The function of platelets is the blood clottingThis is what explains that low platelets in dogs can lead to hemorrhages of greater or lesser severity. Precisely of this situation we will speak in this article of Animal Expert: the causes and the treatment of low platelets in dogs.
We can know the number of platelets a dog has by performing a blood test in our trusted veterinary clinic, a very basic diagnostic test. Then it will be the veterinarian's task to determine why our dog has an altered number of platelets and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Thrombocytopenia in dogs
The thrombocytopenia It refers to a low platelet number in dogs. This can have negative consequences for your health because, as we have said, platelets are involved in blood clotting. Therefore, if platelets are very low in a dog, this could bleed just by getting hurt. Intense internal bleeding may cause shock and even death.
The number of platelets a dog has is determined by extracting and analyzing a blood sample. You can also study how your coagulation works. Of course, the number of platelets in dogs does not tell us what is due, so the veterinarian will have to discover the cause.
Platelets may be lacking due to insufficient production, massive destruction or excessive consumption. Symptoms occur when thrombocytopenia is intense. The opposite would be high platelets in dogs, which could cause thrombi. It would be the thrombocytosis, very rare in dogs.
Low platelet count, or thrombocytopenia, is a serious disease that requires veterinary attention.
Low platelet count, or thrombocytopenia, is a serious disease that requires veterinary attention. Dogs suffering from thrombocytopenia often require hospitalization and emergency blood transfusions. After the initial life-threatening period has elapsed, your veterinarian may recommend additional treatment, such as antibiotics, to treat any underlying infection or problem.
Thrombocytopenia is a serious condition that requires urgent attention from the veterinarian.
How to know if a dog has low platelets?
As a symptom of low platelets in dogs we can highlight the hemorrhages, that is, if we observe that the dog becomes a wound that does not stop bleeding, We appreciate bruises somewhere in your body or bleeds from the nose or mucous membranes. In this case we would observe that the dog has blood coming out of the mouth. Thrombocytopenia will be among the possible causes and the veterinarian should diagnose why platelets are at abnormally low values.
Other times there is no direct bleeding, but a stippling that we can detect in hairless areas like the inside of the ears, mouth or belly. Are the petechiae. In addition, we may notice blood in the dog's feces or that the dog urinates blood. Contrary to what happens with other disorders, thrombocytopenia can be seen in dogs of any age, as it may be due to inherited diseases.
Causes of thrombocytopenia in dogs
Some causes of low platelets in dogs are as follows:
- Hemophilia: hereditary disease that causes coagulation disorders. It is transmitted by females but usually the males suffer. Affected animals should not reproduce.
- Von Willebrand disease: The absence of a clotting factor is responsible for the hemorrhages cannot be controlled. It is hereditary, which discourages raising with them.
- Coagulation disorders: In addition to the mentioned pathologies, there are several alterations in coagulation factors. They are also hereditary.
- Immunomediated pathologies: in these cases it is the dog's own immune system that attacks and destroys its own platelets. They are usually idiopathic, that is, of unknown origin.
- Leukemia: This type of cancer affects the components of the blood. For example, we can find leukocytes and low platelets in affected dogs, but, also, erythrocytes, eosinophils, etc. can be reduced. These dogs will have, among other signs, fever, anorexia, anemia or weight loss.
- CID: This is an acquired bleeding disorder that is triggered after a serious situation such as some tumors, infections or circumstances such as heat stroke. It is disseminated intravascular coagulation. It consists of the expense of all coagulation factors so that when they run out, the bleeding is triggered. It usually leads to the death of the dog.
- Vitamin K deficit: It is another acquired disorder that is usually related to poisonings with products such as raticides. The prognosis will depend on the severity of the poisoning.
Finally, we must bear in mind that some drugs They can also decrease the number of platelets.
How to raise a dog's platelets?
The first thing is to establish a correct and fast diagnosis for those low platelets in our dog, especially if it presents an active hemorrhage. To solve this situation it is necessary to increase the number of platelets. In this way coagulation is regulated and hemorrhage is contained.
