How to Raise Low Platelet Counts in Dogs

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In order to raise low platelet counts in dogs, you need to first figure out how low it is. Determine the right treatment for low platelet counts in dogs with guidance from a practicing veterinarian in this free video on dog health care.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Health Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Doctor Bob Pane, a veterinarian at SouthKendall.com. Let's talk about how to raise low platelet counts in dogs. For one thing we need to find out how low it is. If it' really, really low, you need to find out why it's low. Is it autoimmune problems, or is it from a tick born disease or is it from cancer. And all those three things are the main things I see in my practice that can cause it. Cancer can cause a foreign-ness to the platelets because they go through the cancer cells and the platelets become let's say, changed in morphology or characteristics and the body thinks they're foreign. And so if there's a cancer, you have to remove the cancer. And the most common cancer we see with low platelets are thrombocytopenia, is splenic cancer. If it's a big dog, have your veterinarian check it out, because with low platelets from that you need to get rid of that spleen. But, you also need to get that platelet count up as well. And so, you might need to transfuse the dog. We use steroids for low platelet counts if it's autoimmune. But again, autoimmune could be secondary to cancer, it could be secondary to a parasite called ehrlichia that we see a lot in Miami that can take the outside of the platelet and cause the body to think it's foreign and they get low platelets. If it's autoimmune by itself, which is often, probably you use steroids as well. But you gotta be really careful because steroids can cause ulceration or bleeding in the GI tract, and that can cause you to have more problems than the low platelets. But low platelets, if it gets really low, it can cause serious and fatal problems. They can bleed completely out, so you need to keep your dog very still and very, you know, un-traumatized. They can be playing with other dogs, they can be running around, because if they get hit they can bleed out. But, normally if the watch is multiple etiologies for the low platelet counts, you need to know those.

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