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Preventive Care
Betsey Johnson Birch

Age: 10 years    Breed: Cocker Spaniel


Diagnosis: Benign mass

Betsey came in for an annual dental cleaning, as she had done the year before. Prior to administering the anesthetics necessary for the procedure, a comprehensive blood panel was performed in-house to make sure she was in good health. Betsey's blood work revealed she had a low platelet count. Platelets are the cells that help form normal blood clots.


The dental cleaning procedure was postponed and a blood sample was sent to an outside reference laboratory, which confirmed that Betsey had an autoimmune disease called ITP (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia), a condition where an animal's immune system attacks and destroys its own platelets. This can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. Betsey was immediately started on medications to prevent her immune system from destroying her own platelets.


Today Betsey's platelet count is back to normal levels and she is doing great at home. If not for doing routine pre-anesthetic blood work, Betsey's disease would have gone untreated, with possible life-threatening complications.

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