Von Willebrand Disease in Dogs | Treatment and Prognosis

Treating Von Willebrand Disease in Dogs

Treatment Goals

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 bleeding episodes and correct any underlying conditions that might contribute to the dogs’ bleeding disorder.

Treatment Options

Dogs that bleed excessively during surgery, despite having had no known exposure to anticoagulant or antiplatelet substances (such as rodent bait or aspirin), should be suspected of having von Willebrand disease. They may require one or more blood transfusions to restore appropriate levels of von Willebrand factor, which is essential to normal blood clotting. Several transfusions are usually required, especially in dogs with severe disease. Bleeding at local wound sites can be controlled by appropriate supportive care, including sutures, pressure wraps, tissue glue and/or bandaging. Steps can be taken to boost the dog’s blood-clotting ability so that surgery carries fewer risks. Dogs known to be affected can be given clotting factors and medications intravenously before surgery, to prevent dangerous bleeding episodes.

Dogs with von Willebrand disease should not engage in rough play with other dogs, or with their owners. Even light injuries to their joints or body can become problematic. Soft food and treats may be appropriate if dry kibble causes excessive bleeding of the gums. Hard bones, cookies or rawhide “chewies” probably should be avoided. Dog’s with von Willebrand disease have a tendency to develop a hypothyroid condition. Annual thyroid tests should be performed every year on affected animals. If a dog develops hypothyroidism, life-long oral medication can help control the condition.

Drugs with antiplatelet or anticoagulant effects should be avoided in dogs with vWD. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), estrogens, cytotoxic medications, heparin, coumadin, plasma expanders and sulfonamide antibiotics.

Prognosis

Most dogs with blood clotting disorders caused by vWD have a good prognosis for a fairly normal quality and length of life, with only occasional transfusions being necessary. Dogs with more severe forms of the disease may require repeated and aggressive transfusion therapy. They should be blood-typed and cross-matched, to assist is selection of appropriate blood donors.

Source: PetWave

MATCHING TOPICS OF INTEREST

Cushing's Disease in Dogs

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs: Learn about Cushing’s Disease, including how it can affect your dog,...

Dog Stomach Ulcers

Stomach Ulcers in Dogs: Learn about Stomach Ulcers, including how they can affect your dog,...

Dog Dental Disorders

Periodontal Disease in Dogs: Learn about Periodontal Disease, including how it can affect your dog,...

Tracheal Worms (Oslerus osleri) in Dogs

Tracheal Worms in Dogs: Learn about Tracheal Worms, including how they can affect your dog,...

Cleft Palate in Dogs

Cleft Palate in Dogs: Learn about Cleft Palate, including how it can affect your dog,...

PETWAVE: POPULAR TOPICS

Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Nutrition | Cat Nutrition

Advertise on petwave.com - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of Petwave.com on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Email Friend about Petwave.com Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2014 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.