Thrombocytopenia

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Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia is a somewhat rare condition in horses, which is defined as having a low platelet count. It is associated with horses having s platelet count of less than 100 x 103 per microliter. It was found to occur in approximately 1.5% of hospitalized horses in one study conducted. It is generally caused by one of two reasons:
  • Disorders which result in bone marrow not being able to produce enough platelets
  • Conditions where platelets are used up or destroyed at a faster rate then they normally would.
Conditions which are associated with horses having low platelet counts include:
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Certain drugs and antibiotics, colchicine and indomethacin, quinidine, hydralazine, H2-blocking agents, tolbutamide, isoniazid, and thiazide diuretics, are a few that have a history of association with drug-induced decrease in platelet counts.
  • Leukemia, lymphoma, or other cancers that may have spread to the horse's bone marrow.
  • Platelet consumption is seen in horses suffering from disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which may affect the bone marrow's ability to produce platelets
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Viral infections
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as pesticides, arsenic, or benzene
  • Sepsis, especially if associated with an infection with a Gram-negative bacteria
  • Risk Factors

    • History of recent snake bite

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