Platelet Abnormalities

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Disease associated with platelet abnormalities

Primary Thrombocytopenic Disease

  • The aetiology of primary thrombocytopenic disease is often uncertain.
    • It is therefore also known as idiopathic thrombocytopenia.
    • The cause may be automimmune.
  • Although the bone marrow contains adequate normal megakaryocytes, there is a reduced peripheral blood thrombocyte count.
  • Usually seen in young animals.

Secondary Thrombocytopenic Disease

  • Secondary thrombocyopaenic disease is fairly common in adult and older domestic animals.
  • Associated with diseases which cause bone marrow depression.
  • The bone marrow is depleted or devoid of megakaryocytes, and there is a nil or markedly reduced peripheral blood thrombocyte count.
  • Secondary thrombocyopenic disease is seen in the following conditions:
    1. Severe viral infections.
    2. Severe protozoal infections.
      • For example, in the UK, Haemobartonella may be a cause.
    3. Plant intoxications.
      • For example, bracken, kale, or ragwort poisoning.
    4. Drug-induced conditions.
      • High doses of oestrogens and salicylate.
      • Prolonged use of phenyl butazone.
    5. bone marrow neoplasia.
      • For example, lymphosarcoma or myeloid leukaemia.
    6. Radiation.
      • May cause damage to the bone marrow if it is severe and generalised.
    7. Other miscellaneous causes.


  • A rare inherited condition.
  • Recorded in the dog.
  • Characterised by defective thrombocyte formation.
    • Poor adhesiveness.
    • Poor aggregations.
    • Poor platelet factor release.