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What is Low Platelet Count?

Low platelet count is not more common in any specific breed of dog, nor more likely to be found at any age. It is, however quite common, as studies have shown as many as 5% of dogs admitted to veterinary hospitals have low platelet count. Platelets bind together to clot broken or leaking blood vessels and prevent unnecessary blood loss, so a low platelet count compromises your dog’s ability to control bleeding, which can lead to bruising and excessive bleeding.

Thrombocytopenia is the condition of low blood platelets in dogs. Platelets are produced in blood marrow and exist to control or stop bleeding (hemostasis).

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Low Platelet Count Average Cost

From 155 quotes ranging from $500 - $10,000

Average Cost

$5,500

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Symptoms of Low Platelet Count in Dogs

Unfortunately, symptoms of low platelet count often don’t manifest until the count has dropped to dangerous levels. If your dog is exhibiting the following symptoms of low platelet count, do not delay in seeking veterinary help.

  • Excessive bruising
  • Severe or prolonged blood loss
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Heart murmur
  • Urinary bleeding
  • Excessive coughing
  • Excessive nasal mucus
  • Sudden collapse
Types

Low platelet count may be primary or secondary, meaning occurring in the absence of or as a result of an underlying disease.

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Causes of Low Platelet Count in Dogs

  • Severe blood loss, or hemorrhage
  • Increased internal destruction of platelets due to infection
  • Impaired bone marrow production
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Anemia
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Diagnosis of Low Platelet Count in Dogs

Low platelet count is easily diagnosed with a complete blood count, which checks for abnormalities in red and white blood cell count as well as platelet and hemoglobin. Healthy dogs have a platelet count between 175,000-500,000 platelets per microliter of blood, and anything below is diagnosed as low. The veterinarian will take your dog’s recent history into account, so be sure to report any trauma involving bleeding, which may indicate that the low count is caused by hemorrhaging. A coagulation profile, testing clotting capability of your dog’s blood, may also be performed.

The veterinarian may need to take a sample of your dog’s bone marrow for analysis, through aspiration or biopsy. In more severe cases, x-rays and ultrasounds may be needed in order to complete diagnosis.

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Treatment of Low Platelet Count in Dogs

In the case of low platelet count being a symptom of a more serious underlying disease, such as leukemia or lymphoma, the underlying problem will be treated. In the case of low platelet count being the primary issue, your dog’s platelet count will be directly addressed, possibly through a platelet transfusion or a blood transfusion, in the case of anemia.

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Recovery of Low Platelet Count in Dogs

The prognosis for leukemia and lymphoma vary case to case. However, the prognosis for all other causes of low platelet count is excellent, and your dog has a great chance of regaining and maintaining a healthy platelet count. In any case, it is very important to limit your dog’s chances of a cut or injury that may lead to hemorrhage during recovery. Depending upon the severity of the case, you may be advised by your veterinarian to adjust your dog’s activity or switch to softer foods in order to avoid bleeding gums. You may be required to return to the veterinarian regularly during recovery in order to monitor your dog’s platelet count.

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Cost of Low Platelet Count in Dogs

The overall cost will depend on the overall diagnosis. If the low platelet count is a result of a leukemia diagnosis, then the cancer will need to be treated. The cost can range from $455 to $4,800 which includes any possible pain medications and/or antibiotics. An additional $1,500 may be added if surgery is needed. If the low platelet count is a result of a lymphoma diagnosis, then it will need to be treated. The cost can range from $734 to $1,150 (which includes the cost of possible pain medications and/or antibiotics), with an additional $1,500 if surgery is needed. However, if the low platelet count is the only diagnosis then treatment can be a lot simpler and a lot cheaper. A platelet transfusion (or blood components) usually cost $150 to $420 per unit. However, if the dog requires whole blood, then it can cost $500 on average per unit. A dog can actually go through $1,000 of blood or blood components in a single day. This, of course, depends on the severity of the low platelet count.

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Low Platelet Count Average Cost

From 155 quotes ranging from $500 - $10,000

Average Cost

$5,500

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Low Platelet Count Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Aspin

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9 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Blood Urination, Excessive Eyes Discharge, Lethargy

My fog is diagnose with bipecia. Blood parasite anemia and low platelete. Before we go to the vet my dog is peeing urine with blood and losing weight from 10kls down to 8 in just a week. The vet advice to take the medicine idk what med is it but since it is costly i refused. And that week he is getting better even though no med at all. He started eating grass. His appetite back, his energy back like nothing happened. Should i still be worry about my dog? He is taking papi iron for now because thats all i can afford the mean time. I hope you can help me with this

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without knowing what is causing his problem, unfortunately, I don't have any way to know if you still need to be worried. It would be a good idea to call your veterinarian, let them know what you are giving, and see if they feel that he may be past the point of worry.

Oct. 11, 2020

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Pomeranian

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Eleven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

I have got my dog's blood tested yesterday. His WBC and RBC count is normal and hemoglobin in just above normal. However his platelet count is extremely low. What might be the reason?How can the count be increased soon? He weighs 15.35 kgs. also his ALT and ALKP is a little high. I've attached his reports below.

