What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?
Affected dogs bruise easily, have nose bleeds, and excessively bleed from small wounds. Affected puppies may bleed excessively from their mouth when teething or when adult teeth come in. There may be bright red blood in their vomit, stool, or urine, or bits of black digested blood in the stool.
When do signs and symptoms develop?
This disease is typically diagnosed in puppies or young adults when they are spayed or neutered and have a problem with clotting. However, it can be diagnosed at any age.
How do vets diagnose this condition?
vWD is diagnosed through genetic testing and blood testing at a laboratory. Veterinarians may also nick a dog’s lip with a sterile needle and time how long it takes for clotting to occur. Although carriers of the variant are not expected to have a high rate of clinical signs and do not bleed excessively following trauma or surgery, bleeding may occur if a carrier co-inherits another blood disorder. If there are any concerns, a blood test should be performed on carriers as well.
How is this condition treated?
vWD cannot be treated, only managed. Preventing injuries is goal number one. If your dog requires surgery, your veterinarian should be warned that excessive bleeding may occur, and blood products should be on hand in case a transfusion is required.
What actions should I take if my dog is affected?
- Prevention is key! Minimizing the risk of trauma and informing your veterinarian so that surgeries can be carefully planned are the best ways to prevent a catastrophic outcome.
- Be aware of the location of the nearest emergency veterinary hospital in case of an accident.