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D2006-12

Dear Daisy Dog

My name is Major, and I recently had immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. My immune system attacked and destroyed my platelets, which are needed for blood clotting.

My veterinarian treated the disease, and my platelet count returned to normal. However, I am still tired, and I walk slowly. Will my stamina ever return?

Daisy Responds

Chances are, it will return to normal over time.

Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT) may be triggered by any number of things: viruses, bacteria, heartworms and other infectious organisms, as well as cancer, vaccinations and a variety of drugs. Often, it is impossible to identify the trigger.

Breeds at highest risk are the cocker spaniel, English sheepdog, German shepherd and poodle.

IMT typically occurs when dogs are about six years old. Females are affected twice as frequently as males.

Dogs with IMT bleed easily, especially from the gums, nose and skin. Pinpoint red spots and bruises are signs of bleeding in the skin.

The lethargy, weakness and poor appetite that commonly occur may result from the IMT itself, the condition that triggered the IMT, or an additional immune-mediated disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Nearly half the dogs with IMT are treated successfully and suffer no recurrences. I hope you fall within this group, and that your stamina returns soon.

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