If you follow me on instagram, you know that Buddy and I have had a heartbreaking week. I noticed what I thought was a terrible rash on his stomach –one that literally appeared overnight. Something felt off, and it was, so I rushed him to the vet. That rash was actually bruising from internal bleeding. the doctor was talking about x rays and ultrasounds to rule out tumors. Turns out, Buddy has an autoimmune disorder called Thrombocytopenia that attacks his platelets, so they’re at 4-20 when they should be 150-400. And as long as they’re below 50, he’s at risk for spontaneous internal bleeding. 

Thrombocytopenia in Dogs: How We Saved Buddy

He’s was GREAT spirits a day or two in. Eating his food, wagging his tail, and (surprise) everyone at the hospital loves him. He doesn’t seem sad, stressed, or like he’s in pain. Unfortunately, there was blood in his stool and his red blood cell count went down a little bit. Not terrible but not great, and the vet said she’s seen dogs who are in MUCH worse shape who turn around, so there’s reason to be optimistic.

We decided to give him one dose of chemo meds (he’s at low risk for some nausea but otherwise most dogs are very receptive) which should hopefully increase his platelet count. He’s also receiving steroids 2x a day, and will be for at least 6 months. Biggest concern was not getting the chemo medication in his veins and I’m happy/grateful to report that it went well. We’re expecting (and hoping) numbers will go up in 24-48 hours. Dogs who turn around (75-80% do really well) can lead a great life and possibly go off steroids after 6 months and never relapse, but it sounds like he is likely to need some level of steroids forever since there isn’t really a cure for this.

Human immunoglobulin

Buddy received human immunoglobulin which is shown to increase platelet count and reduce hospitalization stay. Honestly, there isn’t a ton of information on it because not many dogs receive it but the studies I’ve researched seen promising. I visited Buddy last night. 


A blood transfusion

Buddy was pretty lethargic yesterday but happy to see me. I wasn’t feeling too positive last night and received a call at
5:30am this morning. My heart was beating out of my chest because I expected to hear horrible news. His red blood cell count dropped and he received a blood transfusion. This sounds awful, and it is, but it happens and isn’t that uncommon in cases like this. The transfusion was scheduled to end at 1:00 (took 6 hours) so I called at 12:58 (yes, I’m that girl–it shouldn’t surprise you) and he’s already perking up. 

He was in the hospital for about a week, and the bills totaled almost $6000, but he pulled through and in 2022, almost 10 years later, is still here with me, happy, healthy, and medication free.