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Greyhound Platelet Disorders


Guest StarlaDear
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Guest StarlaDear

Hi...sadly from experience i now know, first hand, more that i would have ever hoped to about low platelet counts in greyhounds. My now eleven a half year old Starry was diagnosed with an "idiopathic" (meaning no one know what the heck is the reason) thrombocytopenia (low platelet count, platelets being the cells in the blood responsible for clotting) several years ago. After much distress and several very close calls Starry has now survied two such incidents of thrombocytopenia and has rec'd a concrete diagnosis of "Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia" most likely caused by a history of a long standing, low level Erlichia (tick borne disease) infection.

 

When she was diagnosed, and, when so many times it seemed like her hope of survival had run out i was beside myself. Up until that point i had always been able to rely on my fellow volunteers and adopters for advice and direction. One of their dogs had always "been there and done that". When Starry was stricken with this somewhat bizarre disorder everyone was at loss.... Over the years i have collected bits of advice and wisdom from several specialist vets, my local (life saver) vet, and from sources as well including: the GH-L (dr. stack and others), countless articles and publications, and other grey moms and dads having faced the same diagnosis.

 

This seems to be a very very busy forum, and, there seems to be a lot of wonderful greyhound moms and dads out their who, like me, want to do all they can for their hounds. I'm not sure if anyone has faced this problem or not, but, since this seems to be to "go-to" place for all things greyhound i wanted to make sure i made myself and any information i have collected along the way available to anyone who's precious hound is facing this potentially life treatening diagnosis. It seems to be something that doesn't come up as frequently as more common health issues, and, when it does it seems to be especially difficult because there are so many variables and so many "what-ifs" involved. It's a mysterious and scary disorder to face alone. I just wanted anyone and everyone to know that there is someone else "out there" who has really "been there" and "done that". Also, if anyone has any tips or ideas from their own experience with thrombocytopenia of any kind i would be so greytful to add them to my "bag of tricks"...with this kind of disorder you just never know what you might need to do or when.....

 

My sweet Starry has been recently diagnosed with a rapidly progressing renal failure most likely related to the menu foods recall. While she has been on a home cooked diet for over a year i was using recalled Nutro Natural Choice Ultra/Holisitic canned food to hide her many all natural supplements in and as "treat" meal now and then. For a long time i couldn't understand why she had to suffer through her platelet crises and what good could ever come of it. All that she has been through has helped me to be available for several other grey moms and dads when they were faced with the same diagnosis. Now that Starry's in her twilight i think this (along with all of the countless hours she has spent volunteering as an embassadog, a therapy dog, a canine good citizen, and a reading assisstance dog) will be her legacy. Both of us (starry and i) are happy to do what we can to help any hound and their moms and dads get through a platelet crisis or disorder.

 

Thanks for the oppurtunity to be able to try and flush some good out of what was a terrible experience for my precious little girl....

 

Sami & Sweet, Dear Starla

:wubsite

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Guest snakes

Thank you so much for this. I too have "been there, done that" with the idiopathic thrombocytopenia. We never did figure it out and although she made it through that 'episode' unfortunatly succumbed shortly after possibly low grade TBD, possibly food related, possibly anesthesia or medication, possibly something else.

 

Her platelet counts went down to 2000 one day and i thought we might loose her. There was nothing the vets could really do beyond medications such as prednisone and imuran (suppresses immune system), and spend as much time comforting her. One thing a couple fo vets did mention is that although we could leave her at the e-vet for monitoring, most greyhounds get so stressed out by the change in environment and not having thier owners around, it can actually make things worse. They seemed to be in agreement that the best thing was to keep her home, and as quiet as possible (something i couldn't have agreed on more!).

 

I did find through it all, keeping her cool and out of the sun was best. She developed a sensistivity to being out in the warm sun (She wouldn't walk, or only walk very slowly). We came to love very early morning and late night walks!

 

I too was beside myself during the thrombocyptopenia with worry and turned to this site. Any more information to help others is a great idea.

 

Good luck with your ailing pup, your dedication to Starry is obviously with much love.

