We love our pets, and there is no doubt that we also feel sad if they feel ill. One of the dangerous health conditions that they can have is having a low platelet count, which is commonly called thrombocytopenia. In severe cases, they need to be hospitalized and undergo platelet transfusion. It is life-threatening for them, and it is essential to monitor their platelet count from time to time.
Take note that platelets are fragile elements of the blood. It only lives for five to seven days. Therefore, the bone marrow should continue the production of these cells to replace the lost ones. Low platelet count may be caused by decreased production or quick dilution of platelets. Disorder of the bone marrow is another culprit since it is where these elements are manufactured.
The dog can also inherit this condition from his parents. The veterinarian should find out the cause of low platelet count since the inherited disease does not require the dog to be treated. It can also occur without signs of bleeding. Some home remedies can help your pet cope up with this condition.
While observing your pet’s condition or if he is diagnosed with thrombocytopenia, it is also necessary to do some methods to increase his platelet count. These essential steps will help in the proper blood clotting and aid in the circulation of the blood all throughout the body.
The Veterinarian’s possible ways to normalize the platelet count of a dog
Generally, the veterinarian will recommend treatment plans to correct this issue. It may include oral medication, platelet transfusion, and corticoids. But there are also simple remedies you can do at home to help the veterinarian with the same goal. Ask the vet for some supplement that you can give to your pet instead of buying over the counter medicines that can worsen your pet’s condition.
- Fresh platelet concentrate
Whole blood must be spun from the donor’s body. Then, a soft spin is used to separate the platelet from plasma, which is then called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. From that method, another step should be done to produce a platelet concentrate. The plasma is separated and will then be frozen.
On the other hand, the fresh platelets are stored in gas soluble bags but should only be kept for five days at room temperature since these elements have a short lifespan. Longer than this time frame can invite bacteria and contaminate it.
- Frozen platelet concentrate
The platelets will be stabilized with 2% DMSO and Thrombosol and six percent DMSO and should be stored at -80 degrees Fahrenheit temperature until frozen. This concentrate can treat severe bleeding in dogs. Unlike the fresh platelet concentrate, this one has a half-life of two days. It should then be thawed before using.
- Fresh whole blood
Depending on the case or severity of the problem, your dog may not only need to receive platelet transfusion but whole blood instead. In this way, no platelets are spoiled during the process. A 10-milliliter of fresh blood can increase the platelet count up to 10,000/ul. However, the fresh whole blood should be transfused to the pet within four to eight hours after removed from the body.
These three types of transfusion methods should only be used based on the diagnosis of the veterinarian. Specific means of increasing your pet’s platelets can be done at home. These suggestions are best when your dog is recovering from the condition, or there is a mild occurrence of thrombocytopenia that can still be managed without platelet transfusion.
- Balanced diet
Chicken soup is one recommendable food for your dog which can aid in the low platelet count. Make sure to add more vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and cabbage so your pet can recover fast. It will not only raise his platelet count, but it can also let feel him hydrated. It can prevent fever and make him feel better.
Iron is a substance that improves the production of platelets, red blood cells, and other elements of the blood. Therefore, you should also give your pet iron-rich foods to help him recover fast. It includes whole grains, lean meats, fish, and legumes. Just make sure that your dog doesn’t have an allergy to any of these foods because having so may cause complications to his condition.
The recommended amount of iron that your pet must consume in a day should be 36.4 milligrams and should be increased, and he is diagnosed with low platelet count. Other sources of this mineral are veal and liver. Make sure not to add salt or any condiment to the foods that you cook for him.
- Avoid activities that can cause fatigue
Since the body of the dog feels weak due to low platelet count, it is essential to let him rest. Although exercise is good for the body, this activity is not recommendable in this situation.
- Keep your pet away from other dogs with diseases
Dogs with tick can cause more severe complications because it can attack the dog’s body and cause wound. The illness that your pet can get from other animals can also bring negative impact to his condition. The infectious diseases can decrease his platelet count even more and can trigger excessive bleeding if he is affected, too.
- Keep your pet well-hydrated
Give your pet a bowl of clean water to keep his body hydrated. This method can decrease the risk of dehydration which is also by fever. Put an ice cube in the water if he doesn’t drink the water. Providing him fresh coconut water can also freshen him up. It contains platelet-increasing elements such as iron, potassium, Vitamin A and C, and calcium.
With these tips, you don’t have to wait for your dog to get hospitalized before you try them. These methods can be done as a way of preventing the occurrence of thrombocytopenia in your pet. Even when you think he is healthy, it is still essential to do these things to maintain his excellent condition.