How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Gene Your Own Question

Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2527
Experience:  DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
20949193
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Gene is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my dogs platelet count was near zero. Bleeding out colon.

Resolved Question:

my dogs platelet count was near zero. Bleeding out colon. Transfusions including packed platelets don't last & platelets are destroyed. Can't do bone marrow puncture she'll bleed out trying steroids for autoimmune w/ transfusions until steroids work if they do. What else can they try? We are losing her. X-ray & ultrasound show nothing
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Hi there.

I'm sorry to hear of Melina's condition.

Most cases of decreased platelet numbers (thrombocytopenia) occur due to certain infections, drugs, parasites or cancers (secondary thrombocytopenia), or be an autoimmune-mediated event (primary thrombocytopenia).

In severe cases, which is what yours unfortunately appears to be, steroids are used in conjunction with immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine, azathioprine or cyclophosphamide. As an emergency treatment, a drug called vincristine is often used to bring the platelet numbers up; this usually has a positive effect in about 3-4 days, while supportive care is continued (fluids, stomach protectants). Antibiotic therapy (doxycycline) is used in case thrombocytopenia is related to infection, most of which are carried by ticks.

Unfortunately, the intestinal hemorrhage complicates the issue. In general, about 70% of dogs with immune mediated thrombocytopenia recover with steroid and other drug treatment. Excessive hemorrhage, however, decreases this number and worsens prognosis.

I would definitely add on doxycycline (antibiotic), a drug like azathioprine plus vincristine; this can improve chances significantly.

I hope this helps; please let me know if you have any other questions and best of luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Already on those meds. Receiviing a transfusion over next 4 hours. Probably last one. If that doesn't bring the count up to stop the amount of blood loss they say it's time to let her go. She is at an animal referral clinic staffed w/ specialists. She is checked every 5 minutes. We hope this transfusion will help but they say prognosis is very guarded. She could have cancer but they can't check for it
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, you mentioned only transfusions and steroids in your initial post. Most of the drugs take at least 3-4 days to take effect, so if it's been over 5-7 days with no effect, it's unfortunately not likely things will look better. If not, I would try to wait up to 7 days for the drugs to show effect.... I'm sorry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's been 3 days but she won't last 5 to 7 days. They say she has had too many transfusions already & is still leaking it out her gut. This is probably the last try. Whole blood packed w/ platelets.
Expert:  Dr. Gene replied 2 years ago.
Human immunoglobulin is something that is sometimes used in cases that don't respond to all of the other drugs after the initial 5-7 days. The hemorrhage, of course, is the determining factor; if severe, blood can't go in fast enough, so much is lost. This is very unfortunate... You can only do what you can, sometimes even the best therapy isn't enough. If she can just hold on for the next 2-3 days, hopefully, the platelets will start going up and bleeding will slow down. You have doing absolutely everything you can...
Dr. Gene, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2527
Experience: DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
Dr. Gene and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Dog Veterinarian
Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene
Dog Veterinarian
2527 Satisfied Customers
DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College