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"Lexie" - Bearded Collie with IMTP



Having a dog with an unusual blood disorder might be considered unlucky...but having a second develop exactly the same condition - well, that's just ridiculous! But one Fairfield client has had exactly that with her last two bearded collies.

"Amber" was under treatment for immune mediated thrombocytopaenia(IMTP) when I joined Fairfield some years ago, and I have recently diagnosed the same condition in 5 year old Lexie.

Lexie was brought in because Mrs Buckland suspected she had gum disease, as her gums were bleeding. On closer examination, I found that Lexie had multiple pinpoint haemorrhages all over her gums. She also developed black diarrhoea - the blackness being typical of digested blood, indicating she also had bleeding in her bowels.

I suspected IMTP - a condition where the body suddenly deicdes to attack and destroy its own platelets (blood clotting cells). Blood tests revealed that Lexie had,. indeed, got very few platelets left.

After checking for certain unusual infections that can trigger this phenomenon, Lexie was put onto medication to suppress her immune system to stop it destroying the platelets. Quickly, her platelet count returned to normal, and the bleeding symptoms disappeared. The long term outlook is good for Lexie, though she may - like Amber before her - require longterm medication.

As far as I know, Bearded Collies are not prone to this disease, and Amber and Lexie are not related, so a hereditary illness seems unlikely too. Whilst it must be deemed unfortunate to have two dogs with this illness, Mrs Buckland can look on the bright side knowing that she learnt from her experience with Amber...and got Lexie insured!


Geraldine Young BVSc CertSAM MRCVS

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