Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which platelet counts in the blood are much lower than normal,there are many causes for this condition including cancer, some infections and even some medications.
Here however we are concerned with the condition initiated by a malfunctioning immune system, in this condition the immune system targets and destroys platelets.
The blood platelets are used by the body to seal any breaks in the blood vessels to arrest bleeding.
When there are not enough platelets it results in various types of bleeding. This can be from the gums, nose, intestinal tract, ear tips and eyes. Any small cuts or bruises will continue to bleed .
The symptoms include:
-Loss of appetite
-Unexplained bruising, especially on the belly
-Pale membranes...eyes and gums
-Black tarry stools or bloody stools
-Blood in the urine
-Prolonged bleeding after injury
Tests at your vet should be carried out as a matter of urgency, these will include blood tests
If the platelet count is very low a blood transfusion may be needed to save the dogs life
The treatment for immune-mediated thrombocytopenia is usually by a course of steroids ,this will suppress the dogs immune system stopping the destruction of the platelets
The drug therapy may have to be continued for some time, perhaps for life as relapses are common with this disease. Once medicated and stable however the prognosis is fair
This disease is commonly found alongside AIHA and Systemic Lupus