02536-MOU: Immunoprofiling to Combat Canine Immune Thrombocytopenia

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $16,106
Marjory B. Brooks, DVM and Dana LeVine, DVM, PhD; Cornell University and Iowa State University
August 1, 2018 - January 31, 2022

Sponsor(s): Old English Sheepdog Club of America, English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Health and Rescue Organization

Breed(s): Cocker Spaniel, Old English Sheepdog
Research Program Area: Blood Disorders
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Autoimmune disease develops in dogs when their immune system destroys normal healthy cells in the body. Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a serious bleeding disorder that results from immune destruction of platelets, small blood cells that play a critical role in preventing bruising and bleeding after injury.  Old English Sheepdogs and Cocker Spaniels appear to have a susceptibility to ITP, however, ITP afflicts all dogs regardless of breed. Dogs with ITP develop bruises and, in the most severe cases, may bleed from the intestinal and urinary tract or have fatal blood loss. Fortunately, most dogs survive ITP, but may relapse months to years after a first episode. The treatment of ITP involves protracted courses of potent immunosuppressive drugs that impact quality of life for both dog and owner. This study will use a genetic approach to understand what causes ITP.  The investigators will identify laboratory markers that predict bleeding severity to aid veterinarians in treatment selection. The goals of this research are to improve ITP diagnosis and predictions of relapse, leading to targeted therapies that minimize treatment side effects.

Funding for the research is provided through the collaborative efforts and generosity of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America and English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Health and Rescue Organization. The AKC Canine Health Foundation supports the funding of this effort and will oversee grant administration and scientific progress.


Brooks MB, Goggs R, Frye AH, et al. A prospective cohort study to identify clinical diagnostic and prognostic markers of primary immune thrombocytopenia in dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2024;1‐13. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.16985

Brooks, M. B., Maruyama, H., Cremer, S. E., Goggs, R., Forman, M. A., Koch, M., Merriam, J., Makielski, K., Viall, A., & LeVine, D. N. (2022). Preliminary evaluation of a flow cytometric assay with microsphere controls for the detection of platelet-bound antibodies in canine immune thrombocytopenia. Veterinary Clinical Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.13093

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