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Well so far we know what it isn't

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  • Well so far we know what it isn't

    I have the world's furriest farm dog, my pom Macy. She doesn't know she is supposed to be a frou frou dog, she can eat manure and snatch hoof trimmings before they hit the ground with the best of them. She had ran through the stinky slop in front of the manure pile on Saturday so she got a bath. She gets lots of those. On Sunday I brushed her and went to apply the new flea treatment I got from the vet. There was supposed to be 6 tubes in the box but there was only two in there THANK GOD so I didn't put it on her. Otherwise we would think the new flea stuff caused this mess.
    Sunday night I noticed her back was a little red, I thought maybe I brushed her a little too hard. She rolled over on her back so I could rub her belly and there was a red spot on her belly. I hadn't brushed there since there is no hair there so I knew I didn't cause that. Within an hour there were red spots virtually everywhere on her body. I gave her some benadryl and settled in for a sleepless night.
    First thing Monday morning the vet draws $400 worth of blood tests. Since she is a barn dog we start her on vitamin K. There is some rat poision on a shelf in the locked feedroom, but anything is possible. We also start her on antibiotics in case its rocky mountain spotted fever. So far we have ruled out lyme, erlicha (sp) and heartworm. Waiting on the rocky mountain. Blood results today show an extremely low platelet count so we are starting her on prednisone in case its auto-immune which appears to be the most likely culprit at this time.
    This dog looks and acts completely normal at this time. In fact if I hadn't brushed her I might not have noticed. Jingles would be greatly appreciated as would any ideas that anyone may have. I can't think of anything she might have gotten in to or been exposed to but maybe some of you can. Macy is only 6 years old, its much too soon to lose her but the vet says her numbers are close to bleeding to death. We just lost our lab in July to old age. Macy stopped eating after that and lost three pounds which is about 20% of her body weight. Since we got the new puppy she has gained a pound back.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

  • #2
    If it IS autoimmune (ITP does crop up in dogs) the prednisone won't be fun for her, but it should help. It works, IIRC, much the same in dogs as it does in humans. BTDT, not on the dog but on myself. If she's behaving normally, and the spots are small and have a speckled quality, and her platelet count is very sub-normal, it certainly sounds like thrombocytopoenia, meaning the steroids are the best thing. I think that unlike people they are more sure it's an exposure trigger? Something she ran into caused her immune system to go into overdrive.

    I think there was something about this a while back on the boards. IIRC ITP in dogs is more often a one-shot deal than in humans (I'm considered in remission, and since it's been five years they are cautiously calling it "cured", but they'll never be sure and I could have a recurrance any time. Dogs are more like child-onset where it comes, it's bad, it goes away, it doesn't come back, if I'm remembering right.)
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    • #3
      so sorry... jingling very hard for you!


      • Original Poster

        Thank you Dancer, that does give me some hope if it turns out to be autoimmune. I can't remember exactly everything the vet said about her blood but he did say there was evidence of some sort of infection. Makes me nervous to suppress her immune system while she is fighting an infection but I guess these are desperate times.
        We just came home from the barn and it got me thinking. There is a puddle that is between the parking lot and the barn. Its there all the time except during a really bad drought. She always walks through it, never around it. Half the time she will stop and drink from it. This has been going on her entire life but does anyone think that may have contributed to whatever is going on with her now?
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • Original Poster

          Rocky mountain test came back negative. We are continuing to treat for infection and autoimmune disease for a total of 20 days then we will run blood tests again if nothing changes between then and now. She still acts and looks completely normal and spots are fading. Hopefully we are on the right track.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            I just wanted to add some jingles for you and your dog, I don't have any other words of wisdom to add.
            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


            • #7
              Jingling for your Macy. Hope she is feeling all better soon.


              • #8
                Did they test her for Lepto by chance? As soon as you said constant puddle that immediately popped into my head...

                I"m not sure what the test process is. I've discussed the condition with my vet, as we had a barn cat die of it a few years ago, and I worry about my little barn dog. (he's an 11 pound fluffy maltese poodle mix, but is a true barn dog...he'd be best friends with yours!) I just talked tot he vet about it last week when I took him in for his shots. If they haven't, do it. They can go downhill really fast. Not sure if that would have any impact on her platelet count, but it's something to rule out.
                Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                • #9
                  Thinking of you and your dog. I remember when you lost your lab. Fingers crossed Macy continues to improve.
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                  • #10
                    Toby - my barn & house pommie sends his warm wishes! He is the most disgusting roll in fresh horse poop pom I have ever owned(I have had 3). But I love him so much.

                    He is wishing a full recovery for your little moppet
                    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                    • #11
                      Jingles from NJ to Macy to fluffy farm dog!