How to Increase Platelet Count in Dogs

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How to Increase Platelet Count in Dogs
How to Increase Platelet Count in Dogs

Platelets are small particles in the blood that form clots when an injury occurs, so that the bleeding stops. Low platelet count in dogs, called thrombocytopenia, is a treatable disease. Any breed of dog can develop a low platelet count and this can happen at any age. Fortunately, your dog's chances of recovering normal platelet levels by taking a treatment are good. In addition, you can help his recovery by decreasing the amount of physical activity he does and protecting him from injury.


Part 1 of 3: Recognizing the Signs of Low Platelet Count

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Step 1. Notice sudden, unexplained bruises

Bruises happen when there is bleeding under the skin. Since dogs that are low on platelets have a problem with clotting, bruises can develop when doing normal things like playing or going for a walk.

An isolated bruise does not mean that your dog is sick

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Step 2. See if he is lethargic

Signs of lethargy would be, for example, lying down all the time and not being interested in playing. In addition, he can go limp when taking a walk or playing with his favorite toys. If your dog looks tired and has no interest in anything, it's time to go to the vet.

There are several things that can cause lethargy in a dog, so don't assume he has a low platelet count

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Step 3. Look for excess mucus in your pet's snout

His nose might get wetter and stickier than usual or you might see mucus dripping from it. Also, he may be cleaning up the mucus in his own fur or around the house, so keep an eye out for such messes around.

As with the other symptoms of low platelet count, excess mucus can also have other causes

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Step 4. Notice if he coughs too much

Too much mucus can make the dog cough and the cough won't go away easily. A dog's cough will have a dry coughing sound or may produce phlegm.

If your pet is coughing, you will have to take him to the vet to find out why, regardless of what the cause is

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Step 5. Notice if his stool is dark, the color of oil

This happens because of the presence of blood in the gastrointestinal tract. If your dog's blood isn't clotting properly, he may have bleeding in his digestive system, which makes his stool very black.

It may scare you to see the color of the times change so much, but you don't need to panic. A veterinarian can find out what is causing your symptoms and treat them

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Step 6. Ask the vet to see if the dog has a fever or has a heart murmur

Do not try to measure the dog's temperature or pulse yourself. If you haven't been trained to do this, it's very easy to get it wrong. Have a veterinarian examine your dog to see if he has these symptoms.

It is not safe to take a dog's temperature at home as it will move and this can hurt it. Also, feeling the dog's muzzle or ears is not a reliable way to take his temperature

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Step 7. Go to the veterinarian immediately if the dog collapses or bleeds in his urine

These two symptoms are serious and need immediate veterinary attention, but it is still possible for the animal to recover if treated quickly.

If it's past business hours, find a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic near your home

Part 2 of 3: Seeking Veterinary Treatment

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Step 1. Let the veterinarian do the necessary tests to find the cause of the problem

Low platelet counts in dogs can be caused by several clinical conditions and many of them are serious. The most common causes include excessive bleeding, problems with bone marrow function, infections, immune system problems, and certain types of cancer such as leukemia and lymphoma. The best treatment will depend on the cause of the health problem. To get the right diagnosis, the veterinarian may order the following tests:

  • One blood count will show if the platelet count is low. It also helps the veterinarian see for infections or find out if the dog's immune system is attacking its own platelets.
  • One X-ray will show if the dog has internal lesions, which can cause low platelet counts.
  • One ultrasound it also checks for internal lesions and tumors.
  • An bone marrow sample will help your veterinarian make sure your pet does not have cancer or bone marrow exhaustion, but he may not need this test.
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Step 2. Ask about medications to increase your dog's blood platelet levels

The veterinarian can prescribe various medications depending on what is causing this low platelet count. Since low count is a secondary health condition, there is no standard treatment for it. However, the veterinarian can give you some medication that will increase the amount of platelets quickly, even if the effect is not lasting.

  • For example, he may prescribe romiplostim, which increases the level of platelets.
  • Even a temporary increase in platelet counts can make a big difference, as it will help with blood clotting if damage occurs, which could even save your dog's life.
  • Autoimmune diseases are among the most common causes of low platelet counts in dogs, as they cause the body to attack its own platelets. Treatment for autoimmune diseases is high doses of steroids, which can stop these inappropriate immune system responses.
  • If your dog has an autoimmune disease and does not respond well to steroid treatment, your veterinarian may recommend chemotherapy along with the steroids.
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Step 3. Have a blood transfusion to balance the animal's blood platelet levels, if necessary

Your dog may receive a blood transfusion if the low platelet count is caused or made worse by anemia. The veterinarian may also transfuse blood to treat low platelets caused by other health problems if he believes this will make the dog recover faster. The platelets that will come with the transfusion will increase his blood count and make his clinical condition improve.

  • The veterinarian will most likely perform the transfusion in the office. Since a low platelet count is usually caused by a serious health problem, the veterinarian will need to keep the dog under observation for at least one night.
  • In rare cases, the veterinarian will have to exchange all of the dog's blood for transfusion. This corrects anemia, in addition to increasing the platelet count.
  • In some cases, the transfusion will only bring a temporary improvement, as the problem that is causing this condition can destroy healthy platelets.
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Step 4. Follow the treatment given by the veterinarian

You will probably have to give your pet medicine for three or four months, sometimes even longer. The good news is that most dogs can recover from low platelet counts if they complete the treatment correctly.

For example, your dog may have to undergo immunosuppressive therapy if his immune system is attacking his own platelets. Likewise, he will be treated for cancer if the vet diagnoses him with leukemia or lymphoma. The type of treatment your pet will need will depend on the cause of the low platelet count

Part 3 of 3: Making Routine Changes

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Step 1. Swap his ration for a moist nutritious food, which is gentler on his gums

Since the gum is soft, it is very easy to scrape it and cause bleeding. Unfortunately, this type of injury is quite serious for a dog who has low platelets in his blood. Until the veterinarian says your pet has improved, feed the dogs moist, balanced food.


ask your veterinarian which food is best for your dog. He can recommend the best option to help your pet's recovery.

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Step 2. Reduce your dog's physical activities to help him recover

Your pet needs to rest until it starts to feel better. Also, fewer physical activities mean less chance of accidental injury. Since any bump can cause a bruise, it's dangerous to let your dog get too much exercise.

  • Give him a soft blanket or bed to lie down on and encourage him to stay there during recovery.
  • Consult a veterinarian before allowing the puppy to return to his normal level of exercise.
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Step 3. Remove anything that could cause injury from the animal's area

It's important not to let your dog get hurt while his platelet count is low, as the blood won't clot properly. Unfortunately, even a bump or a scratch can turn into a serious, life-threatening injury. Protect your pet by inspecting your home and taking out anything that could harm it.

For example, don't leave things lying on the floor and arrange everything you have on the shelves very well. The doors, in turn, must be either fully closed or fully open. Putting something soft in the corners of furniture is also a good idea

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Step 4. Supervise your dog closely as he walks or interacts with other animals

Your dog will be most vulnerable when outdoors or with other animals. This is because something in the way can hurt you, like a thrown branch or a hole in the ground. Following this same reasoning, there is no way to predict how other animals will act. Be very careful with your pet during recovery.

If you can, keep your dog away from other animals and try to walk him in an area you know well


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