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How low were her platelet counts? What are her kidney levels? If she only got some food here and there of the recalled food... her "kidney problems" may have nothing to do with the food at all. Was a urinalysis performed?

 

 

Bill

Lady

Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France

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Guest StarlaDear
Thank you so much for this. I too have "been there, done that" with the idiopathic thrombocytopenia. We never did figure it out and although she made it through that 'episode' unfortunatly succumbed shortly after possibly low grade TBD, possibly food related, possibly anesthesia or medication, possibly something else.

 

Her platelet counts went down to 2000 one day and i thought we might loose her. There was nothing the vets could really do beyond medications such as prednisone and imuran (suppresses immune system), and spend as much time comforting her. One thing a couple fo vets did mention is that although we could leave her at the e-vet for monitoring, most greyhounds get so stressed out by the change in environment and not having thier owners around, it can actually make things worse. They seemed to be in agreement that the best thing was to keep her home, and as quiet as possible (something i couldn't have agreed on more!).

 

I did find through it all, keeping her cool and out of the sun was best. She developed a sensistivity to being out in the warm sun (She wouldn't walk, or only walk very slowly). We came to love very early morning and late night walks!

 

I too was beside myself during the thrombocyptopenia with worry and turned to this site. Any more information to help others is a great idea.

 

Good luck with your ailing pup, your dedication to Starry is obviously with much love.

 

Wow! 2000!!!!!!!! Starry's lowest was 11000 and i thought that was just terrible! The poor thing was covered with bruises from top to bottom. She is white and brindle, so, under the white she looked purple. I was also told to leave her at the emergency vets "for a while" so they could watch, and, i also declined. Should she begin to bleed out there is very little that can be done anyway, and, i wouldn't want her to be a minute without me if she was scared or dying. I brought her home and laid on the floor next to the dog bed for several nights, until her platelet count was back over 100. She rec'd vincristine the second time, and, while i understand that is sometimes controversial it made her numbers better and made me feel better if nothing else. The first time (with imuran and pred and doxy) it took almost a month for her count to stay stable above 60. With the vincristine it was 102 in 48 hours and never dropped from there. Her last count was still a healthy 147 despite the kidney function failing.

 

We did the same thing, too, by the way....i was told to walk her as far as she could go as often as was possible to help with the muscle wasting from the pred. She loved to walk in the morning, and, because i live in a very safe neighborhood, she was out with me late at night, too....sometimes 9pm and again after midnight...she seemed to think it was an adventure!

 

Thanks for sharing your story with me! Is there a way to bookmark you screen name or something so that even if this thread disappears (do threads disappear, i'm new at this) i am still able to get in touch?

 

I am so so sorry your little girl did not make it through. The un-answered questions must be awful, still. My htoughts are with you....

 

Sami & My Sweet, Dear Starla

 

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Guest StarlaDear
How low were her platelet counts? What are her kidney levels? If she only got some food here and there of the recalled food... her "kidney problems" may have nothing to do with the food at all. Was a urinalysis performed?

 

Starry's lowest platelet count ever was 11000...it stayed that way for sometime the first incident, too. It was at least two weeks we were back and forth to the (old) local vet thinking it was some kind of "glitch" or something. She was a healthy 147 when i had her last lab work done.

 

Her Creatinine on the last set of labs i took a copy of was above 5, i believe. It has gone up "significantly"since then, but i chose not to know the exact values. Being an ICU nurse makes me over critical of lab values...just knowing they were worse was enough for me. She has had the whole kidney work up....xray for stones (neg) , us for masses (neg), urine for microalbuneremia (>32), urine for protien creatinine ration (high), and sterile cystocentesis for urine culture (also negative). She has also been re-tested for lepto and erlichia. Her erlichia titers always come back low positive. Lepto was negative. I may never know the reason for her sudden increase in kidney function values, but, she had a routine senior panel done in december and her creatinine was only 1.1 at that time. In March when i had her rechecked in response to the recall it was 3.6. She rec'd about a can of the food a day. It could all be a big coincidence, but, it is fishy to me.

