Help For Dogs Fighting IMT (Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia)

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Our dogs are very precious to us. They are probably the most loyal being you can find. That’s why when something as frightful and frustrating as the IMT affects one of our own, we tend to break down. To understand how to better help our dogs who are dealing with this disease, we first need to understand what it is.

What Is IMT Or Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia?

Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia is a dire illness where the body targets the dog’s own platelets and can be extremely serious. The surface of the platelets will have antibodies bound to them, which, in turn, causes them to destruct prematurely.

Platelets are important for blood clotting. When the platelet count is low, it can lead to serious conditions like bruising, anemia, bleeding, and others.

There Are Certain Breeds That Are Predisposed To This Condition. These Breeds Are:

  • The American Cocker Spaniel
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Standard Poodle
  • Toy Poodle
  • German Shephard
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Labrador Retriever

Other dogs that are prone to this IMT are middle aged dogs and dogs who are out of their prime years.

Symptoms Of IMT In Dogs:

IMT is pretty hard to diagnose so if you see any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to make an appointment at your veterinarian.

  • Weakness
  • Bruising
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid breathing
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Tarry stools
  • Difficulty breathing
  •  Pale gums
  • Lack of appetite or anorexia
  • Sudden Death

What Happens After Your Dog Has Been Diagnosed With IMT?

Remember that you have to stay strong for your pet because this is a very confusing time for him. You and your vet will first have a detailed discussion about treatment plan. Your vet will then prepare a customized individual treatment plan just for your dog. Because of the aggressive nature of the treatment plan, your dog will likely require round the clock care and will need to be hospitalized throughout his treatment period.

Immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine, azathioprine, and steroids have been known to be effective in the treatment of dogs with IMT. These drugs will help to control the response of your dog’s immune system to the depleting blood platelets.

Supportive care such as IV fluids and oxygen support may be necessary depending on how sick your dog has become. In some cases, especially if your dog has become anemic, blood transfusions will be required.

What To Do Once Your Dog Has Recovered From IMT:

The administration of immuno-suppressive drugs may need to continue for several months. Your dog can be slowly weaned off of the medication after the completion of the treatment plan. Your dog may need drug therapy for the rest of his life to make sure that his platelets are not dropping. In the case of most dogs, they live pretty normal lives after the treatment has been completed.

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