October 9th, 2008


Update on Pudgy Platelet Man

Since our last chapter in the long saga of The Mysterious Disappearing Platelets, Devon has been taking Atopica (cyclosporin), Immuran (azothiaprine) and prednisone. He's been doing fine and Dr. Waddle suggested cutting his prednisone dosage by half so he's only been getting 10mg once a day instead of twice for about 10 days. And I can already tell the difference. He's more like his old self. The other day he grabbed a toy and started giving it the death shake and then brought it over to me for a game of tug. He hasn't done that for months.

Yesterday I took him into my regular vet's office so they could draw blood for a CBC. I was pretty hopeful about the results for some reason but when my vet called me to tell me the results she said they were "still 10,000" and asked me what the next step in his treatment would be. I told her that I would most likely be taking him off all the medication and not doing any further treatment. After all, what would be the point?

Then today Dr. Waddele called me and said that although the number of platelets was listed as 10,000, the sample had been clumped and so that number was meaningless. He also said the lab had done a manual estimate and listed the result as "adequate". Now, for those of you who have been paying attention, you'll remember that those results were exactly the same as two years ago on Devon's 2006 CBC. Anyway, Dr. Waddle went on to say that he felt that "adequate" meant that Devon probably had normal numbers of platelets which means probably at least 100,000. I asked him if that meant that the Atopica was working but Dr. Waddle didn't want to go so far as to say that. I guess maybe he means that it could be the cocktail of drugs is what's responsible for the rise in platelets or maybe he means that he's not sure if Devon's platelet numbers were ever truly deficient.

Either way, I'm happy he's apparently got platelets for the moment. And just as happy that Dr. W now wants to further reduce the prednisone by half for a week and then again by half for another week. He also said he could stop the Immuran now which is good because I only have two left.

Now I just need to figure out why my regular vet seemed to think that Devon's platelets hadn't improved even though she was looking at the results when she called me. I had them fax the CBC to me so I could see it myself and it clearly says "Platelet estimate Adequate".

And who knows what it will say in two weeks when we check again. All I know is that it seems that it's not neccessarily a good thing to do routine bloodwork on a young, seemingly healthy animal. As a friend of mine put it, if I hadn't done routine bloodwork on Devon, he would have been in exactly the same state of health as he is now--or maybe better considering the effects of the drugs--only he wouldn't have had to be stuck so many times and I'd have a lot more money in the bank.

Makes you think, doesn't it?