Registered Standard Poodles with Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP)

mode of inheritance: unknown

Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP)

Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (also known as idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura) is a disease in which the dog's own immune system attacks and destroys platelets, the blood cells that help to form blood clots and prevent bleeding. Poodles are one of the breeds at increased risk for this disease. Middle-aged female dogs are most affected, but ITP can occur in both sexes of all ages in all varieties.

Since there is no specific test for ITP, diagnosis can be made only when other forms of thrombocytopenia and various diseases capable of destroying platelets are ruled out. These include bone marrow cancer; bladder and prostrate infections; tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis; and clotting disorders like von Willebrandís Disease and hemophilia. Vaccinations; drugs like aspirin and sulfonamide antibiotics such as Primor; and toxic poisoning can also wipe out platelets.

Although signs may include loss of appetite, depression, weakness, and lethargy, the symptoms most associated with ITP are bruising and bleeding. The lower the platelet count, the more likely the dog will bleed. Petechiae (tiny blood spots) can be seen under the earflaps, on the gums, on the sclera (white part of the eye), or in the loin area of the dog. The dog may spontaneously bleed from the nostrils and also become anemic. Blood may be spotted in the urine or stool. In some cases, bleeding occurs into the abdomen, chest, brain, or spinal cord. With dangerously low platelet counts, severe bleeding can take place in any organ system. One study reports that approximately 25% of affected animals died or were euthanized; of the survivors, 50% recovered and 50% had relapses months to years later. Death is caused by severe blood loss.

Each case of ITP is different, depending on the condition of the dog and the initial platelet count. Protocol typically involves the suppression of the immune system with corticosteroids, like prednisone or dexamethasone. Frequent recheck examinations are necessary to monitor the platelet levels and possible side effects from the steroids. These side effects include excessive thirst, urinary tract infection, panting, and poor coat appearance.During this time, the dog must be kept calm to minimize bruising and bleeding.

Registered Standard Poodles:

Canams Jammin With The Band (Canams Blue Melodies Bonus x Ch. Canams Just A Page)
Ch JenaCo's Just Say Yes (Ch d'Kamron Kinsman x Ch Trelarken's Jammin' To JenaCo)

Links for Additional Information on ITP ;

Email list for dogs with autoimmune problems:
Cushing's Syndrome & Autoimmune Disease

Human site linking ITP to vaccinations:
Thrombocytopenia purpura & vaccination


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