Canine Thrombopathia

Hereditary canine thrombopathia is a genetic platelet function disorder affecting signal transduction. It causes abnormal bleeding in affected pets. Experts believe that this pet health condition is passed on in an autosomal recessive manner. This means that inheritance is not linked to sex, and an animal must inherit a copy of the faulty gene from each of its parents to inherit the disease. Pets with only one copy of the faulty gene appear healthy, but they do have the potential to pass the disease to their offspring. While platelet disorders do occur in cats, there is no form of feline thrombopathia equivalent to the hereditary disease found in dogs. 

Canine Thrombopathia

How it Affects your pet

Appropriate blood clotting is important to the maintenance of pet health. Cell fragments, called platelets, congregate in damaged areas of blood vessels and initiate the clotting process. In dogs with canine thrombopathia, these platelets possess a signaling defect. This defect prevents them from clumping properly and effectively initiating clot formation. Because they possess defective platelets, dogs with canine thrombopathia tend to bleed excessively. This means that even minor injuries can be life threatening in affected dogs. Dogs with this disorder have normal blood cell counts and clotting factor levels. For this reason, diagnosis of canine thrombopathia requires platelet function testing. Any dog from an at-risk breed with consistent symptoms and normal platelet and clotting factor counts should be referred to a specialist for these tests.

Common symptoms

Symptoms of canine thrombopathia are similar to those of other blood clotting disorders. These include the following: Excessive bruising, Bleeding gums, Nose bleeds, Hematomas on the Ears, Excessive Bleeding during the Heat Cycle, Significant bleeding during the loss of baby teeth, Excessive bleeding after surgery or injury, Blood in the Urine and Blood in the Stool.

Treatments

There is no cure for canine thrombopathia, but this pet condition can be managed. Affected dogs need to be carefully monitored and kept from dangerous situations. Any injury that causes bleeding needs to be treated by a veterinarian. When dogs with this disease must undergo surgical procedures, they require special handling and blood transfusions. In addition, medications, like aspirin, that interfere with platelet function should be avoided in affected dogs whenever possible. To prevent the condition, affected dogs and carriers of the defective gene should not be bred.

Breeds Affected

Platelet defects occur in dogs of many breeds, but the term hereditary canine thrombopathia is typically used to refer to the platelet signaling defect that occurs in the Basset Hound and Finnish Spitz.

Canine Thrombopathia Affects

  • Appropriate blood clotting is important to the maintenance of pet health. Cell fragments, called platelets, congregate in damaged areas of blood vessels and initiate the clotting process. In dogs with canine thrombopathia, these platelets possess a signaling defect. This defect prevents them from clumping properly and effectively initiating clot formation. Because they possess defective platelets, dogs with canine thrombopathia tend to bleed excessively. This means that even minor injuries can be life threatening in affected dogs. Dogs with this disorder have normal blood cell counts and clotting factor levels. For this reason, diagnosis of canine thrombopathia requires platelet function testing. Any dog from an at-risk breed with consistent symptoms and normal platelet and clotting factor counts should be referred to a specialist for these tests.

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