Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Dogs: Athena’s Thrombocytopenia

My regular readers know that I am a big proponent of alternative therapies, old and new. I am fascinated by what regenerative therapy can do; we used it more than once and couldn’t say enough good things about it. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the treatments that are on my radar. This story is based on a case study submitted to HVM. This is not a sponsored post.

Thrombocytopenia stands for low platelet count.

Platelets play an important role in blood clotting. Low platelet count can result in spontaneous bleeding and bruising.

Platelets can become deficient from:

  • severe or prolonged blood loss
  • internal destruction such as auto-immune reaction
  • infections
  • cancer
  • impaired production of new platelets
  • as a side effect of certain medications
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Dogs: Athena's Thrombocytopenia

Athena’s story

Athena is a 12-year-old Husky mix. She came to her general veterinarian with bruising on her abdomen, bloody stools, and vomit, and decreased activity level.

She was put on prednisone. That seemed to have improved things temporarily but as time went on, her count started to go down again. The veterinarian added another immunosuppressing drug. That helped the platelets but messed with red blood cell volume.

An ultrasound found that Athena’s liver was enlarged but didn’t show any masses. Athena’s muscles started wasting both as a result of her condition and the medications she was on.

Athena was not getting any better.

She was referred to an internal medicine specialist who added further medications. But Athena was not improving.

Her anemia was not resolving and her quality of life was getting worse. She couldn’t even stand up on her own anymore. That is when she was referred to a Holistic Veterinary Care where they started hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with herbal and nutritional supplementation.

Athena received five treatments within a week.

The following week she was feeling better and became more active. Two weeks later she was able to get up and walk around on her own. She was regaining her strength and her blood work has also dramatically improved.

Athena is being weaned off her medications while her lab values continue to improve.

You can read Athena’s case study and others on hvm website.

Related articles:
Veterinary Highlights: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Goes To The Dogs

Categories: Alternative treatmentsConditionsHyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)Real-life StoriesThrombocytopenia

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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