Thrombocytopenia in Pets

How is Thrombocytopenia Diagnosed

A complete history from dog owners to identify  possible causes of the bleeding tendencies and gather information on when they started.

  • A physical exam by a veterinarian would look for signs of other diseases that may be a cause of the Thrombocytopenia
  • CBC ( complete blood count) and Platelet count performed. In addition, depending on the breed of your dog there lab values may differ from another breed. A good example of this is the Greyhound Breed… see more here  Lab Values in Greyhounds vs Other Breeds
  • A coagulation profile, which tests for the normal presence of clotting factors in the blood
  • A  veterinarian may recommend a dog with thrombocytopenia be tested for heartworm ehrlichiosis , and other infectious causes.
  • A urine and chemistry  panel would help to assess the health of other organs.
  • Radiographs may be recommended to look for  cancers or other diseases that could cause thrombocytopenia.
  • A bone marrow aspirate may also be recommended


  • Decreased production of platelets by the bone marrow
  • Increased use of platelets through blood clotting
  • Destruction of platelets by the immune system

Signs of Thrombocytopenia

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Small pinpoint hemorrhages called ‘petechiae’, commonly found on the mucous membranes such as the inside of the mouth.
  • Larger hemorrhages under the skin, especially their  belly and groin area
  • Bleeding from the mucous membranes including the gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract that may appear as black, tarry stools or stools with fresh blood in them
  • Blood in the urine
  • Hemorrhages in the eye
  • Prolonged bleeding after an injury or surgery


  • The prognosis depends on the cause and the severity of the condition. Relapses with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia are relatively common.

Disclaimer: “This content is strictly the opinion of the author and owner is not claiming to be an expert in this topic”. Consult your Veterinary Professional for all medical advice and treatment.