What are canine clotting diseases?
Clotting diseases in dogs can present as a life-threatening emergency if not carefully monitored or treated. Knowing the signs and treatments of canine clotting diseases can help keep your dog happy and healthy.
Clotting disease in dogs occurs when there is either a problem involving the chemicals that create the clotting pathway, or a problem with the materials that cause clotting themselves. In a normal, healthy dog, when a cut or scrape happens, the chemicals in the blood are released, telling the body to begin clotting in the area. The clotting materials then create a sort of web over the wound, to prevent the escape of blood and fluids from the veins and arteries, and to prevent bacteria and other pathogens from entering the bloodstream.
Canine clotting problems occur when there is either a disease such as a genetic abnormality that prevents clotting, or an acquired problem such as ingesting poison that prevents clotting. These problems either destroy the clotting materials needed to stop bleeding, or prevent the chemicals from being transmitted properly to start the clotting pathway.
Many breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers are prone to genetic clotting disorders such as von Willebrand’s disease or hemophilia. However, any dog can have a clotting disorder if there are diseases that cause deficiency in materials, or if a dog has ingested a toxin such as rat poison which is designed to stop clotting from happening.
How can I prevent canine clotting disorders?
Genetic clotting disorders are not easily preventable, however its incidence can be reduced through careful selection and breeding of parents, especially of breeds prone to clotting disease. Selecting animals that do not have a history of a bleeding disorder, or removing animals from the breeding pool that do can help prevent puppies from being born with the disease.
Preventing acquired clotting disorders can be easier. If there are known toxins in the environment such as rat poisons or other similar poisons, care should be taken to remove those products safely, or prevent your dog from ingesting them. Many of these products are designed to be very palatable, so dogs and other animals are drawn to them. If you are in an area where you suspect there may be a toxin, carefully searching and removing items prior to allowing your dog access can prevent a potentially deadly outcome.
What should I do if I suspect my dog has a clotting problem?
If you suspect your dog has a genetic clotting problem, making an appointment with your vet for further testing is recommended. However, if you suspect your dog has eaten a toxin causing clotting problems, or is actively bleeding without clotting, it is a medical emergency that cannot wait. Bringing your dog to their vet or an emergency clinic is necessary.
Many clotting tests are available that can help determine the type of clotting problem present. Some problems may be resolved with treatment from medications or via a blood infusion to return normal clotting factors back into the blood stream. More serious disorders may instead require careful monitoring and diligence of pet owners to ensure their dog does not get a cut or scrape that could cause bleeding. Dogs with severe disorders may need to avoid dangerous activities, surgeries and other treatments.
For dogs that have ingested a toxin, many treatments include fluid therapy, blood transfusions or treatment with medications that increase clotting to help prevent damage to the body and internal organs. These dogs will often have to be hospitalized and monitored for a few days to ensure there is no unseen damage to the body caused by the poison.
Natural remedies for treating clotting diseases in dogs
Some natural remedies are available that may help prevent clotting issues. However, many of these remedies can alter the chemical and blood-balance in the body, so your veterinarian should be alerted to any of these remedies during care so that adjustments to regular medications and even fluid therapies can be done to prevent damage to the heart.
Deficiency in certain nutrients may cause clotting problems as they are needed to create the clotting materials or pathway. These nutrients include calcium, and vitamin K. Some illnesses will leech these nutrients out of the body, so supplementation or a good diet can help to keep them in balance. CrotalusHorr 30C is a homeopathic treatment that may also help in internal clotting problems.