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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A breeder friend of mine has just learned that her sweet, sweet Lola has Thrombocytopenia. Her platelets keep dropping, I only hope it is something that they can treat her for. Has anyone ever had a dog diagnosed with this disease?

I guess what I am asking is for everyone to keep Lola in their prayers.

9,241 Posts
Gosh, I have never heard of that before...I am so sorry that your friend is going through this...even though I have no understanding of the disease, I do know how we all worry and fear for our precious dogs...I certainly will include your friend and Lola in my prayers.

60 Posts
Here is what I found

Note the small red spots on the skin. These spots are areas of bleeding called "petechiae."


Thrombocytopenia is any disorder in which there are not enough platelets. Platelets are cells in the blood that help blood to clot. This condition is sometimes associated with abnormal bleeding.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Thrombocytopenia is often divided into three major causes of low platelets:

Low production of platelets in the bone marrow
Increased breakdown of platelets in the bloodstream (called intravascular)
Increased breakdown of platelets in the spleen or liver (called extravascular)
Disorders that involve low production in the bone marrow include:

Aplastic anemia
Cancer in the bone marrow
Infections in the bone marrow (rare)
Drugs (very rare)
Disorders that involve the breakdown of platelets include:

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
Drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia
Drug-induced nonimmune thrombocytopenia
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
Primary thrombocythemia
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
Hypersplenism (an enlarged spleen)

Nosebleeds or bleeding in the mouth
Rash (pinpoint red spots)
Other symptoms may be present as well, depending on the cause of the condition. Mild thrombocytopenia can occur without symptoms.

Signs and tests

CBC shows low platelets
Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy may be normal or may show low megakaryocytes (platelet precursors) or an infiltrating disease.
PTT clotting study is normal
PT clotting study is normal
Platelet associated antibodies may be present

Treatment depends on the cause of the condition. In some cases, a transfusion of platelets may be required to stop or prevent bleeding.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on the disorder causing the low platelet counts.


Gastrointestinal bleeding (vomiting blood or blood in the stools)
Bleeding in the brain (intracranial hemorrhage)
Calling your health care provider

Call your healthcare provider if you experience unexplained bleeding or bruising.


Prevention depends on the specific cause.

Section: Overview

Thrombocytopenia refers to an abnormally low blood-concentration of platelets, which are blood cells that promote blood clotting after injury to the lining of the blood vessels. When the concentration of platelets becomes too low, bruising and bleeding may occur. Dogs with blood platelet concentrations of less than 40,000 per microliter of blood are at risk for spontaneous bleeding.

Abnormally low platelet numbers in blood can be caused by a variety of disease processes. These include failure to produce new platelets in the bone marrow, premature destruction of circulating platelets often by the body's own immune system, sequestration or storing of platelets in organs, and consumption of platelets at a rate that exceeds production in the bone marrow.

Dogs of either gender, any age and any breed can suffer from thrombocytopenia.

The severity of bleeding associated with thrombocytopenia depends on how low the platelet numbers fall. In general, the lower the platelet count, the more likely bleeding is to occur.

What to Watch For

Small red spots on the white parts of the eyes (sclera), the gums or the skin

Bruises on the skin (ecchymoses)

Nose bleeds (epistaxis)

Bloody urine

Bloody stool


Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize thrombocytopenia and exclude other diseases. Tests may include:

A complete medical history and physical examination. Your veterinarian will ask about previous vaccinations and drug administration as possible factors in the development of thrombocytopenia.

A complete blood count (CBC or hemogram) including a platelet count to identify thrombocytopenia and anemia that may arise from bleeding

Serum biochemistry tests to evaluate for abnormalities in other organ systems and to evaluate the general health

Urinalysis to evaluate for infection, bleeding (hematuria) or protein loss that may occur as a complicating problem in some causes of thrombocytopenia

X-rays of the chest or abdomen to evaluate for the presence of other diseases such as infections or cancer that may be associated with thrombocytopenia.

Specific tests for infectious diseases, like tick-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or ehrlichiosis.

Bone marrow aspiration to obtain a sample for laboratory analysis if there is concern that your dog's bone marrow may not be making adequate numbers of platelets or may have been invaded by cancer. This procedure often is performed under sedation with a local anesthetic to numb the biopsy site.

Other tests of blood clotting. Body-wide abnormalities in coagulation (disseminated intravascular coagulation) can result in massive consumption of platelets.

Immune system function tests if an immune-mediated disease is suspected. In this case the body fails to recognize the platelets as part of itself and attacks them as if they were foreign invaders. The body may consider the platelets as foreign invaders if they become coated with certain drugs or infectious agents.

1,254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought I would update everyone on Lola. I am happy to say that Lola is doing great. The vet has come to the conclusion that Lola's problem was caused by her vaccinations, pretty scary!! They came so close to losing Lola and they are so thankful that she has made a turn for the better and will make a complete recovery. She's a very lucky Labradoodle :)

9,241 Posts
Thanks for posting the update, Diane...vaccines? hear about things like that...but always pray that it never happens to your pup...I am glad that Lola is doing better...poor little thing...

Thanks to you too, Kendra...good info!
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