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Thrombocytopenia in dogs is defined as a reduced levels of circulating thrombocytes (platelets) below the normal cut-off value of 2 x 1011/L.

Causes include:

- Dirofilaria immitis[1], Angiostrongylus vasorum[2][3], Rickettsia spp, Leishmania infantum[4], Ehrlichia canis[5], Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia rossi[6], Anaplasma phagocytophilum[7]

Diagnosis is one of exclusion

Treatment depends on the underlying cause which should be accurately diagnosed in order to maximize clinical response and survival.

Initial therapy is aimed at ameliorating the coagulopathy with use of intravenous fresh frozen plasma to replace lost thrombocytes.


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  2. Gould SM & McInnes EL (1999) Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia associated with Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in a dog. Journal of Small Animal Practice 40:227–232
  3. O'neill E et al (2010) Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia associated with angiostrongylus vasorum infection in a Jack Russell terrier. Ir Vet J 63(7):434-440
  4. Cortese L et al (2009) Secondary immune-mediated thrombocytopenia in dogs naturally infected by Leishmania infantum. Vet Rec 164(25):778-782
  5. Giudice E et al (2010) Effect of desmopressin on immune-mediated haemorrhagic disorders due to canine monocytic ehrlichiosis: a preliminary study. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 33(6):610-614
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  13. Joshi BC & Jain NC (1977) Experimental immunologic thrombocytopenia in dogs: a study of thrombocytopenia and megakaryocytopoiesis. Res Vet Sci 22:11–17
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