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low platelets

Posted by Carterfamily (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 7, 11 at 21:12

three days ago we found a lab mix puppy that was dropped off in our area. There were three puppies, which have been placed in good homes. Hematit (Mati) was taken to the vet today, for her shots and a check up. Over the last few days she has been sleeping a lot, vomited once and had diarrhea. The vet tested for parvo which showed negative in the CBC and Stool testing. But the CBC also showed platelets of 13,000. We are starting antibiotics tomorrow, but the vet is unsure why a puppy (less then 12 weeks old) would have such low platelets. She was sure it was parvo. At no time was Mati's temp taken, heart listened to or anything. Just the blood test and stool sample. Now the vet called saying we should get additional test to rule out more serious problems, I.E cancer because her platelets are low. She actually saw zero platelets when she did a smear test, but when it was sent to a outside lab, it showed 13,000. Mati, has been adjusting to losing her mom, sister and brother as well as a new home and routine. She eats well, drinks water, plays quite a bit and sleeps. She has no bruising, no red spots on her gums, or other signs of low platelets. Any advice would be appreciated. We are willing to go to another vet, but if she should start antibiotics asap we do not want to waste another day. Although she has only been in our home a few days she is apart of our family now.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: low platelets

If she were a human I'd say go ahead with the antibiotics because they probably can't do any harm (maybe more diarrhea=/). Is there any way to contact the owners of the other puppies and see if they are having issues?

I think I'd see another vet. Antibiotics and a new vet visit.

(Sounds like she's acting like a normal puppy--congratulations!)

RE: low platelets

Antibiotics can indeed do harm especially in young animals. Certain classes of antibiotics can cause severe tendon problems, tooth problems, bone problems, and kidney failure just to name a few. Not to mention adding to the problem of antibiotic resistant infections. Others are safer for puppies but just because a vet prescribed an antibiotic doesn't mean it's safe for your pet. Especially since they didn't even do a full physical exam.

Just because a parvo test is negative does mean the puppy doesn't have parvo, although a low platelet count without a low white blood cell count is very unusual. There are a few ways this could happen but a negative test does not necessarily rule out parvo infection.

Was the puppy dewormed? That is a very common cause of vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in puppies, especially strays. I'd deworm regardless of fecal results for at least roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms because again, a negative test does not necessarily rule out infection.

As far as the platelet count, I'd run the test a second time on a new sample. Could be a simple matter of the blood clotting or platelets clumping, which would screw up the results both by the machine at the outside lab and manually. With a platelet count of 13,000 you'd expect some clinical signs...

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