View Full Version : low platelets - help needed

22nd September 2010, 04:12 PM
Hi everyone.
I haven't been on the site for a ver long time, but i'm looking for help.
Holly (nearly 5) had to have a blood transfusion last week as her platelets were too low.
Vet told me they should be between 180 and 500.
They were 90 when i brought her in. Dropped to 80, 78, 77, and then 40. - when they did transfusion.
She was in the vets for a week and they sent her home yesterday as there is nothing else they can do for her.
I went back today to get them tested again, and theyre gone down to....12. Really low.
Vet doesn't know how she's still so bright. They can't do another transfusion until next week as she only got one on Friday. Said i should really just see how she gets on.
She's in good form in general.
Brought her to another vets for a 2nd opinion today as i really just want to have peace of mind that i've done everything i can.
New vet is testing for lungworm (carried in slugs) in case that's what it could be.
Anyone else had this experience???
Any help would be greatly appreciated, as at this stage, i don't know how long she has left.
Thanks - Yvonne

22nd September 2010, 05:30 PM
I don't have any suggestions but I just wanted to say I hope Holly will be ok. You must be so worried. I'll be thinking of you :hug:

22nd September 2010, 05:43 PM
Thanks a lot Pauline.
I've been reading a few old posts and it seems to be that ckc's are known for having misread levels.
I've just spent a fortune on a weeks stay and a transfusion in vets.
I'm waiting for results from new vets who have sent bloods to UK to get manualy read.
Fingers crossed that's the reason platelets are low.

22nd September 2010, 05:46 PM
Yes, I read something about that also but it doesn't explain them dropping. I think you are doing the right thing having them manually counted. I hope she didn't have a transfusion for nothing.

Margaret C
22nd September 2010, 07:20 PM
Rod has information about the abnormal platelets found in cavaliers on his website..........


I have crossed my fingers for Holly as well :xfngr:

22nd September 2010, 09:09 PM
Oh dear, you must be so very worried! Thinking of you guys and hoping all is well :hug:

22nd September 2010, 09:34 PM
So sorry to read this Yvonne - sadly vets who are not familiar with Cavaliers often do not realise that Cavalier platelets need to be manually counted.

It's veyr odd though that they were dropping - but if she is that well, I can't understand there being something seriously wrong?

Please keep us posted and we do hope Holly will be ok.

PS nice to have you back with us, but sorry it's not under happy circumstances :(

23rd September 2010, 12:19 AM
Thanks guys.
I will know tomorrow late afternoon what the CORRECT levels are.
New vet also talked about lungworm which can give same symptoms but are caused by slugs.
Fingers crossed.

Cathy Moon
23rd September 2010, 12:45 AM
One of my cavaliers has the large platelets and very few of them - idiopathic macrothrombocytopenia.

I just looked through his records and found his counts (lab instrument counts) have been as low as 4.61 and another time it was 86.

This is normal for him and not a health problem. The condition doesn't require any treatment.

The vets always perform a manual count when I remind them, but I don't have any written records of the manual counts.

23rd September 2010, 09:22 AM
Maggie has large platelets and has to have a manual count each time. Something about the automatic machine misses them in sorting because they aren't small enough to be counted. Hope all is well with your babe.

23rd September 2010, 11:17 AM
This is a dissaster.
I'm now thinking I may have left her in a the vets for 7 nights when there was no need to.
Also she probably didn't need a blood transfusion.
I was going to insist on another one next week if she "lasted that long".
Just as well I didn't talk to them about bone marrow. Said I wouldn't go that far as I couldn't put her through it.
Saying that haven't got proper reading back yet..... But I'm certain she's nowhere near dead.
Just hoping they didn't miss what ever was causing her to be sick and+putting+it+down+to+low+platelet+count.+

23rd September 2010, 02:19 PM
Yvonne, if she had no other symptoms of any blood-related disorder, then this sounds like a typical case of mis-counted platelets by the lab, combined with the breed's well-known low platelet disorder. If so, then the vets owe you a big apology for their incompetence. Certainly, you should not have to pay for the time they wasted.

One would like to think that in the Ireland in 2010, where the Cavalier is the most popular toy breed, any veterinarian would be aware of this common platelet disorder in the breed. Take a copy of http://www.cavalierhealth.org/platelets.htm to your vets, and rub their noses in it!

23rd September 2010, 04:51 PM
Thanks Rod.
I've printed it off and will bring it to original vets tomorrow.
Unfortunetly i've just paid over 1K to them already.
It's more the fact that they had kept her for a full week if she didn't need to be there.
I didn't even visit her, as they suggested i shouldnt as she'd get to anxious.
When i rang them yesterday to tell them that their machine could be wrong, they told me that the white blood cells weren't too high.
Perhaps it's the white ones that are too low and this wan't seen at the vets.
Hope to hear more from new vets today as to what's REALLY wrong with her.
Thanks for all your help guys, i feel much better about it all now.

