Our Dog has Chronic ITP

Our Dog has Chronic ITP

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to tell the story of Izzie, our loving, faithful, and sweet dachsund who has been diagnosed with ITP. Hopefully our story will help someone else dealing with this terrible disease or maybe somebody will provide us with some insightful guidance.

Izzie was taken to our vet on 4/22/16 after we noticed a long scratch and and severe bruise on her chest, small bruising on the inside of her legs, and small bruises in her ears. We thought an animal had attacked Izzie while she was in the backyard. Our vet treated her with antibiotics and sent us on our way.

Well, fast forward to 4/28/16, and Izzie is bleeding from her mouth and has blood in her stool. We take her back to our vet who diagnoses Izzie with ITP and places her on prednisolone and chlorosporine. Her platelet counts were at 6,000. Our vet treats Izzie for a week and on 5/6/16 Izzie's platelets have dropped even more to 3,000. We are then referred to Mississippi State University's Small Animal Clinic in Starkville, MS. There, her platelets bottom out to 0, but her Red Blood Cells(RBCs) never fall low enough to require a blood transfusion.

MSU switches Izzie to the Atopica brand of chlorosporine at 25mg twice per day, ups her dosage of prednisolone to 10mg per day, puts her on some gastroprotectants and gives her an injection of Vincristine. Her platelet counts consistently stay below 5,000 and on 5/12/15, the vet tells us they will not be doing anymore blood tests over the weekend and they will call it on Monday if she hasn't responded. Izzie stays at MSU through 5/15/16 when she was released to us with a platelet count of 220,000.

We continue the same level of medication at home and Izzie is doing great. Izzie has a follow up appointment with the vets at MSU on 5/31/16 and her platelets have increased to 416,000. The MSU vet sets up an appointment for two more weeks and tells us that she will begin tapering medication at that point.

Unfortunately, by that Friday, 6/3/16, we notice a small bruise on her belly and rush her back to the vets at MSU. Our nightmare is confirmed there- Izzie has relapsed and is back down to 0 platelets. The vets at MSU run a cyclosporine level test and Izzie's cyclosporine levels are low so they increase her dose to 35mg twice per day. They also add mycophenalate motefil to her medication and gave her another dose of Vincristine. However, during this stay at MSU, her platelets never increase higher than 2,000 platelets.

On 6/10/16, we make the decision to give Izzie a IVIG transfusion. On 6/11/16, we bring Izzie home because the vets say either the IVIG is going to work or it isn't. Izzie has a follow up appointment on 6/13/16 to recheck platelets. On 6/13/16, her platelets are at over 816,000. Wow. You would think she would be fully recovered at this point?

Nope, on 6/17/16, Izzie starts vomiting blood, so we rush her to MSU once again where it is confirmed her platelets are back down to 2,000 again. She still has never required a blood transfusion. MSU vets tell us that Izzie's only option at this point is a splenectomy, but she has to have a minimum number of platelets for the surgery so they initiate another IVIG transfusion on 6/18/16. However, it doesn't appears she is responding to the IVIG as well this time as her platelet count on 6/20/16 was only 12,000 and on 6/21/16 her platelet count was at 18,000. The vets want her platelets to be at 60,000 prior to the splenectomy.

We are just at a loss as to what to do to save our angel. We are open to any advice or suggestions of treatment. I recently stumbled upon a study of 5 dogs conducted in late 2014 and 2015 at a German university where the dogs successfully responded to treatment with romiplostim (Nplate). Any luck with this treatment or any advice on getting financial assistance through the manufacturer with this drug?

Thanks for letting me vent!

15 Replies

  • I didn't want to read and not comment. I have no advice, but I am sure someone else will. Keep on keeping on, humans manage with low counts, so hopefully Izzie might too. Could be worth contacting the manufacturer direct and explaining the situation. They might see it as another avenue they could sell the drug down perhaps and help you out.

    Good luck and a gentle pat for Izzie.

  • Hi madam my sister count today 19

  • I've no idea about dogs or what their numbers should be. Revolade works well for many people, but it's very expensive. Smith Klein manufacture it. It may have another name in the US. Good luck. Murni

  • I have been reading and watching a lot about bioenergy healing lately and saw that it works great on animals (I saw it mentioned about horses specifically) in these types of health conditions, as they are much more open with their energy bodies than we can be sometimes.. Why not research in your area? Nothing to lose.. Apparently homeopathy for the same reasons work very well. Just a thought.

  • Could you tell me more or point me in the right direction about homeopathy for ITP?

  • You could start with doing a search for homeopaths in your area, and can call them up to see whether they work with animals as well. I am sure you wil find someone. Otherwise for bioenergy, look for a Domancic, Quantum Touch, or Matrix Energetics practitioner in your area. These are the techniques I know of. Good luck!

