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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. I have an 11 month old male GSD named Colt. He's a very active and sweet dog. Since he was about 6 months old, we have struggled with his weight. He weighed 26kg then and he's now 11 months and is still at 26kg. He looks thin (but tall and has big bones). I have tried to change his diet from Orijen Puppy Large to Go! Turkey recipe dog food. He's a very picky dog and is not very interested with kibble alone. He always had runny stools from these dog foods. So I have switched again - to Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy food and so far he's had nice formed stools but I had to add home cooked meals as this is the only thing that excites him during feeding and he actually now eats more than the recommended amount per day.


Ive done lots of research before I started cooking meals for him. He loves it, but even then we struggled to put a weight on him.

He has been dewormed and was given multivitamins too, some B complex as well (to improve appetite). But these did not help either. We went to the vets a couple of times but vet was not worried and said that he's still growing so I dont need to worry too much.

But after all the amount of food and vitamins I gave him and no improvement, I asked to check his blood and found he has low platelet count of 110.

The initial doctor advised it could be a blood parasite so she started him on Doxycycline for 2 weeks and asked us to return to check his blood again. After 2 weeks of Doxy - he still has low platelet (118 I think). But this doctor told me that it Colt doesnt have any other symptoms, then it could be normal for him to have low platelet count. But Im still a bit worried as I do not know what's causing this.

We did a chest xray and there was nothing on his lungs. But the doctor said that his heart's shape is a bit weird, but not enlarged. So he said I shouldnt worry about that too and to keep observing him.

Any advice on how to proceed and should I get another opinion from a different vet? Should I be worried about his weight? He's turning 1 year old on June 22 and he's at 26.7kg.

Thank you.
 

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Insist that the vet run a full tick panel on this dog immediately!!!! Babesiosis causes platelets to crash, and doxy won't help with this particular tick disease. It's actually treated with malaria meds. You can't just do a SNAP 4D tick test -- you have to run a full tick panel and send it out to a lab, as babesia isn't part of the quickie in-house tests, but it is part of the full panel.

Many vets aren't familiar with babesia and don't know to even look for it -- however, once our rescue's vet started looking for it in dogs with low RBC or platelet counts, she started finding a lot of it. I've had 3 babesia cases in our breed rescue in the past 6 months in an area that's not even supposed to have this particular tick-disease -- that tells me it's range is spreading and there's a lot of it out there that's probably being missed.


Dogs with babesia lose tons of weight and can't absorb their food to gain the weight back. The disease interferes with nutrient absorption. We had one adult male that was down around 30 pounds when we got him -- a skeleton -- because of the babesia. Once it was treated, he gained weight like a champ.
 

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Thank you, I plan to bring him to another veterinarian. I'm located in the Philippines, even I, have not heard of Babesia before but I will insist to run a full tick panel to see what's causing the low platelet count.

I have read some threads where they mention an autoimmune disease or probably cancer which could also lead to low platelet count. Although Im hoping it isnt that serious but I am looking at all possibilities.

Thanks again for your help.
 

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Just an update on this post. I managed to find a very competent veterinarian near my place and brought Colt for a check up, as he lost another 2 kgs in the last month. We have now confirmed that he has anaplasmosis, and is under Doxy medication for a month. He's only Pet Tabs (2 tablets a day) for his multivitamins, and Vitamin B Complex too. He's been eating his kibble without any issues too (one less thing to worry about). I hope the medication works and makes him better, the doc said he may not gain a lot of weight the way I want him to be, this is because once a dog gets a blood parasite, they normally just stay think even without health issues. I dont really mind as long as he's happy and healthy.
 
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