Your pet’s natural body defense system is essential for good health. A part of this system produces antibodies that destroy disease-causing organisms. In autoimmune thrombocytopenia, the defense system produces antibodies that attack the animal’s own platelets (blood cells necessary for blood clotting). The result is hemorrhage in various parts of the body.
Why these antibodies are formed is not fully understood, but sometimes the process is triggered by infections or tumors. In other instances, a cause cannot be found.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Autoimmune thrombocytopenia is a life-threatening disease. Hospitalization is often necessary during the early treatment period. Various laboratory tests are needed to monitor the response to treatment.
2. Blood transfusions are necessary in some cases. Some animals require treatment with large doses of very potent drugs. Often there are side effects from various drugs used to treat this disease. The doctor will describe the normal side effects expected from drug therapy.