Thrombocytopenia refers to an abnormally low blood-concentration of platelets, which are blood cells that promote blood clotting. When the concentration of platelets becomes too low, spontaneous bruising and bleeding may occur.

Abnormally low platelet numbers in blood can be caused by a variety of disease processes. These include failure to produce new platelets in the bone marrow, premature destruction of circulating platelets often by the body’s own immune system, storing of platelets in organs, and consumption of platelets at a rate that exceeds production in the bone marrow.

Dogs of any gender, age and breed can suffer from thrombocytopenia.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Thrombocytopenia is generally diagnosed by physical examination and history and a complete blood count with manual platelet count. Once a low platelet count has been confirmed, additional tests are performed to try to determine the underlying cause of the low platelet count. Tests may include blood chemistry, urinalysis, chest and abdominal x-rays, bone marrow biopsy or aspiration, blood clotting tests and specialized infectious disease tests.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. The underlying cause of the thrombocytopenia may be treated with corticosteroids or antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be required to treat the cause of the low platelet count. Some dogs may benefit from vincristine, a drug that can help release platelets from the bone marrow. This medication is only given to those animals that have platelets in their bone marrow. Rarely, platelet transfusions may be given to temporarily increase the platelet count. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.

What to Watch for*:

  • Small red spots or dots on the gums or the skin
  • Unexplained bruises on the skin
  • Nose bleeds (epistaxis)
  • Bloody urine
  • Bloody stool

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



Contact Us

You have Successfully Subscribed!