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Thread: HELP!! Thrombocytopenia (low platelet issue)

  1. #1
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    Default HELP!! Thrombocytopenia (low platelet issue)

    Hi. I requested our vet do a thyroid function test along with a CBC and urinalysis on our 2 yr. old Murphy. He has alot of issues with Jekyl and Hyde behavior, some limited SM type symptoms (yelping and spinning to look at his hind quarters)/air licking, has really excessive hair shedding and is generally very listless with no appetite.

    They questioned why I would even want to do testing (they think it is all behavioral). I just feel there is something wrong medically without boring you with all the boring detail. So I wanted to start with thyroid testing and move along from there. If it is not medical, great. They were also not happy because I asked that the test results be faxed to Tufts (a Dr. Dodd study).

    So today, the vet calls, says his thyroid is fine and says Murphy has a low platelet count and has immune thrombocytopenia and he wants to start him on steroids right away and proceeds to tell me all the weird side effects that the medication will cause.

    I said that I had read the breed has a history of a decreased number of blood platelets and could go along with no adverse effects and asked could this be the cause.

    Well, he was very abrupt and said NO DOG has this condition genetically. Just put him on the meds because he could bleed out. Said to watch for bleeding/bruising, etc. Said his count was 2.8 (??). Basically, he took the doctor is GOD approach and don't question me. He was in a hurry.

    Ok, it is Saturday and he was closing soon and we were on the phone. So I decided to go in and see him Monday to discuss this all further. I have printed off alot of info from the various health sites to take with me.

    Have any of you had blood results that show up low platelets and has your vet been aware of the condition in cavaliers? Have they been receptive to reading the info and learning or checking it further?

    The only other time I brought up the platelet health issue for cavaliers that our breeder told us about, I got a lecture on how breeders never went to medical school. This was a year ago when Murphy had zinc poisoning from pennies and they have him blood transfusions and chelation therapy because his platelet count was very low.

    Anyway, I like my vets and usually trust them. BUt I am very leary of putting Murphy on steroids. Any help you could give on this, I would really appreciate. Thanks for taking the time to read all this!
    Molly and Murphy (tri), Katie (ruby), Casey (B/T),Spike the wonder pup (tri), Suzie (tri) and Penny (blen)

  2. #2
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    How difficult for you & Murphy. I am sorry to hear of Murphy's condition. I am surprised after reading your details, you are still happy with your Vet. It seems like he doesn't want to be bothered with people that ask questions. Are there more sympathetic vets at the same clinic that you can communicate with better? Do you know of other Cavalier owners near you that can recommend a vet that is more in-tune to cavalier ailments?

    Please let us know how your meeting goes on Monday. That'll be a tough one. You stand your ground girl! Don't let that Dr. intimidate you.
    Charleen and Cav's: Pippin (ruby male), Merry (b&t female), Luke (blenheim male) & Jolly (tri male puppy)

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    Charleen, thanks for your encouraging words. The male vet is usually less likely to listen but generally I trust him with most things. Like alot of males (ahhhem!), he just doesn't like being questioned. I am going to see the female vet that I really like on Monday (she was just voted vet of the year in NJ). She graduated high school with my daughter and she is much more open! Wish me luck with poor Murphy's issues.
    Molly and Murphy (tri), Katie (ruby), Casey (B/T),Spike the wonder pup (tri), Suzie (tri) and Penny (blen)

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    Good luck Molly & Murphy! I'll be thinking about you both on Monday.

    Luke goes to the vet for the day on Monday. He has ear wax stuck in his ear canals and the vet has tried different treatments for the last month, to no avail. So Luke will be put under to have the wax surgically removed.

    So - I will definitely remember to pray for you & Murphy and a diagnosis.

    Take care
    Charleen and Cav's: Pippin (ruby male), Merry (b&t female), Luke (blenheim male) & Jolly (tri male puppy)

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    Charleen, we'll be sure to say a prayer for Luke too! Please let us know how he does. Hugs to him!
    Molly and Murphy (tri), Katie (ruby), Casey (B/T),Spike the wonder pup (tri), Suzie (tri) and Penny (blen)

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    Molly, please have the vet take a look at this webpage: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/platelets.htm Print it out for him. It lists several recent research articles which have concluded that low platelet counts in Cavaliers are a special case. Low platelet counts in CKCSs without any other symptoms do not indlicate any disorder and should not be treated with anything.

    Rod Russell
    Orlando, Florida USA

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    Molly, you might suggest to this vet that if he really knew all there is to know about low platelet counts in dogs, he would know that the Cavalier is an exception to the rule. (The fact is, the Cavalier is an exception to a lot of rules, and vets need to know about all of them: MVD, SM, glue ear, episodic falling, curly coat syndrome, fly catcher's syndrome, enlarged platelets, and low platelet counts.)

    When we were looking for a new vet a few years ago, we met with one and explained to him that Cavaliers suffer from early-onset mitral valve disease and are 20 times more likely to have it than the average breed. We handed to him copies of MVD research articles copied from veterinary journals, telling him he could have them and keep them in our dogs' file. He abruptly slid the papers back toward us, indicating that he did not need to receive any information about veterinary matters from a dog's owner. This kind of attitude is not worth tolerating. A Cavalier's life is too short to try to spend time to educate vets who are not openly willing to learn more about a particular breed's problems.

    Rod Russell
    Orlando, Florida USA

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    Molly,
    I would absolutely get a second opinion before having Murphy undergo any treatment.

    Geordie has the same platelet condition. When the vet ran Geordie's blood through a cell counter, it looked like very low platelets and extra white cells, causing some alarm. Then they did a manual cell count and found the large platelets. Here is what I copied from the ACKSC website and gave to my vet:

    http://www.ackcsc.org/health/cavalierplateletissues.pdf

    The vets have a permanent copy in Geordie's file.

    Now Geordie is going to Ohio State University for the PSOM study, and I have already notified his vets that he has this condition, and they want a copy of this for their files, too.

    Maybe your vet is right, and maybe he is wrong. But to treat Murphy for this condition if the vet is wrong could be life threatening, so I would absolutely go outside that practice to get a fresh second opinion!!
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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    One more thing, have they checked Murphy's knees and hips? Or done urinalysis?

    When India injured her knee a long time ago, she would yelp and look towards her butt quickly. She also seemed lethargic from that because walking was uncomfortable. She had to have surgery for luxating patella.

    India also yelps and looks toward her butt quickly when she has a UTI. UTIs make a dog lethargic, too.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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    Molly, I'm so sorry to read of your concerns for Murphy. I am very upset by your vet's attitude, I hate it when they treat you as a stupid pet owner and think you don't know anything.

    We have the time to research the conditions that affect our beloved breed, they can't possibly know everything about every breed - and species - so I believe we are partners in the care of our doglets and that we can learn together.

    I hope the lady vet is more receptive...please dont start the steroids yet. I don't know how many Cavaliers you have in your area, if it's not very many, they might not have come across this before.

    I hope it's not SM, you need to rule out everything else first. Like Cathy's India, my Peaches had luxating patellas - and hip dysplasia, amongst other things - it could accout for some of Murphy's symptoms.


    Cathy, I hope India is ok now


    Charleen - good luck to Luke for Monday, will be thinking of you
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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