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. . Sometimes this is caused by an immune disorder, and the treatment that your veterinarian wrote on the paper is the best way to help get his platelet numbers back up. In the meantime, monitor for bruising, or vomiting, and if those things happen, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and help get treatment if it is appropriate.

Oct. 13, 2020

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Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

Jst few days ago his tumor(mouth) operation complete.....But I thik and my dr.suspected that his cancer ... So my question it is right ...That his cancer?

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Unfortunately, I cannot say if your dog has cancer without knowing anything more about him or the tumor... it would be best to talk to your veterinarian about this, and see what treatment might be available.

Oct. 21, 2020

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German Shepherd

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Tarry Stool

Hey my 6 year old German shepherd is suspected to have this virus. Firstly he did vomiting (loose motion did not take place but the stools were dark brown in color). No blood was there in the vomit or stools.The vet gave him medications and he was okay (stools were also normal). But after 3-4 days he again started to have the same thing the same medications were going on and his vomiting stopped but he started doing black stools and was having difficulty in walking after 2 days he couldn't sit and stand he only layed on the mat and for 1 day he wouldn't eat (he ate curd chapati a day before)

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is okay. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment that might be needed.

Oct. 24, 2020

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Eskipom

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9 weeks

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Being Treated For Low Hematocrit, After Blood Transfusion Her Plateletcount Is Lw.

Yesterday my puppy was in ICU for a low hematocrit, today her platelet count is low the treatment yesterday Cost $2,000 and now they want another $2,000 to investigate the low platelet count— what is reasonable to spend?

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. The cost of treatment for some conditions can vary depending on the cause and severity. If your pet is still having problems, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they will be able to examine them, see what might be going on, and get any treatment needed.

Oct. 24, 2020

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Ginger

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Boston Terrier

dog-age-icon

12 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My sweet Ginger is lethargic and has a platelet count of 0. The vet thinks it’s cancer as she is a 12 year old Boston. After a week of prednisone and abx, will recheck blood.

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Bear

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Schnoodle

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7 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bruising
Blind
Bleeding Gum

Monday, March 16th we woke to Bear our 7 year old Schnoodle not being able to see. We immediately called our Vet and they had me to bring him in ASAP. They ran several tests and it came back that the tests showed zero blood platelets. Our vet started him on 3 drugs including steroids. We went back the next day, which was yesterday and had another blood test. There was no change in the blood platelets and his white blood cell count dropped in the low end of normal. He is still unable to see, we believe he can see shadows, however if he is standing in front of a wall, he will walk into it, so we are being very cautious. We are going back Friday to have another blood draw to see if there is any improvement. Our vet said she had one case where the owners took their dog to Ohio State and got a blood transfusion, their dog died 3 days later. The vet had another case where she tapered their dog onto the drugs Bear is on and the dog made a full recovery. Our vet is aggressively treating Bear with the 3 medications in hopes platelets will show up Friday. Any advice is greatly appreciated if you have gone through this or seen this in other dogs.

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Dakota

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Yellow Labrador

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

I have a 10 year old yellow lab who I take to the vet every year for a check-up. This year my vet told me that her platelets came back low. He suggested putting her on steroids. I am not sure what to do. She has NO symptoms at all. No bruising at all, her appetite is fine as are her bowel movements. She is not lethargic. Should I put her on medication without really knowing what is wrong? Should I be looking at a change in diet instead of medicine? Any advise you can give me would be helpful.

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Tonka

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Australian Shepherd

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11 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

My Australian Shepherd, (11 yr), has been testing quite low plates for a few months now. First noticed after he had been on Carprofen, Methocarbam, & Gabapentin for back pain he was experiencing while staying with a daughter. After being back home for a while we noticed he wasn't having any issues, (1 story house), & since the blood platelet count was showing a problem we took him off all meds. Since being off meds his count did come up over the past 6 weeks. 2 of the meds list anemia & decreased white blood count as possible side affects. Wondering if anyone else has had similar issues with meds being the problem or if we should be pushing our vet to look further?

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Bella

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Yellow Labrador

dog-age-icon

5 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Anemia
Anemic
An
Anemic, Lethargic
Anemic, Lethargic, Losing Weight
Anemic, Lethargic,Losing Weight/Fur
Anemic,Lethargic,Losing Weight/Fur

Since February we have been so frustrated that our vet can not seem to figure out what is going on with our baby. Arriving back from vacation we find that she didn't eat for a couple of days and vomited all over the house. Tested her for lyme which was negative, put her on doxy and slowing gained her appetite but still not normal with her eating habits. Waited a week or so went back , platelet counts low again. More blood tests her white blood platelet is bouncing back and forth from 40 to 90, now red count is down. Put her on prednisone, started to eat a little more but very low energy and she was very bloated in her belly. Back to the vet not much change in her blood platelets then added amoxicillin. So now she is anemic, energy is low, eats her usual meals everyday. (in the process of weening off prednisone) and she is finished with the amoxicillin. We have had x-rays, ultra sounds and recently a radiograph which have turned up nothing.

Low Platelet Count Average Cost

From 155 quotes ranging from $500 - $10,000

Average Cost

$5,500

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