  • I am friends with a family whose dog developed ITP and still continues to battle it to this day. They followed my battle when I was ill and so we discuss the various treatments as some are the same as I had. Mainly it has been treated with Prednisone but now is on Cyclosporine (obviously much smaller doses). I have never met another person who has had ITP so I feel like I have a connection with their little dog.

  • My neighbor is a veterinary internist at the vet college her and she is studying ITP in dogs. It closely aligns humans however I think she said there isn't the same drug protocol available to dogs like humans. They are working on that now. Holding you fiercely in the light as you move thru this with your baby.

  • Thank you for the thoughts. Unfortunately, the treatments once the standard treatments don't work are primarily human recombinant products which dogs tend to develop antibodies to over time.

  • Yes, that is what she is working towards...some kind of canine drug that would work similar to the results seen in humans with Ritxuan and the N-plate kind. It seems a way off but she is optimistic. Best wishes to you.

  • Amazing how much like many human stories this is !

    Hope your little dog is doing better. I live well with no treatment + very low platelet count (7 -20) for a long time.

  • Hi mam I read your every reply then I have positive. Mam my sister count 19, she just 22 years old, this count she do not feel any problemproblem but period heavy 10 to 12 day longlong this is only one problem. But mam low countcount but I lived normal life.

  • Hi I have a Doxie/beagle named Kasey who developed ITP a few weeks before your baby in March. I saw some red dots in her ear and thought it was an ear infection . Vet said it was ITP and gave her a shot of steroids and vitamin and ran blood. Kasey was at about 10,000

    Six hours later she was all black and blue and I ran her to the emergency vet. She was at zero platelets. They tried cancer viscritine (chemo) drugs and many other mixes . They kept her there for a few days and finally she came home. The cocktail that worked was Heavy heavy steroids ( 20mg I believe or more ) another drug, antacid and Cyclosporine 2 pills a day. One drug was taken away after a month .

    We had weekly blood and urine tests through April . In May bi-monthly and every 2 weeks the steroids were decreased 2.5 mg. June she went monthly for tests. It's now July and we are down to 2 cyclosporine (50mg each)still but only 3mg of steroids. Next week it decreases to 2 mg .Doc says 2 more months on the cyclosporine and then that is done.

    Kaseys meds were very high which can cause other probs but they are closely monitoring her kidneys liver etc each test. It's a risk either way.

    When I asked about relapse odds the vet specialist said it usually happens if the meds are decreased to fast. And if it happens they stay on some meds for life.

    This is a scary battle I understand what you are going through. They say it's common in dogs but there is so little online . My dog has never had a tick, no rat poison and was 4 years out from vaccines (we had an appt that next week) so will never know what causes it . There is hope for your baby and support if you need it

  • Hi I was wondering how your dog is doing? My dog too was also diagnossed with Itp. It is 4 weeks now, and they just lowered her prednisone to 1 x a day and she is still on the stomach meds, and cyclosporine 2 x a day. Her platlets as of mondays blood work was 416,000. She was as low as 0 for 5 days. But she now started with a new problem, pain in her neck, which needs an MRI which I can't afford after having her in the hospital for 6 days. They think it's either a bulgong disc, or inflamation of the brain due to her auto immune issues now. Hoping your dog is well, and I would love any feed back from your experience.


  • Unfortunately my little one lost her battle this past weekend and I am beyond devastated. She was diagnosed Dec 13/2016 when I noticed she did not want to go up the stairs, loss of appetite and tarry stool. She was hospitalized and given prednisone, Atopica and needed a blood transfusion because not only were her platelets at 0, her RBC was very low. She seemed to be doing fine until we started to taper the meds. She was 15 1/2 but up until her diagnosis she was the picture of health and acted like a puppy. She ultimately passed due to kidney and liver damage mostly due to the medications, but it was either take the meds with all the side affects like muscle wasting (for the last month I had to carry her outside to pee and poop) hair loss,weight gain and infections and hope for the best or bleed to death. Very interesting simalarity with your dog that she developed a very large mass on the back of her neck from shoulder to shoulder. On the right side part of it broke open as I was petting her and it turned out to be an infection of some sort that was treated with 2 doses of antibiotic shots 2 weeks apart and what I thought was a large tumor on the left and the raised ridge across her neck both went away. I was told by the hospital that because of how healthy she was she should make a full recovery unfortunatly due to the length of time spent on the meds at her age that was not to be. Her treatment costs were close to 8000. so I tell people who get a puppy or kitten to get pet insurance and or set up a savings acct. And anyone with a large healthy dog to talk to their vet about donating blood because it can save another life. I hope your dog has made it.

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