What is Clotting Deficiency (Inherited)?
Bleeding without a proper coagulation process can be dangerous for your pet. Clotting proteins, the constriction of blood vessels, and the proper number of platelets are all important parts of the blood clotting action. Lack of vitamin K, which is essential to the clotting process can also inhibit proper action. Inherited bleeding disorders, such as a clotting deficiency can lead to bleeding into an organ or hemorrhaging, both which can become life threatening for canines. Clotting deficiencies can be either acquired or inherited; studies show that acquired clotting disorders are the more common of the two.
When there is bleeding in the body, hemostasis (stopping of the flow of blood) occurs. If your dog has a clotting deficiency, massive bleeding or ongoing hemorrhaging can take place in the event that an episode of bleeding cannot be halted.
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Symptoms of Clotting Deficiency (Inherited) in Dogs
There are a few types of clotting disorders that have a variety of symptoms. Ranging in type of deficiency, some of the signs you may see in your pet are listed here.
- Delayed bleeding and bruising in tissue
- Bruising easily
- Excessive bleeding after surgery
- Bleeding in gums during surgery
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed skin
- Lameness due to bleeding in a joint
- Some puppies may face early death or be stillborn
In some cases, there could be no signs of a disorder until your dog requires surgery, and that is when the bleeding problem will be discovered.
In canines, the most common type of inherited clotting deficiency is hemophilia A (deficiency in factor III). Hemophilia B (factor IX deficiency), deficiencies of factor VII, factor II, hypofibrinogenemia, and dysfibrinogenemia are other kinds. According to documentation on canine blood clotting disorders, extremely rare cases are attributed to deficiencies in factor X, XI, and XII.
Causes of Clotting Deficiency (Inherited) in Dogs
- This is caused by an abnormal shortage of fibrinogen in the blood
- It can result in severe bleeding
- Saint Bernards and Vizslas are predisposed
- Abnormally functioning fibrinogen is the cause
- Injury or surgery can lead to life-threatening bleeding
- Nosebleeds are common
- Russian Wolfhounds are known to be susceptible
- The cause of this disorder is that the prothrombin in the blood does not function normally
- English Cocker Spaniels have a predisposition
- This clotting factor deficiency will cause bleeding after surgery and is also discovered when bleeding does not cease after giving birth
- Miniature Schnauzers, Boxers, English Bulldogs, Malamutes, Beagles, Boxers, and mixed breeds are known to be predisposed
Hemophilia A (factor III)
- This is the most common inherited clotting deficiency
- Females can carry the disorder without showing any signs
- Males will have signs
- Puppies will have prolonged bleeding from the umbilical cord after birth and from the gums during teething
Hemophilia B (factor IX)
- Females are carriers and usually have no signs
- Dogs with less than 1% of the clotting factor are stillborn or die shortly after birth
- 5 to 10% of factor IX means blood clots, bleeding in the joints, and organ bleeding
- 40 to 60% of factor IX in the blood will cause no signs until a crisis happens
Diagnosis of Clotting Deficiency (Inherited) in Dogs
You may be bringing your furry family member to the veterinary clinic because you have noticed abnormal bruising, or you have a puppy who is bleeding excessively during the teething stage. If you have concerns due to what seems to be bleeding more than what would seem normal in the case of a cut or nail clipping, or if your pet has multiple bruises that seem out of the ordinary, you have made a wise choice indeed, to consult the veterinarian. The diagnosis may indicate an inherited clotting deficiency.
The veterinarian will want to determine if the bleeding is caused by a systemic disorder or a local cause. As an example, kidney disease, liver failure and forms of neoplasia can cause excessive bleeding and an unceasing blood flow. An examination by the veterinarian will include evaluating the eyes, mucus membranes, and skin. A urinalysis and fecal smear will be done as well. There are many other specialised diagnostic tools that the veterinarian may feel necessary to determine if your dog has a clotting disorder like a platelet count, coagulation screening test, and factor assay.
Other pet owners may not have the good fortune to discover the condition until a crisis has happened and their pet is hemorrhaging. In these instances, a veterinarian may discover that a dog has a clotting deficiency during a surgical procedure, or a dog could experience trauma that leads to intense bleeding that will not let up.
Treatment of Clotting Deficiency (Inherited) in Dogs
Treatment will be determined by the severity of the situation at the time. If surgery or a vehicular accident, for example, has led to the discovery of a clotting deficiency, and heavy bleeding has reached an intensive stage, then a blood transfusion could be needed. Other types of inherited clotting deficiencies such as hypofibrinogenemia or Hemophilia type A or B also require transfusions of fresh or fresh/frozen plasma and whole blood.
The goal of treatment will be to enable clotting of the blood, bring back the responsiveness and awareness of your pet, cease the hemorrhaging, and bring heart and lung improvements.
In milder cases of bleeding, cauterization, sutures, pressure wraps and topical tissue adhesive could be enough to stop the bleeding.
Recovery of Clotting Deficiency (Inherited) in Dogs
Hemorrhaging could recur depending on the location of the bleeding, and how intense the event was in the beginning. Pets who have a clotting disorder will always be at risk for future hemorrhaging, bruising and serious occurrences like internal bleeding. Close monitoring of your dog, as well as regular appointments with the veterinarian as recommended will be a part of your pet’s routine. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you how to best care for a pet with special needs and requirements.