Von Willebrand’s Disease in Dogs – Canine Hemophilia (July 2019)

Von Willebrand’s disease, also known as vWD, affects both dogs and cats. It’s known as canine hemophilia, which is a blood disorder that is seen in humans across the globe.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of breeds out there who are carriers of this disease. If you see your breed listed further down, make sure you fully educate yourself on what vWD is and what you need to look out for.

What is Von Willebrand’s Disease in Dogs?

vWD is a common bleeding disorder in dogs that is both inherited and caused by a protein deficiency.

More specifically, it occurs in dogs due to a lack of proteins that allows blood cells to form clots and properly seal any broken blood vessels for whatever reason.

The deficient protein, itself, is known as the Von Willebrand factor, or vWF.

In short, vWD makes it easy for a dog to excessively bleed during the most minor of injuries.

Breeds Affected by vWD

As I mentioned before, there are a lot of breeds of dog that are affected by vWD.

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Standard Poodle
  • Golden Retriever
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shorthaired Pointer

If you have any of the above breeds, talk to your vet about the possibility of your dog having vWD.

Symptoms of vWD in Dogs

Listed below are the most commonly seen symptoms of dogs who have vWD:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Bloody urine and/or feces
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Bruising of the skin
  • Prolonged bleeding after an injury, treatment, surgery, etc

vWD is typically spotted early in young dogs when they are spayed or neutered.

If, however, your dog has not been spayed or neutered, and you notice any of the other signs listed above, bring your dog to the vet immediately.

Injured Dogs with vWD

If your dog has vWD and becomes injured for whatever reason, resulting in an open wound, you need to seek help immediately. Dogs who have vWD can bleed out incredibly fast.

Knowing What to Expect

If your dog has vWD, or you believe he could due to his breed, make sure you talk to your vet about it. They can help with treatment and prevention based on your dog’s case as an individual.

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