Dr. Kristen’s dog , Pickles, is November’s case of the month. Dr. Kristen was planning to clean Pickles teeth just before Thanksgiving. Although he seemed healthy and happy, she ran a full pre-anesthetic panel, just as we do on all patients undergoing anesthesia here at Animal Oasis.
Pickles’ lab work, revealed his platelets to be very low. As platelets are important for clotting, we were very lucky to have found this abnormality before Pickles was showing any signs of bruising or spontaneous, uncontrollable bleeding. After a big work up at the local specialty hospital, it was discovered that Pickles has Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP), an autoimmune disease of dogs which causes the body’s own immune system to attack and kill the platelets. Pickles was started on medication to suppress his immune system and after only one week his platelets were back to normal.
Pickles’ case highlights the importance of pre-anesthetic and routine lab work on all animals as it allows our doctors to intervene sooner in serious disease- hopefully before an animal is even showing signs of illness. Pickles still has no idea that he was ever sick due to early medical intervention. He celebrated his 10th birthday last week and was excited to go pick out his birthday gift!