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Canine idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a disease in which antibodies bound to the surface of platelets mediate premature platelet destruction by macrophages. ITP in dogs and chronic ITP in humans are analogous diseases. This article draws on information from the literature on ITP in dogs and in humans, and reviews the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of ITP in dogs. J Vet Intern Med 1996;207–218. Copyright © 1996 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.