Saturday, 22 June, 2024

Thrombocytopenia in Dogs

Thrombocytopenia or thrombocytes in dogs is a disease in which the amount of platelets circulating in the blood becomes very low. Platelets are vital for the process of coagulation in the dog’s body and are required to avoid blood loss.

Low platelet counts can lead to problems such as spontaneous bruising and bleeding. Thrombocytopenia is one of the most common disease in dogs, and as many as five percent of all dogs in veterinary hospitals suffer from it. It may be a disorder of its own, or it may be a symptom of some underlying health problem.

Signs and Symptoms

Unexplained bleeding is a typical clinical sign that occurs in patients with IMTP. This may result in the following:

  • Bruising of the skin
  • Bleeding in the nose or in the mouth
  • Blood in stools or black stools
  • Blood in vomit
  • Urine blood

If a large amount of blood is lost resulting in anemia, then signs of IMTP would include:

  • Pale gums
  • Fast heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate and effort;
  • Reduced appetite
  • lethargic


Low platelet count is easily detected with full blood count, which monitors red and white blood cell defects as well as platelet and hemoglobin. Dogs having platelets below than 175,000 per microliter of blood platelet are not healthy. The veterinarian will take into account your dog’s recent history, so be sure to mention any bleeding damage that might suggest that the low count is caused by bleeding. Your veterinarian may need to take a sample of your dog’s bone marrow for examination through aspiration or biopsy. In more serious cases, veterinary tests like: x-rays and ultrasound may be required to complete the diagnosis.


Thrombocytopenia is a considered a treatable disease. Aggressive medical treatment is required, however, to support dogs with Thrombocytopenia and many need hospitalization. Immune response against the platelets must be managed with immunosuppressive drugs. Blood transfusion therapy usually treats anemia. Oxygen and fluid therapy are also used for supportive treatment during acute exposure. Because of how complex and diverse ITP is, the care of each patient is based on an individual presentation. Long-term therapy includes the use of immunosuppressive drugs and other drugs dependent on clinical signs. Dogs are also on medication for 6-8 months after the time of presentation. Any underlying condition would also need medication to help manage the ITP and reduce the risk of potential recurrence. Drugs or vaccines offered prior to disease should be avoided, as should potential immune stimulation.