Idiopathic thrombocytopenia in dogs
I have a 10 year old husky cross who was having some weakness in her back due to discospondylosis but her appetite was low so we took her for x-rays and blood work. The x-rays showed that her spine condition had progressed and her blood work showed a low platelet count. We were given metacam to help her back but two days later her nose started to bleed and so we rushed her to the emergency clinic. At that time her platelets were only 1 per oil field and they stared her on 50 mg prednisone alternating with 2.5ml sulcrate to prevent an ulcer. The next day her platelets were up to 3 per oil field (around 54 when put through the counter) we had a few more x-rays done and they were normal, a ultrasound which was normal -- no tumors in spleen, liver, no noticeable ulcers or bleeding. We tried a vincristine treatment to hopefully boost her platelet counts but that has not resulted in a higher count which remains steady at 2-3 per oil field. She was on no medication before this which apparently can trigger this condition and suspect it is immune mediated. Our vet is putting her case onto some North American e-mail to see if a specialist somewhere has any more suggestions with regards to medication. I was reading about this condition in humans and not sure if this is a shot in the dark but new research has shown that when Heliobacter pylori present in digestive tract is treated with antibiotics that some had a dramatic increase in platelets. Not sure if this would be something to try in dogs? I know they have different species of Heliobacter in their guts but thought it wouldn't hurt to try? Sounds like this is most often a immune mediated problem but can possibly result from pathogens like Heliobacter, blood parasites from ticks or possibly a virus however I think there is little information on what the cause may be.
Just wondering if anyone else has information about this condition -- I know that if her platelets drop further she is at risk for a catastrophic bleed.