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Von Willebrand’s Disease in Dogs

Symptoms of Von Willebrand‘s Disease in Dogs

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If you’ve ever wondered about the symptoms of Von Willebrand’s disease in dogs, you’re not alone. There are more than a few factors that could be contributing to your dog’s bleeding. Here we’ll discuss how to recognize it, treatment options and stress management. In addition to providing information about the disease itself, this article also discusses how to handle stress associated with your dog’s condition.


Symptoms of von Willebrand’d disease (VWD) in dogs may be a sign of a blood platelet disorder. Platelets help to stop bleeding and speed up the healing process. Symptoms of vWD vary between dogs. The disease is most severe in dogs that have recently undergone surgery or an injury. Veterinary doctors can diagnose vWD through a blood test or genetic testing.

Symptoms of von Willebrand’d disease in dogs may include bleeding that occurs after wounds or surgery, and does not clot as it should. The bleeding is generally excessive and may extend to the mouth and gums. Affected dogs may experience bleeding from the nose or gums, and blood may be present in the stool or urine. In severe cases, the bleeding may spread into the joints, causing the dog to exhibit symptoms similar to arthritis.

To diagnose von Willebrand’s disease in dogs, your vet will perform a screening test. The veterinarian will measure the vWF concentration in your dog’s blood. A dog with a concentration between 30 and 50% of the normal level is at low risk for clinical disease. A dog with a higher concentration than this is probably just a carrier. A genetic test is another way to confirm the diagnosis of von Willebrand’s disease.

The clotting process in the body is a complicated process. Individual molecules, called clotting factors, react with each other to form a clot. Normally, platelets contain protein that helps them stick together and form a clot. When factor VIII fails to work properly, bleeding is not controlled properly and blood loss is possible. It is best to seek medical attention immediately for an accurate diagnosis.


The first step in diagnosing Von Willebrand’s disease in dogs is a complete blood count. This is necessary to rule out other causes of excessive bleeding, and a decreased platelet count in a dog with the disease can contribute to the clinical signs. If a dog’s platelet count is within normal reference range, he or she is not likely to have the disease. A veterinarian can also determine if your dog has the disorder by using genetic testing.

In mild to moderate cases, your dog may experience only slight symptoms and never require surgery or blood transfusions. Severe cases may require blood transfusions and a synthetic hormone called desmopressin acetate. If you suspect your dog is suffering from von Willebrand’s disease, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Your vet will make a diagnosis and determine whether the bleeding is caused by the disease.

A veterinarian will also use blood tests to check for the presence of any abnormalities. If your dog’s blood clots too slowly, this condition could be life-threatening. Because von Willebrand’s disease is congenital, there’s no cure for the condition, but you can be prepared with the proper symptoms and treatment. When you visit your veterinarian, make sure to be as detailed as possible and explain any changes to your pet’s condition.

If you notice any of the symptoms of Von Willebrand’s disease, your veterinarian will be able to prescribe the right treatment. If your dog has the disease, he or she will usually receive a blood transfusion to replace the one that has been lost. In severe cases, you may notice blood in the feces and urine. Getting your dog tested is crucial because there’s no sure way to tell if your dog has Von Willebrand’s disease.


A vet can detect von Willebrand’s disease in dogs by performing a test called a buccal mucosal bleeding time. This test measures the time it takes for blood to clot. It may be the first symptom of the disease, but it can go undetected for years. The blood clotting time of a dog with von Willebrand’s disease is very slow.

Blood transfusions or frozen plasma may be used in the treatment of von Willebrand disease in dogs. While the blood is expensive, this treatment is effective in reducing bleeding and stabilizing the affected area. Some veterinarians may also administer Desmopressin, a drug that increases the von Willebrand factor. Unfortunately, this treatment is costly, and not all dogs respond to it. Additionally, dogs with von Willebrand’s disease should not receive certain antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications, including NSAIDs.

The only effective treatment for von Willebrand disease in dogs is blood transfusions from a normal dog. Some dogs with von Willebrand disease are also hypothyroid, which can make the condition worse. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy may help. Desmopressin acetate is also used in some cases, and can help your dog clot during bleeding episodes. A veterinarian will be able to determine whether your dog is suffering from von Willebrand’s disease based on the severity of his bleeding episodes.

Treatment for von Willebrand disease in dogs can range from simple to more invasive. Depending on the severity of your dog’s von Willebrand disease, your vet may recommend surgery or intensive care. Transfusions can also be required if supportive care fails. If the disease is severe, it may lead to collapse or seizures. Your dog’s quality of life may be reduced, and he or she will require special monitoring and blood transfusions.


There are multiple factors that may cause your dog to develop Von Willebrand’s disease. Some breeds are more susceptible than others. Some breeds have an abnormally low level of von Willebrand factor, which can lead to severe bleeding episodes. German shepherd dogs and Scottish terriers are among the breeds most likely to develop the disease. Although many breeds have a low risk, veterinarians may recommend screening for dogs before breeding or performing surgery.

The primary cause of von Willebrand’s disease is a gene mutation that reduces the amount of von Willebrand factor in the blood. This protein helps platelets stick to damaged tissue and seal the blood vessel. When the von Willebrand factor is low, blood clots abnormally and causes bleeding. Some dogs with the disease may have bleeding from the nose, gum line, or vagina, and bloody urine and feces.

Studies have linked the genes for von Willebrand factor to other conditions, including coronary artery thrombosis and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. However, other genetic factors may also be involved. Genetic studies have shown that dogs with von Willebrand factor mutations are more susceptible to the condition. Currently, a drug called VanWaf-R is available to treat this disease.

In humans with vWD, emotional stress has been shown to cause bleeding. However, due to the subjective nature of this finding, it is not possible to conclude whether the same is true in dogs. Clients of dogs with vWD should ensure that their pet is living a stress-free lifestyle. During the onset of the disease, a veterinarian can monitor the dog’s health to determine whether it is bleeding due to stress.


The cause of vWD in dogs is unknown, but a causal mutation has been identified in Doberman Pinschers. This mutation causes a G to A transversion in exon 43, causing a frame shift in the coding sequence. The result is a truncated protein of 119 amino acids. Genetic studies suggest that the disease is inherited in an autosomal-recessive manner and is passed on indefinitely to the offspring.

Several studies have been conducted to determine if a dog is at risk for von Willebrand’s disease. Breed-specific studies have shown that the disease is closely related to narcolepsy and coat color. ELISA tests have been developed for von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF-Ag) detection. A pedigree analysis was also performed to determine the mode of inheritance.

The gene responsible for vWDI production has two variants, a type I and a type II mutation. The first type has two copies of the mutation, resulting in low plasma levels of the von Willebrand factor, while the second is homozygous for the variant. This mutation affects the vWF protein in the blood and increases the risk of a blood coagulation disorder.

vWF concentrations in plasma are highly variable, but the presence of a particular mutation in a given dog breed makes a significant difference in the risk of bleeding. In addition to dogs, humans also suffer from this disease. In humans, it is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. Approximately fifty dog breeds have the gene for vWF, which causes blood to clot in a specific manner.

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