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Bleeding Disorders In Dogs – Blood Clotting Disorder Overview

Blood Clotting Disorder In Dogs

What Is Bleeding Disorder In Dogs?

A clotting disorder (or Coagulation disorder) is any irregularities that disrupt a dog's hemostasis or body process to prevent and stop bleeding. For successful hemostasis, your dog's blood requires appropriate coagulation factors, vasoconstriction factors, and a number of platelets.

Abnormalities in the clotting process (also known as coagulation) disorders may be present at birth (congenital) or acquired due to the result of some other disorder.

Blood clotting disorders can be defined as:

  • Not enough clotting, leads to serious blood loss (hemorrhage).
  • With too much clotting, blood clots form too easily or don't dissolve properly (hypercoagulation).

Symptoms Of Bleeding Disorder In Dogs

Specific symptoms are exhibited for specific types of clotting and/or bleeding disorders.

Here are some common symptoms:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Spontaneous bleeding
  • Epistaxis (Nosebleeds)
  • Redness or discoloration of the skin
  • Swelling/Excessive bruising
  • Lameness

Symptoms of clotting disorders with 'not enough clotting' include:

  • An ordinary injury that will not stop bleeding
  • Prolonged bleeding from ordinary cuts or dental work
  • Nosebleeds that seem to have no cause
  • Unrelenting, painful headaches
  • Bruising easily and excessively
  • Vision problems, such as double vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blood in the urine(hematuria) or stool(Hematochezia)
  • Sudden pain and/or swelling in joints or muscles
  • Nausea and vomiting

Symptoms of clotting disorders with 'too much clotting' include:

Symptoms of Unnecessary or 'too much clotting' depends on the location it develops.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body) include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath or fast breathing
  • Swelling of an arm or leg (sometimes this happens abruptly)
  • Discolored or reddish skin
  • Elevated heart beat/ feeling dizzy
  • Pain in the back
  • Sweating more than normal

Pulmonary embolism (A blood clot that has traveled to the lung) symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Cough (sometimes with phlegm/ bloody sputum)
  • Fast breathing and/or sudden shortness of breath
  • Fast heartbeat/ sweating/feeling dizzy
  • A stroke or heart attack at a young age

How Are Bleeding Disorders In Dogs Treated?

Treatment and subsequent prognosis will vary according to the specific clotting disorder of the dog.

Blood clotting disorders treatment may include medications or plasma transfusions to help the blood clotting.

For pets experiencing excessive bleeding, blood clotting elements are reintroduced by a plasma transfusion into the dog’s blood.

Vitamin K deficiency - phytonadione injections are given to boost the level of vitamin K

Inherited clotting/ bleeding disorders require long-term treatment while acquired bleeding disorders require proper diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause itself.

Dogs with blood loss (transfusion of either red blood cells, or whole blood)

Blood loss from a single site: for e.g. abnormal nosebleed will be stopped by packing with gauze.

Dogs with decreased platelet count: transfusion of platelets

Immune-mediated disease and certain infectious diseases: antibiotics or corticosteroids to suppress the immune system

Von Willebrand’s disease: plasma transfusion

Anemic Dogs: depending on the severity, they may require a cell transfusion whether it's whole blood or pack transfusion of just red blood cells.

Home Remedies For Bleeding Disorder In Dogs

If your dog has allergies or immune compromised or at risk for any blood related conditions, here are some things you can do at home to help.

  1. Provide your dog a balanced, nutritious diet.
  2. Keep your dog is active: Keep your dog busy with some creative, fun ways.
  3. Increase immunity - Feed Your Dog the Right Foods as The gut contains about 70 percent of dog’s immune system.
  4. Weight management for your dog is important.
  5. Supplementing for blood circulation - help your dog have cardiovascular with vet approved supplements.

How To Prevent Bleeding Disorder In Dogs?

Blood clotting disorders due to the hereditary abnormality can be prevented by stopping the breeding of affected dogs so that the risk passing the condition on to the next generation is averted.

Allergy-related: try to remove or avoid the allergens to prevent future outbreaks.

Food-related disorders such as DVT: consult with the vet for any specialized hypoallergenic diets.

Dog Breeds Affected By Bleeding Disorder In Dogs

German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Scottish Terrier, Standard Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Manchester Terrier, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Basset Hound, Shetland Sheepdog.

Causes Of Blood Clotting Disorder In Dogs

Causes of blood clotting Disorders in Dogs.

Hypofibrinogenemia: Reduced levels of fibrinogen (Vizsla and Saint Bernard breeds).

Deficiency of Factor VII: reduced activity or deficiency of clotting factor VII (English bulldog, Beagle, Miniature Schnauzer, Boxer breeds, Alaskan malamute, etc.,)

Hemophilia A: The most common congenital bleeding disorder. This is predominant in Female dogs.

Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD): This is another most common inherited, heterogeneous, bleeding disorder and is found in all breeds (Standard Manchester Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Standard Poodle, Scottish Terrier, Basset Hound, Golden Retriever, Miniature Schnauzer, Shetland Sheepdog breeds).

Acquired Clotting Protein Disorders: This is a result of liver disease or liver toxicity.

Canine Thombopathia: Is a congenital defect with defective platelets that are not able to clot appropriately (Basset Hound breed).

Thrombocytopenia: Low blood platelet count (no breed disposition).

Platelet Disorders: Congenital or acquired irregularity in platelet count or functioning.

Blood Vessel Disorders: This may be inherited or acquired due to other diseases.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Rickettsia rickettsii parasite transmitted by ixodid ticks (German shepherds and purebred dogs).

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): Is known as cutaneous asthenia rubber puppy disease. A group of rare hereditary connective tissue diseases characterized by abnormal collagen structure (St. Bernards, Boxers, German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Springer Spaniels, Irish setters, Poodles, and Greyhounds).

When To See A Vet For Blood Clotting Disorder In Dogs?

Time to visit the vet clinic for an examination, if you notice any of the following:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Spontaneous bleeding
  • Epistaxis (Nosebleeds)

Diet And Food Suggestions For Blood Clotting Disorder In Dogs

We wish we could keep the chin up and help you feel better by saying food suggestions to treat blood clotting disorders, but honestly speaking, dietary changes don't help overnight.

  • Establish a plan for dietary change.
  • Plan your menus for the pup.
  • Know your odds; think about what foods you must avoid.
  • Resist the urge to pass over this stage too quickly.
  • Check with your vet, Eat the right food and get your dog moving.
  • Devote plenty of time and energy into manifesting the doggy diet plan into reality.


Within a few days of starting the proper treatment, most of the blood clotting disorder symptoms will be relieved. The clinical signs acquired due to underlying conditions can be controlled by appropriate treatment.

However, congenital clotting disorders require lifelong management and often not cured.

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