Thrombocytopenia is a condition of the immune function of the dog and, although it can be a common disease in these animals, its diagnosis is usually complicated to make and often goes unnoticed in the life of our canine.
When our dog must undergo some type of medical procedure, especially surgery, it is usually the most propitious time for the diagnosis of this disease. And, given the perspective of an intervention, preoperative examinations are those indicated and responsible for detecting these and any other anomalies that may exist.
Although it is usually an asymptomatic disease, today we are going to tell you what the indicators may be that your dog suffers from thrombocytopenia.
¿What is thrombocytopenia?
It is a medical condition where there is an abnormal level of platelets in the blood for the life of the dog. Platelets have the task of monitoring any bloodshed and should be created in the spinal cord and released into the bloodstream.
Thus, the presence of a low number of platelets poses a risk to the life of the canine and, of course, a danger if he was pending to face any surgical procedure.
Although it is usually an asymptomatic disease, there are always some signs that can alert us. Also, very varied causes of the disease are recognized, although the most common is usually an immune condition.
Immune thrombocytopenia is a malfunction in the immune system, since it is mistaken in the identification of platelets, taking them as invasive. Thus, try to destroy them.
However, when the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia is given, it is necessary to review and rule out different diseases before concluding that it can be directly an immune process.
In any case, the good news is that this disease usually has a very good prognosis of life and that, with appropriate and timely treatments, the dog can lead a normal life and without major complications.
¿Who can suffer from this disease?
Although all dogs are at risk of thrombocytopenia, there are some slightly more likely breeds and age ranges. For example, middle-aged dogs have a higher risk of presenting primary thrombocytopenia, which is the subtype that does not underlie another disease.
Dogs of medium breeds, such as poodle, cocker spaniels and German shepherd, are also at greater risk.
Remembering that one of the types may be an immunological disease, an especially important group are dogs with a tendency to autoimmune diseases, such as cocker spaniels, who usually suffer from diseases such as dog arthritis.
In any case, the presence of the disease in any breed, size or age of the dog can not be neglected, so the constant review at the veterinarian and attention to risk symptoms is key.
¿How can I identify the presence of thrombocytopenia?
Although most of the time the disease appears asymptomatic, the truth is that in some cases it does warn its presence, only that the symptoms are confused or masked by any other condition or the suspicion of a transient virus.
If thrombocytopenia is caused by taking any medication, these symptoms should occur only in the course of drug use and should disappear when the body can be restored.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Decay (the dog is less willing to do daily activities)
- Bleeding in the urine
- Constant cough
- Very frequent nasal runny nose
- Heart murmur
- Bleeding in the gums or nose.Physical collapse (only in the extreme case of the disease)
¿What to do in the case of the disease?
In principle, the diagnosis must be made by a veterinarian, through blood tests that show the low count. From there, it is necessary to review the possible causes, adjacent diseases and even any possible immune disorder.
Once the main cause of the disease is determined, it is necessary to determine the most appropriate way to attack the problem. If, for example, it is determined that thrombocytopenia is being caused by tick disease, the right thing to do is begin by attacking this condition.
If it is the consequence of the consumption of a medicine, the need to continue with that treatment should be evaluated, as well as the possibility of suspending it or alternating it with another drug.
However, if it is an immune thrombocytopenia, there is a treatment to suppress and control the excessive action of the immune system, so that it ceases to act in an excessive way against platelets.
In addition to controlling the disease, it is necessary to help the body in the restoration of the lost, changing the dog’s diet, including vitamin supplements and, in some cases, performing iron-on-blood treatments, to ensure greater effectiveness.
Lifestyle of a dog with thrombocytopenia
Once the cause of the condition has been determined and the dog is under treatment, it may be time to return to normal life.
Unless the case was at risk, it is normal for the animal to return to a quiet life, although with some care. For example, the veterinarian can restrict the consumption of certain hard or dangerous foods, which can pierce the gums, stomach or any part of the digestive tract.
Remember that, in the absence of a good platelet block, there is no real control for bleeding, so any slight bleeding can become a risk for the animal. Also, it is necessary to take care of the physical activities of the dog, away from work and places that may be potentially dangerous for their physical integrity.
The priority is always to avoid any cuts or bleeding that can lead to bleeding.
For the rest, it is essential that the dog is kept in frequent veterinary control, taking him to reviews, medicating him and performing periodic examinations to evaluate the evolution and any existing risk.