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Reading between the lines—and the paws

Hi all,

Oscar here. I know we've shared stories about times when your pets couldn't quite communicate what was wrong with them, since, well, we typically communicate by barking and meowing. This week we have another story that focuses on the difficulties of communicating with non-speaking pets—and a pooch who was sick and suffering from an illness that was asymptomatic, making it doubly difficult to diagnose!

So last week, a dog comes into the PPAC for a routine physical exam. Dr. S. took a look and noticed the pup had some red splotches on his tummy. He took a blood test and it came back showing that the pooch had 10,000 platelets. Now, just to level-set, a standard number of platelets is 200,000-300,000 so he was wayyyy under. Otherwise, as aforementioned, there was nothing visibly wrong with the dog. 

When dogs present asymptomatically, there are a few different potential causes—ehrlichia and babesiosis being the most common (but don't worry about those two hard to pronounce conditions—they're not really relevant because they weren't what was ailing the little guy.) What was in fact bugging him was something called ITP or idiopathicthrombocytopenia-yep,I know that's a mouthful! Good news is, though hard to pronounce, in most cases, it's fairly easy to treat this auto-immune disease that causes an inability for pooches to properly clot their blood. Dr. S. treated the dog with prednisone and some immunosuppressive drugs and monitored his platelets. And now, poochy is on the mend and his platelets are on the rise.

Bottom line, pets need you to be their voice most of the time because they can't really let humans know what's hurting them. So be sure to bring your pets in for regular checkups to keep them happy and healthy.

Til' next time,

Oscar


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