23rd September 2010, 05:53 PM
Just received news back from new Vet and her platelet count is 150. with a very large presense of large and clumped platelets.
Looks like poor holly just went through the mill for absolutely nothing.
They were treating it as low platelets and her being imune, when this was not the case.
Bringing her back to new vets tomorrow so they can have another look.
Will NOT be keeping my morning appointment with old vets.
Just sorry i didn't post anything last week that could have prevented her having the transfusion and 7 nights away without me.
Thanks all.

23rd September 2010, 09:07 PM
Oh no - the only thing is that it's good news that there is NOT anything wrong with Holly - it's a shame what you've both been through :(:(

I do hope you will follow Rod's suggestion and take his information into your old vets - and try to at least get a reduction in your bill.

23rd September 2010, 11:41 PM
Thanks all.
Do you think i have any chance of getting my money back from vets.
After all, they did put her through a transfusion and she didn't need it???
Confused about what to say to them.
I think i at least deserve an apology.
Thanks - Yvonne

24th September 2010, 12:29 AM
No harm in asking. If I was the vet, I'd give you the money back for the blood transfusion. Keep your cool and ask really nicely but don't back down too quickly. :hug:

Love my Cavaliers
24th September 2010, 12:47 AM
The vet could probably counter that her platelets are now at 150 after having given the blood transfusion time to work. Sorry, just playing devil's advocate here. I agree that not many vets know that they should be hand counted. I think you should at least inform them. And I am so happy that despite what you both went through, that Holly is none the worse for her experience. And she has probably already forgotten that she spent a week away from you. Don't you wish we could forgive and forget so easily?!!! i'm glad she's o.k.

Cathy Moon
24th September 2010, 01:05 AM
Thanks all.
Do you think i have any chance of getting my money back from vets.
After all, they did put her through a transfusion and she didn't need it???
Confused about what to say to them.
I think i at least deserve an apology.
Thanks - Yvonne

Yvonne, I feel that most certainly the vet should reimburse you. Let me explain why. When Geordie got his first blood test at our regular vet, it was for pre-surgical testing - he was going to be neutered. They saw the low platelet count, and their initial reaction was to do some research into what it could be, without alarming us unnecessarily, especially since he appeared to be healthy and had no symptoms!!! The vet looked on the Internet at some veterinary sites and found that it is normal in approximately 1/3 of all cavaliers. They immediately performed a manual count and then notified me of his condition. This took less than one hour to do, and I didn't have to experience any stress like what you went through. Your first vet is supposed to be just like a medical doctor, I believe, and 'first, do no harm'. I would insist on being reimbursed for the week long stay and the transfusion. The vet has learned a valuable lesson about jumping the gun and over-reacting.

24th September 2010, 01:08 AM
The vet has learned a valuable lesson about jumping the gun and over-reacting.

Good point.

24th September 2010, 11:06 AM
Thank goodness she is ok. I also think the vet owes you some sort of apology and maybe a refund too. Why did she have her blood test in the first place? Maybe you have already said -if so, sorry for asking again.

24th September 2010, 05:45 PM
Original tests were because she was vomiting and had blood in her poo.
Looks like a bad gasto infection at the time.
New vets doing a few more tests as there is another level in bloods that is extremely high (platelets not the problem though).
Thanks all.
If only i had asked this question last week :(

10th October 2010, 11:23 PM
we had this problem with candy (our tri )her pre op bloods where rediculously low (she was getting spayed ) they though the sample container was contaminated so they took another again was low , i looked here for help and found the giant platelette thread , when i mentioned this at the vets got a stroppy response from the nurse/assistant person along the lines of you cant believe all you read on the web , i had to print out the info and show her !!! as soon as they done a manual count all was fine to top it all a locum who had been there for a few days knew all about this .shame he wasnt there sooner would have saved a lot of worry, he said if the platelets were as low as the 'count ' indicated she would be dead !!! not running round trying to get out of the vets !! i hope everything with Holly is ok and i hope you get a decent reduction in your bill


10th October 2010, 11:31 PM
Hi Yvonne:

Will you PM me the name of the vets *privately* please?

I would definitely talk to them about refunding your money for an unnecessary procedure. This platelet issue is something ANY vet in the UK or Ireland should know, where this is one of the most popular breeds. If they refuse, I would politely note you intend to file a complaint with VICAS, the vets organisation, and will consider a small claims court action. I can give you the contact in VICAS.

As Cathy noted, a nanosecond of checking this issue on the internet would have brought up the *common* apparent low platelet issue in this breed. Most breed clubs internationally and many breeders have information posted to their site; I have an article inked here in the health section that can be printed out for vets and always give that handout to new rescue cavalier owners.

27th October 2010, 08:18 PM
Hi All.
I was off line for a while and only getting back to it now.
Holly in flying form thank god. All tests came back from new vets and nothing wrong with her at all.

Karlin - I PM'd you last night with details you were looking for.

Thanks again all.

27th October 2010, 08:26 PM
Well that's fantastic news about Holly, so pleased she is ok - that's a great relief for you, but tragic that you and Holly had to go through all that unnecessary treatment and stress :(:(

8th November 2010, 05:09 PM
Thanks guys. Holly is in great form and seems to be over the shock of the whole episode.

Karlin. Can you PM me the contact you said you had with VICAS.

Thanks - Yvonne