This is achieved with a blood transfusion fresh whole, which is also recommended to stabilize the dog that has already lost a lot in the bleeding. Of course, this treatment will be established by the veterinarian. If there is destruction of platelets due to involvement of the immune system also corticosteroids will be prescribed to stop it The rest of the medication will depend on the cause of thrombocytopenia.
Thus, we can't talk about home remedies for low platelets in dogs, since veterinary intervention will be required. Yes we can favor the recovery of the dog depending on the cause responsible for the deficit by providing quality food and proper hydration.
This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Low platelets in dogs - Causes and treatment, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.
Why platelets are lowered
When we notice that our dog is down, weak or not even wanting to share time with us, it is possible that he has low platelets. This is caused by different factors:
- Leukemia. This blood disease causes platelets to weaken. They end up disappearing while the immune system is affected.
- Lymphoma Any type of cancer cell causes enormous damage in the blood, and therefore in the amount of platelets.
- Immunomediated thrombocytonemia. Due to this disease, the dog's body creates antibodies that fight platelets and destroys them.
- Wounds with hemorrhages. Due to the loss of blood, the loss of platelets is also generated.
- Infections such as tick or ehrlichiosis. It also destroys the platelets of your pet's body.
Symptoms of platelet lowering
How can you tell if your dog has low platelets? Observing their behavior, then There are several signs that will show you that something does not work as it should.
These are some of the signs:
- Apathy, not only at the time of playing, but also at the time of eating
- Skin bruises deb>
How to raise low platelets in dogs
Once we have recognized the causes and symptoms, let's see how we can help our pet. Above all remember that It is very important that it was the veterinarian who has diagnosed the lack of platelets in the animal
You must follow the indicated treatment that will counteract the situation. Usually The vet can suggest a transfusion, corticosteroids, iron or medication administered orally or intravenously.
Now, there are things you can do at home to reinforce the veterinarian's treatment. But all without forgetting that this must be followed to the letter.
- Hydration is very important, since the lowering of platelets usually generates fever.
- Although it sounds strange to you, Chicken broth is one of the best foods to raise platelets. Make one with enough vegetables and let it cook well. The vegetables can be crushed later and take advantage of them too. Both in broth and in cream of vegetables, it will be ideal for your dog to raise its platelets and at the same time to keep it hydrated.
- As we commented before, the veterinarian will prescribe iron to your pet, so giving foods rich in this mineral such as chicken liver will be good for recovery.
- Let it rest for a few days and prevent it from exercising. Do it this way not only because of fatigue, but because on the street you could be in contact with ticks that could make the situation worse.
- Natural coconut water, that is, it is not canned, provides a lot of vitamins and minerals that will help you put your platelets in place.
- The shredded chicken cooked without additives will be great to recover.
These are only home remedies and in no case replace the precepts of the veterinarian, but complement it. Remember that Watching your dog and being aware of your changes is key to recovery..
What is a low platelet count?
Platelets are fragments of cells that help prevent blood loss when a blood vessel fractures or an injury occurs. When the platelet count is low, there is a risk that the animal will bleed even from a small injury. Thrombocytopenia can be congenital, but most cases are acquired. This means that they occur after severe blood loss, bone marrow problems or the administration of certain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen and penicillin.
Signs and symptoms
A dog with a count low of platelets does not always show symptoms. Sometimes, only a blood test shows that something is wrong. Some dogs experience bleeding gums, or they may bleed after an injection. Some dogs also get hurt easily, develop nosebleeds or a red rash caused by rupture and leakage of the capillaries under the skin. Without a transfusion, a dog will weaken more and more and could die. Always seek veterinary attention if your dog shows any of these symptoms.
Treatment depends on the condition of the dog and the underlying cause, but many dogs need a transfusion. In addition, dogs with a weak immune system may need immunosuppressive medications, such as corticosteroids. They may need antibiotics or other medications to treat conditions associated with bass. count of platelets Serious cases may require hospitalization until the dog is strong enough to go home. Conditions that can lead to a low platelet count include cancer, pancreatitis and altered bone marrow production.
Cases of thrombocytopenia that are the result of acute blood loss may require a blood transfusion or sometimes several. Without a transfusion, your dog may go into shock. If a transfusion is needed, it is usually an urgent decision. Transfusion reactions are always a risk, so dogs should be closely monitored. The risk of a negative reaction, which could cause shock or even death, is greater in dogs that have received transfusions in the past.
