse. I hope he will be ok. He is 2 and a half years old.
—Guest Megan

Don't Give Up

Our Bichon was diagnosed with ITP in Jan/10. She had a Clovomax antibiotic for lethargy & she might have ingested mouse poison, which were two possible causes. Bruising on her tummy was the 1st sign. She started Prednisone, but the vet was not proactive enough & a week later, she was pooping blood with a platelet count of 14! After she collapsed, we went to the emergency specialist clinic & learned there should be more intervention if the platelet count goes under 50. After a successful blood transfusion, they tried to achieve remission for six months with Prednisone (major hunger!), Azathioprine (use gloves!), Cyclosporin and then IV Vincristine on the 5 occasions when platelets went under 10,000 & they had to save her life. Remission after 6 months when they finally removed her spleen!! Now no more shots & caution with certain meds; ticks are tested if attached. Good article at www.dvm360.com called 'Evidence-based management of ITP'. Do research, if needed. May God bless your doggy!
—Guest Tammy


My 11 yr old female mix breed was diagnosed w/idiopathic IMT in April 2013. I had noticed bloody gums and blood in one of her eyes. Later found bruising ALL over her body, which were hard to see b/c of the way her fur is. She was completely tapered off cyclosporine at the end of August. Last CBC at the beginning of Oct. looked great. Just got back into town last night and found faint blood spots on her bedding. Found the source, she's having nose bleeds again. Taking her to the vet tomorrow. Breaks my heart to know she's already relapsed.
—Guest Sonia

How to cope

She is 6 doxy. She is my first dog and best friend and she has ITP. She has bleeding in her lungs and can't breath with oxygen support. She's been in the ICU for 7 days and I'm up to $6k and she's not improving. Should I put her down? Now they want to test her bone marrow but she's miserable and I don't want to prolong her suffering. Seems like the vet is just guess what might work for her. I'm running out of money and my heart is breaking. I sit next to her tank at the vet for 3 hours every night after work. I don't know how long to prolong this. Is their hope?????
—Guest Sophie

my tweety

my dog Tweety a pomerian died f an unknown cause cud not make out what was d reason.he was lethargy since 3days n had gained weight in just 5days.he was double f wat he used to b earlier.BT all did occurred even when we did not increase his diet.he had pale gums yellow urine;n was also constipated since two days .this occurred on 19th n he died on 22nd October.Miss u Tweety .......... he was 5 yrs old ....I think most probable cause was babesiosis......
—Guest anadhi


My little dog is only 3 and was diagnosed with this back in February. She was very listless and was holding up a paw as if it was hurting her but sometimes switched paws. The vet did all the tests and finally decided that is was ITP. Her platelet count was only 25 and she was immediately put on prednisone and an antibiotic. Her count went up to the forties after a few weeks but then started to drop again. Now she is on a dexy medication and melatonin and her count is up in the mid 50's but doesn't seem to be improving anymore. They doubled the dose of the dexy to get her to the level she is at now but the side effects are that she can no longer jump on the bed, the couch, or now even get in the car by herself. She is always hungry, has gained 3.5 lbs, drinks and ton of water and urinates a lot. Peanut goes to a specialist Thursday.
—Guest Carol


My girl maltese/schitzhu X 7yrs desexed developed bruising on her belly/chest 10 days ago. Given Frontline 14days ago. To the vet the next day and he diagnosed ITP and admitted her immediately on cortisone and fluids. Nil platelets very low red cell count. Began bleeding into the bowel that night. Transfused next morning and meds maintained. Very lethargic so transfused again that night. Platelets up to 11 next day with red cell count at 30. Continued meds and stabilised for 24hrs. Then another bleed into the bowel so another 2 transfusions and platelets went to 5 and red cell to 48. Stable for another 24hrs then crashed again so one more transfusion and platelets rose to 11 with red cell count at 46. Remained stable over the next two days (weekend) and by Monday her platelets were 130 and red cell count at 49. Discharged Tuesday with home meds and lots of cash outlaid. Happy since but drinks and pees lots. More tests next week but appears on the up and up
—Guest Sue Ross

My beloved Labrador died within 12 hrs

Our Boozo was jus 1 yr 6 months. He caught kennel cough and was treated for it. Doc said its just a three days course but we could Di it only for two days. 3 rd day he looked and behaved normal. But at note he puked all his dinner and just slept. Next morning he puked blood twice and we had to take him to hospital thrice that day. As he was neither eating nor drinking even a sip of water. By the same night blood started coming out of his nose. His blood platelet count was 1.5 Lakh then. He had 106.5 degree Celsius fever. After being admitted and treated for a day he died the very next day in the evening. His blood count had decreases to 80000 and fever was constant at 104 degree Celsius. Even docs coins not figure out the cause. When we went to take him blood was coming out of his eyes, his nose and mouth. And I don't know from ears too. It was the saddest day for me and I know I would not be ever able to overcome it completely.
—Guest Neha

