Hi all, my dog was diagnosed with I.T.P. at about age one, he is now 5 years old. He has been doing well but is still on medication for I.T.P. The cause of his I.T.P. was never determined, however before we rescued him, we found out that he was over vaccinated, he had been given 3 sets of puppy shots and 3 rabies shots over a period of six weeks. His original owners gave him the shots then dumped him at the pound, and the pound gave him a rabies shot, then he was taken in by a rescue group that gave him another rabies and set of puppy shots and then taken in by yet another rescue group that did the same thing. He started out on Prednisone to treat his I.T.P. and it worked only at high doses and it started actually shrinking his skull and finally after many vets and specialists, he was put on Azathioprine and tapered off the Pred. His platelets have been at normal levels now for over 3 years, and I am debating about trying to taper him off the Azathioprine as I am worried about him having long term affects from being on that drug, although according to his internist his blood work in all areas is good. He has recently been having some Stomach issues and I’m afraid the Azathioprine may be affecting it. I’m just wondering if anyone else out there has a dog with I.T.P. and what kind of treatment your dog had. I only ever read of one other dog that had I.T.P. and was treated with Azathioprine for eight years and then had to come off the drug due to side affects and still lived to be fourteen.anonymouslyMember
Sorry, but I am glad your dog is stable at present, what does the specialist advise?
Found some information here: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=Immune+Mediated+Thrombocytopenia+
Hi Anonymously, thank you for your link to skeptvet, I guess it is called skeptvet, because the person is skeptical! I wanted to make it clear that I’m not trying to knock vaccinating your dog, but obviously my dog had too many vaccinations before he came to me, it is ridiculous to think that you would give a dog three rabies vaccines in six weeks time, along with multiple doses of the other normal puppy shots. I do believe that all puppies need to be vaccinated, however, years and years of vaccinations for dogs with titer levels plenty high are not necessary. My post is not really about what caused my dog’s ITP, I’ve spent over 13000 dollars with vets trying to help him and in the beginning figure out what the actual cause was. Some dogs develop ITP from underlying diseases and some just end up with it for no discovered cause. In this case it was determined that my dogs cause of I.T.P. was most likely due to over vaccination from when he was a rescue dog and also possibly a reaction to the Lymes Vaccine and or the Lepto vaccine he had at age 14 months, per his veterinarian he is never allowed to be vaccinated for anything again.
What I am trying to find out is if there are other dogs out there with this same condition who have been treated with Azathioprine long term and what kind of side affects have they had from being on that drug for so long.
My Internal Medicine Specialist, says that it is my choice whether or not to take him off the drug. It might work or it might not, the drug may be causing side affects or it might not, so as you can see I am not getting good answers, anyway I just posted this to see how things went for others who were in my shoes.anonymouslyMember
I don’t doubt that over-vaccination is real. After puppyhood, I give nothing but the rabies as required by law, if I could avoid that too, I would after the initial 1st shot and booster.
Also, I will avoid giving the rabies vaccine to a senior or a dog with a medical condition.
Some states will consider a medical waiver, as your dog probably has, or a titer.
I hope you get some answers, by the way, SkeptVet is a real vet and tends to answer most questions even if it’s an old article. Maybe he could offer some insight?
I lost a dog to hemangiosarcoma a few years ago (no treatment options) and she had minimal vaccinations. I’ve never gotten a straight answer as to what causes this except there tends to be a genetic link and it tends to appear between ages 8-10.
Hi, Thanks for your reply, yes I agree with your thought on Vaccines, when my last dogs were 8 and 9 years old, we had titers done and there vaccine levels were way higher than the required amount that they needed to have in there system, in some cases 200000, times higher, anyone, those guys never were vaccinated again and lived to be 17 and 18 years of age, both were medium sized breeds, one a border collie and the other an Icelandic sheepdog mix, I did do titers more than once to make sure their levels were holding and they were fine.
Yes, for some of these diseases I really don’t think they know what causes them, hopefully veterinary medicine will keep improving over the years as it has been. I read an article the other day that certain areas of the country are really lacking in Veterinarians, Phoenix Arizona being one of them, not enough vets per capita for the number of sick animals. I think that can make getting good care more difficult.
Anyway, thanks for responding!Amanda MMember
Michael, are you still active on these forums? I know you posted a few years ago, but I’m trying to find as much information about ITP in dogs from fellow owners going through the same thing as I am (having a dog with ITP) I will check back here soon. I can’t directly message you…..Patricia AMember
I could write a book on the side effects that vaccinations had on several of my dogs over the years. One fatal with my mom’s dog and one had to have a bone marrow test after her white count plunged. Results were immune mediated lymphopenia resulting from vaccination. One of my dogs went for routine exam. I stupidly against my better judgement gave in to the vets insistence of giving his yearly vaccinations. This was many years ago when the protocol was yearly. He was 13 at the time. Well by the night he was gasping for air and face was swollen like a basketball. A trip to emergency vets said most likely the lepto shot of course.
Years later I now follow the protocol of puppy vaccination and booster at a year No more vaccinations after that. Rabies is every three years but might get a titer test on that next time. I think the reason for my Pookies long healthy life of over 17 years as well as my Hannah Bells who was just put to rest at 17 due to Mitral Valve Disease was the elimination of all those vaccinations.Debbie MMember
I have an 8 year old Sheepadoodle (cross between a old english sheep dog and a standard poodle.
In March 2018, when she was being groomed I got a call from groomer as she noticed red patches all over her body. Anyway went to vet and it was determined her platlettes were zero. Rushed to Atlantic Teaching Vet School, and after lots of blood work, aspirated lymph nodes etc we had a diagnosis of Primary IMT.
Initially she was put on heavy dosages of steroids and the imusuppressant cyclosporine. After many many months we weaned her off the steroids( prednisone) and tried some reductions of the cyclosporine. We have had 2 additional relapses where we have had to start at the beginning again. Over the time we have regular blood tests to track platlette levels about 1 every 2.5 weeks.
After a partial relapse in June 2019, returned to all the medication and through the summer got her off prednisone and that has been stable since early August. Still on the immusuppressant and I am leary about starting another reduction. There are side affects to this drug, loose stool problems and growths on her gums. Not live threatening but I too wonder what are the unknown side affects.
My dog is regularly vaccinated as per requirements and this has not been a problem and it did not trigger the original diagnosis.
Hopefully we can get some other folks talking about this disease and the medicines used to manage it
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