Why is it reduced like platelets?
When we realize that our dog is apathetic, weak or not even wanting to spend time with us, it is possible that he finds a low level of platelets. This is caused by several factors:
- Leukemia. This blood disease causes platelets to weaken. They end up disappearing, affecting the immune system.
- Lymphoma Any type of cancer cell causes enormous damage to the blood and, therefore, in the amount of platelets.
- Imunomediated thrombocytonemia. Because of this disease, the dog's body creates antibodies that fight platelets and destroys them.
- Wounds with hemorrhage. Due to the loss of blood, platelet loss also occurs.
- Infections, such as tick disease or eradication. It also destroys the platelets of your pet's body.
Dog with low platelets: see the symptoms presented
How can you tell if your dog has low platelets? Observing their behavior, since There are several signs that will show you that something is not working as it should.
These are some of the signs:
- Apathy, not only at the time of playing, but also at the time of eating
- Hematomas on the skin should>
How to increase dog platelets
Once we have recognized the causes and symptoms, let's see how we can help our pet. Above all, remember that It is very important that the veterinarian was to diagnose the lack of platelets in the animal
You must follow the prescribed treatment to reverse the situation. Usually, The veterinarian may suggest a transfusion, corticosteroids, iron or some medication It is given orally or intravenously.
Now, there are things you can do at home to reinforce the veterinarian's treatment. But all this without forgetting that this must be followed to the letter.
These are only home remedies and in no case replace the veterinarian's precepts, they only complement them. Remember that Watching your dog and being aware of changes in his behavior and appearance is the key to his recovery.
To have a correct diagnosis, in addition to the visual one, It is important to go to a veterinarian who can practice different tests at the physical and biochemical level of the dog, as well as requesting a test in which the platelet count is made.
You can also ask for other tests such as electrolyte control. It is very important in the visit to the veterinarian that we tell you in detail the dog mood, so it is our job to observe the pet carefully and be very specific with the moments and times.
Many times the result of these tests may indicate anemia, which can be an underlying cause for bleeding, and in this sense it is easy to take action.
However, if the problem persists and any syndrome has been detected in the dog, especially if it is one of the aforementioned breeds due to genetic predisposition for these diseases, other measures must be taken.
May be required more detailed exams in order to determine the functioning of platelets, prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time. In other words, it seeks to detect if there is difficulty of platelets so that they can join together.
Another simple test a veterinarian can do is make a minimal incision in the inside of the cheek. With this test the veterinarian can Determine the amount of blood and the time it takes to heal the wound.
Among other things the veterinarian can do is perform a platelet transfusion, prescribe iron-based supplements to help the production of platelets, administer corticosteroids or some type of oral or intravenous medication that can help the dog in his condition.
As owners we can do a lot so that the dog can recover and have the same quality of life.
First and once the veterinarian's diagnosis is received, it is time to seek the treatment that has been indicated to us for eliminate or counteract the disease. For example, and if it's tick disease, then you have to take special care inside the house until the platelets rise.
In addition, there are some home remedies that can help our pet raise platelets. As an example, we do well to keep the dog hydrated with enough fresh water and in a container that can be changed times a day.
In case the dog is not in the mood, we can give him ice cubes to help him drink.
On the other hand Chicken broth is very useful for raising platelets and not only works in humans. A broth with chicken, carrot, potato, onion and celery legs can be very nutritious. In the case of vegetables, we can crush them so that they are as a cream or in any case we can strain the solid ingredients to leave a broth.
Other foods that are rich in iron are chicken liver and veal, which can facilitate improvement in the dog. Natural coconut water also provides iron vitamins A and C and calcium. All these factors help increase platelets.
Finally It is recommended to keep the dog in the house for a few days and let it recover its energies at rest, without being in contact with other animals since these can be infected with ticks and can cause an injury that worsens the clinical picture.
These home remedies are very effective, but in no way substitute the veterinarian's diagnosis and the medication that should be taken. Remember that you have to be very aware of the dog's behavior and be attentive to changes, positive or negative, so that the dog can return to its activities and be happy again at our side.