Thrombocytopenia in Dogs

You love your dog and you’re a great pet owner. You take him to the vet for his shots, make sure he’s up-to-date on all his medications, and never miss an appointment. But sometimes there are unexpected issues that come up with our pets’ health that we might not notice until it’s too late. Thrombocytopenia is one of these conditions that can be fatal if left untreated. Here’s what you need to know about this disorder:

What is Thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia is a condition where your dog’s platelets are low. Platelets are tiny cells in the blood that help with clotting. In other words, thrombocytopenia means there aren’t enough platelets for proper blood clotting.

To understand this better, let’s start with some definitions. A platelet is one of several types of cell fragments in the blood used to form clots (thrombus) when they come into contact with damaged tissue or an injured vessel wall. These little guys contain special proteins that help them stick together and clump together when there’s an injury so they can stop bleeding or repair damage to tissues like a broken bone or torn ligament – but only if you have enough available!

A thrombus and thrombocyte look similar but are actually different things: A thrombus is what forms when your dog’s body makes new blood vessels from old ones; it basically means “plug.” Meanwhile, a thrombocyte (also known as platelet) is another type of cell fragment that helps form new blood vessels when needed; these guys are small enough so as not get stuck inside larger ones like veins instead of arteries like most cells would do otherwise!

Causes of Thrombocytopenia

There are many causes of thrombocytopenia in dogs, including:

  • immune system disorders (i.e., autoimmune diseases)
  • cancer
  • trauma to the body that results in bleeding disorders (i.e., severe burns or other severe injuries)
  • drugs and toxins ingested by the dog’s owner that can cause blood platelet reduction (i.e., over-the-counter cold medications, prescription painkillers), mercury toxicity from eating fish with high mercury content

Symptoms of Thrombocytopenia

If your pet is experiencing thrombocytopenia, it’s likely that you’ll notice certain symptoms. These include bleeding gums, nosebleeds and rectal bleeding. It’s possible for your dog to have blood in their urine or stool as well.

If these symptoms are present, it’s important to see a veterinarian immediately so they can determine what’s causing them and how best to treat them.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune disease, so your dog’s immune system attacks and destroys its own platelets.

There are two types of thrombocytopenia: acquired and congenital. Acquired thrombocytopenia can be caused by infection, cancer or drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Congenital thrombocytopenia happens when dogs are born with a defect in their immune system that causes them to destroy their own platelets.

If you think your dog has acquired or congenital thrombocytopenia, see your vet right away! If they don’t get treatment quickly enough they may have serious problems with bleeding and bruising because there aren’t enough platelets around to stop bleeding when it occurs.

If you suspect your dog may have thrombocytopenia, it’s important to have them looked at by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you suspect your dog may have thrombocytopenia, it’s important to have them looked at by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Thrombocytopenia is a serious condition and can cause life-threatening problems quickly if left untreated. If you notice that your dog has any of the signs or symptoms listed above, contact your local veterinarian right away!


If your dog has symptoms of thrombocytopenia, a simple blood test can help determine what’s going on. From there, your vet may prescribe some medications to ease the symptoms and clear up whatever is causing them.