von Willebrand’s disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is a blood disorder that is common in dogs. Von Willebrand’s disease is caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand factor, a protein that helps the blood clot. The disorder prevents the blood from clotting properly, leading to excessive bleeding.
Have Your Dog Tested
Von Willebrand’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot in dogs. It is caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of the von Willebrand factor, a protein essential for forming blood clots. This disease is named after Erik von Willebrand, a Finnish veterinarian who first described the disorder in humans in 1926.
Symptoms of von Willebrand disease may include prolonged bleeding after surgery or trauma and nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or blood in urine or stool. They may also bruise easily or have excessive bleeding during estrus or whelping.
Types of This Disease
There are three types of von Willebrand’s disease in dogs, with Type I being the most common and least severe and Type III is the most powerful. Diagnosis is made through a blood test that measures the level of von Willebrand’s factor in the blood.
There is no cure for von Willebrand’s disease in dogs, but treatment options include blood transfusions, plasma transfusions, and medication to control bleeding. It is important to note that dogs with von Willebrand’s disease should not be used for breeding, as genetics passes the disorder down.
In addition to medical treatment, affected dogs may require lifestyle changes to prevent injury and bleeding. This can include avoiding activities that may cause trauma, such as rough play, and providing a soft surface to sleep on to prevent bruising. Owners may also need to take precautions during routine procedures, such as trimming nails or giving medications, to stop bleeding.
Dog owners must be aware of the signs of this disease and inform their veterinarians if they suspect their dog may be affected. Early diagnosis and management of the disease can help prevent severe bleeding episodes and improve the dog’s overall quality of life.
Additionally, responsible breeding practices can help reduce the prevalence of von Willebrand’s disease in dogs. Breeders can have their dogs tested for the disease and avoid breeding those affected or carriers. By doing so, they can help ensure that future generations of dogs are not affected by this genetic disorder.
Can You Cure von Willebrand’s Disease?
There is no cure for von Willebrand’s disease, but there are treatments that can help to control the symptoms. Affected dogs may require lifelong therapy with desmopressin or tranexamic acid medications. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to control bleeding.
Von Willebrand’s disease can be mild, moderate, severe, acquired, or inherited. Inherited von Willebrand’s disease is more common in certain breeds of dogs, such as Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers. Von Willebrand’s disease is usually diagnosed with a blood test, and treatment typically involves giving the dog blood transfusions or medication to help the blood clot properly. Most dogs with von Willebrand’s disease can lead everyday, healthy lives with proper treatment.
Dog Breeds That Are More At Risk
Certain dog breeds are more commonly affected by von Willebrand’s disease, including Doberman Pinschers, Scottish Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Golden Retrievers. However, the condition can occur in any breed or mixed breed dog.
Von Willebrand’s disease testing for all dogs is recommended mainly if they are of a breed known to be at risk. Testing can be done through a simple blood test, which measures the level of von Willebrand factor in the blood. If a dog is found to have von Willebrand’s disease, their breeder and veterinarian need to be informed so that appropriate management and treatment can be provided.
In summary, von Willebrand’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects a dog’s ability to clot blood. While the disease has no cure, it can be managed with medical treatment and lifestyle changes. Early diagnosis and responsible breeding practices can help prevent the spread of the disease in future generations of dogs. Owners of dogs with von Willebrand’s disease should work closely with their veterinarians to provide the best possible care for their pets.