Background: Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT) is the most common cause of severe thrombocytopenia (<30000 platelets/µl) in dogs and at this level or below there is an increased risk of spontaneous body surface bleeding (cutaneous and mucosal). Despite this, some patients with IMT are asymptomatic with no evidence of bleeding, whereas others have fever, splenomegaly and other signs caused by bleeding. Signs of bleeding from thrombocytopenia can overlap with signs of platelet dysfunction, von Willebrand’s disease and vascular disease. IMT is much rarer in cats than dogs, but the pathophysiology and diagnostic and therapeutic principles are very similar.
Aim of the article: This article discusses the diagnosis and management of IMT and Evan’s syndrome (combined immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia [IMHA] and IMT), and is the second in a two-part series on immune-mediated haematological diseases in dogs and cats. The first article, which was published in the December 2019 issue of In Practice (vol 41, pp 468-477), focused on IMHA.
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