Clotting Deficiency (Liver Related) in Dogs

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Coagulopathy of Liver Disease in Dogs

The liver is the primary site of synthesis of coagulation, anticoagulant, and fibrinolytic proteins. In fact, only five blood clotting factors are not produced there. Therefore, liver diseases that cause clotting issues in dogs can be very serious and sometimes life-threatening.

Symptoms and Types

  • Black feces due to digested blood (melena)
  • Bright red blood in the feces (hematochezia)
  • Vomiting or spitting up blood (hematemesis)
  • Prolonged bleeding after drawing blood, urine, or from recent surgical wounds
  • Spontaneous bruising (rare)

Causes

The causes of coagulopathy of liver disease are abundant, including:

  • Severe liver failure
  • Acute viral liver disease
  • Cirrhosis (hardening and shrinking of the liver with loss of functional tissue)
  • Extrahepatic bile duct obstruction (EHBDO)
  • Vitamin K deficiency linked to severe intra- or extrahepatic cholestasis (blockage of the bile ducts) or steatorrhea (fat in the feces due to trouble digesting fat since enzymes the liver makes are lacking).
  • Portosystemic Vascular Anomaly (PSVA), causing insufficient blood flow to the liver

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to the veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, complete blood count (CBC), and electrolyte panel.

Hemostatic tests like prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), activated clotting time (ACT), prothrombin time (PT), thrombin clotting time (TCT), and Proteins invoked by Vitamin K Absence (PIVKA) are useful for measuring the severity of the dog’s inability to clot normally. Tests can also be performed to detect low coagulation/anticoagulant factor (antithrombin (AT) and protein (C) activity. X-rays, meanwhile, are used to identify liver abnormalities, fluid in the abdomen, abnormal intestinal motility and thickening in affected areas.

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melena

The term for black feces that has blood in it

platelet

A cell that aids in clotting

urinalysis

An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

hemorrhage

Extreme loss of blood

prothrombin

One of the proteins in plasma used for clotting

hematemesis

The act of throwing up blood

ascites

The collection of fluid in the peritoneal cavity.

bile

The fluid created by the liver that helps food in the stomach to be digested.

ducts

A passage in the body with walls

anticoagulant

Term used to refer to any drug that is used to slow down or stop the clotting of blood for medical purposes.

hematochezia

Passing stool with blood in it

Courtesy of petmd.com Original Article

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