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Dr. Gene
Dr. Gene, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College
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my dogs platelet count was near zero. Bleeding out colon.

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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
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 4 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
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 4 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.
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...
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