Learn About Von Willebrand Disease in Dogs
Definition of Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is the most common hereditary blood-clotting disorder in dogs. Dogs with vWD don’t have enough of a certain protein, called von Willebrand factor or factor VIII, in their blood. This protein is necessary for blood to clot, especially during the early stages of bleeding. Von Willebrand Disease is caused by genetic mutations that interfere with the production or function of the von Willebrand factor protein. Both males and females can pass this genetic mutation to their puppies. There are 3 different types of vWD, based on whether von Willebrand factor is reduced or entirely absent. Most dogs with vWD don’t have noticeable symptoms and are only diagnosed after surgery or an injury that causes bleeding. Dogs with severe vWD may bleed spontaneously from their nose or gums, have bloody stools and urine and bleed profusely during and after surgical procedures.
Von Willebrand disease is caused by genetic mutations that impair the synthesis, release, function or stability of von Willebrand factor. Males and females express and transmit these genetic mutations to their offspring with equal frequency. The severity of disease depends upon the degree to which the genetic mutations are expressed.There are three recognized classifications of vWD, and affected breeds tend to fall into one of those three categories. Type 1 vWD is a quantitative reduction
Von Willebrand disease affects both males and females and has been documented in more than 50 breeds of domestic dogs. Most affected animals have few if any symptoms, and even those tend to recede with age. Dogs with mild to moderate forms of the disease may not be diagnosed for years – often only after surgery or some other traumatic tissue injury, such as lacerations, dog bites or being hit by a car, that exposes
Von Willebrand disease can be diagnosed through blood tests and bleeding time assessments. Bleeding time tests involve making a tiny incision in the dog’s gum and measuring the amount of time it takes for bleeding from the wound to stop on its own. This normally occurs within 2 to 4 minutes. Nails that are clipped too short typically stop bleeding within 2 to 6 minutes. Blood tests for vWD are also available and involve measuring
Von Willebrand disease (vWD) can cause a serious, and sometimes deadly, bleeding disorder in domestic dogs. The disease disrupts normal blood clotting functions and causes excessive bleeding from even superficial wounds. Von Willebrand disease cannot be “cured,” but it can be managed so as to increase a dog’s chances of recovering fully after a traumatic or surgical event. The goals of treating dogs with vWD are to control spontaneous bleeding, reduce the frequency of induced