 

I have her on a cooked diet that i worked out with the help of my vet and Kathy Johson on the K9 Kidney Diet list, and, she recieves SQ fluids everyother day, sometimes daily if she refuses a meal or seems kind of "punky".

 

My biggest concern is that she not suffer and waste away. She has good days and bad days now, but, she deserves (especially after all she has been through with her platelet disorder) better than to waste away and feel ill and weak in her twilight.

 

Thanks for the note....

sami & my sweet, dear starry

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Guest snakes

 

"Thanks for sharing your story with me! Is there a way to bookmark you screen name or something so that even if this thread disappears (do threads disappear, i'm new at this) i am still able to get in touch?"

 

I will email you at the address off of Starry's webpage. Feel free to contact me at any time, even if it just for the emotional support or to compare notes. I know what a rough time you must be going through.

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We know that hte recalled food does not cause a protein losing nephropathy (PLN) (the type of kidney disease that your pup has). However, it may have worsened her kidney disease since the kidneys were already compromised. Does that make sense?

 

We also know that Erhlichia can cause thrombocytopenia and PLN so was her Ehrlichia titer treated?

 

http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1352

 

 

Bill

Lady

Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France

FeemanSiggy1.jpg

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Guest StarlaDear
We know that hte recalled food does not cause a protein losing nephropathy (PLN) (the type of kidney disease that your pup has). However, it may have worsened her kidney disease since the kidneys were already compromised. Does that make sense?

 

We also know that Erhlichia can cause thrombocytopenia and PLN so was her Ehrlichia titer treated?

 

http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1352

My vet did explain to me the difference between the protien losing nephropathy and the kidney failure caused by the recalled food. The oddest part is that her bun and creatinine had always been fine and her protien levels stable until i had her tested in march in response to the recall. They (the bun and creatinine) are now more than 5x what they were in january. i'm sure it all could be a coincidence, but, it's still odd to me... and something i will feel guilty about forever...

 

Thank you for your help and for the link to the article. I guess the best i can do for her is be sure i learn about this (just as i did with the thrombocytopenia).

 

-s.

 

ps. she has been treated for doxy, several times now. each time a serious illness (of any kind) crops up she goes on treatment immediately. i have learned, over the years, so many things link back to that diagnosis.

Edited by StarlaDear
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  • 11 years later...

Just an hour ago, my vet messaged me that my Sif has very low platelet count (30s) She said she would have lab recheck, and test for the tick disease, but I am freaking out!!! She is 6 yrs old, and was rescued from Tucson Greyhound Park, 3 yrs ago. Shes been in Oregon for 3 yrs. I know from the years I lived in Arizona, that ticks are horrible there! Could she have picked this up there? This was the 1st time shes had blood work done, with me anyway...I read another post about bruising & sun/heat sensitivity, both which she has too! On Sunday I had to euthanize my 10 yr old kitty, who was in end stage renal failure, and not responding to treatment, but getting worse...I CANNOT lose my Sif! :(

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Wait to see if the lab ran a manual platelet count. Greyhound platelets tend to clump making automatic counts inaccurate. Also, hopefully your vet ran a snap 4dx test-it will test for multiple tick borne diseases.

Did your vet note bruising on the gumline or sclera?

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Vet will also ask lab to run an acuplex(?) for tick illness? She didnt mention any bruising. She did this CBC for a routine dental cleaning...But Ive noticed bruising at times. Thought I was seeing due to her sparse hair coat & thin skin, in areas on her body.

I will ask her about those you mentioned. And thank you!

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Results came back the same. Done manually and there was no clumping. She said she was making new platelets though. I think she tested positive for tick borne, but not which one...more tests tomorrow. She wanted to know if she was. Florida dog. Shes not. Bred in WV raced in Arizona. She was in a scuffle with another dog 3-4 weeks ago, and had a BIG bruise on her side! Vet thought that was significant. Thoughts?

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Pam, this is from your Facebook page. (Tbhounds is there as Tracy. I'm there as Macoduck Greys)

Easiest way for you to post other lab reports is to upload to FB, click on your photo to Copy it. Then come here and do a Control + V like I did with this report.

 

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