ITP came on fast

As we speak my king charles, Fergie was diagnosed with I T P . At vet . Severe vomiting with blood and a lot of blood in urine. She was OK on Monday. She is almost 9 and she is a female. Will give update tomorrow. By the way, bill is right now $2,000.
—Guest michael krigstein

my dog died from canine ehrlichiosis

i live in costa rica and my dog jasmine died from this disease, she was diagnosed with it on april 9 2013 and she died on june 22nd 2013, the first signs i saw was swollen lymph nodes, high fever , vomiting and diahrea, took her that nite to the vet, he put her on the antibiotic doxycolin and checked her blood work each week, her counts were low each time , i took jasmine back to the vet on june 17th the next day did a blood transfusion, the vet emailed me after wards and said the transfusion helped some but after 48 hours they were still very low, red count 2o percent, white count 2oo normal is 7,000, platelets were 20,000 , normal was like 400000, and couldnt do one more test because count was to low, based on the numbers it didnt appear the bone marrow was working, he was sorry, i brought her home , she died 2 days later, last thing she heard was i loved her ,last thing she saw was my face, most heart wrenching thing i have ever been through,
—Guest jackie


My 8 mo Mini Aussie was diagnosed w/ Auto-immune thrombocytopenia 5 days ago. platelet count was 0. Blood in sneezes & bleeding gums & behavior change. Was acting normal, besides bleeding; went to jump up on couch w/ us & cried out biggest yelp I ever heard him do. Hurt hind leg. He just laid in kennel & acted depressed. He would not eat or drink & or get up to pee. Hind legs didn't work well. ER but d/t cost we took him home & kept close eye. Rough night his breathing/labored didn't think would live but made it thru night one. Day 2, platelet count 4, Day 3, plts 1500. Energy & mood getting better. Tries to overdo activity. On Prednisone, Famotidine to protect stomach, Doxycycline in case this was tick borne cause (we treat monthly for flea & tick). Left leg still sore, hopeful it will heal, I suspect hemorrhaged into muscle on day 1. Today is day 7 and anxious to see what plt count is today. Vet hopes after 3 weeks of prednisone weaning off will be possible. Time will tell.
—Guest Carrie

low platelet s

Dawson is a 5year old Icelandic sheepdog. At 2 after a Kkennel cough vaccination, he started having low platelet issues. After a year of docyc and prednisone, wegot under control. We are now in our 3rd battle with this disease. Dawson platelet level a few days ago was 1. He is on the meds again. Another test on Tuesday due. He is acting ok
—Guest julie

Nikko- our Gentle Giant

Seemed normal, 3 days later lethargic pale gums increased rapid breathing bloodwork showed normals highs few lows, but absolutely no platelets seen. No heart worms slight coughing coughed up 1 tsp bright red blood once appetite good drinking plenty water urinating clear urine. Bowel movement small & very hard. Presented at vets w/ temp 104.5. Weight loss. Now on prednisone doxycycline pepsid tramadol prn meds started 2 days ago. 9 years old. Never been sick able to walk slower but shows strong need to walk outside occasionally. Eats grass small amounts. Rests most of time. More we can do? Possible improvement? Prognosis? Best food for him? Any answers advice etc. please. May be frank with me. I need to know as I don't want to just keep him alive because I love him so much. If no hope for his own good quality of life, I need to know. Thank you so much .
—Guest Debbie

When my dogs Platelet Count crashed

My Cocker Spaniel of 4 years went to the Vets for a routine teeth cleaning, my Vet called shortly after dropping her off and told me that Cinnamon was bleeding out in her belly and her blood platelets were real low and with bruising on her stomach and gums, I was reeling with shock. We then rushed her to an emergency hospital where they took and admitted her. They ran numerous tests and hours later they came and told us she was really sick and needed a blood transfusion, and she had IMT. She was bitten my a tick and developed a bacteria from the tick and caused her immune system to attack itself. Alll I said was save my dog. Over the next few days with medications and blood transfusions she was improving. I prayed to God please save my Cinnamon and if you do I will give back in some way to others. The next day her platelets were rising and in a safe zone. she was released from the hospital 7 days later. If it werent for the teeth cleaning and the Vet being observant she would
—Guest Patty

American Bulldog

My boy Petey was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia a year ago and responded well to treatments but had a relapse 2 weeks ago and has responded well to the prednisone both times, the only issue that we're having this time that we didn't last time is weight loss, unlike the last time he gained a lot of weight. He's dropped 10lbs in the last 2 weeks... should I be worried?
—Guest Amanda

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Thrombocytopenia: Dealing with your pet's disease and low platelet count

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