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ginky March 6th, 2011 03:41 PM

low platelet count in Kyra my 8 year old mixed breed Chow
Hello. The vet did the blood work on my 8 yr old mixed breed Chow and the platelet count came back again this year LOW. He said not to worry as the platelet count may be high the next day. Should I worry?? I don't want something to sneak up on us and it is then too late to treat it. Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

hazelrunpack March 6th, 2011 05:48 PM

How low was it? Does your dog get into many ticks in KY, ginky? If so, has your vet done a tick panel on your dog? Many of the tick-borne illnesses, like anaplasmosis, can cause low platelet counts.

SuperWanda March 7th, 2011 11:34 AM

Hi ginky -- my thread is right next to yours at the moment -- called idiopathic thrombocytopenia (basically the medical term for low blood platelets with no known cause). My dog had low blood platelets but also showed other symptoms like lethargy, low appetite and lameness.

In the end she had the tick disease anaplasmosis. Like hazelrunpack has said many other tick borne diseases can also cause low blood platelets. Other reasons platelets can drop are immune disease, ITP (which my dog was misdiagnosed with), vaccines or other medications, chemicals or toxins.

That being said, platelets naturally vary a little bit within the normal range. For some labs, >180,000 is normal, for others >200,000. Also, if it takes too long for the sample to arrive in the lab, platelets clump together, and the machine artificially reads less platelets in the sample.

Do you know the actually number of the platelet count? If your dog is not experiencing any other symptoms you might want to test again to confirm that the platelets are still low. Perhaps do a tick panel like hazelrunpack has suggested. With tick disease, if a dog does not show clinical symptoms, some vets will not prescribe antibiotic treatment. Many dogs test positive for tick disease and do not show symptoms if they are able to fight off the infection themselves, while some dogs get very sick. Some tick disease can remain hidden in a subclinical phase and reappear down the road when the dog becomes older or ill. So, it is good to rule out with testing.

ginky March 7th, 2011 12:25 PM

Thank you very much for your help. I am taking her back to the vet today to discuss all that has been advised here. Thanks Thanks

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