Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Excessive Blood Clotting in Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

Hypercoagulability in Dogs

 

Hypercoagulability has several causes, but in essence it reflects a greater amount of procoagulants than anticoagulants in the blood. This means that the blood coagulates (clots) abnormally more than usual.

 

Blood platelets are minute, disc shaped cell fragments in the blood that are responsible for clotting the blood. Too many active platelets, or too few active platelets, can result in severe health disorders. One of the possible causes of hypercoagulability is when there are too many active platelets in the blood. The end result of hypercoagulability is an episode of thrombosis, where clots will get trapped in arteries, veins, or in the heart, causing a loss of blood to the areas these arteries feed. Hypercoagulability is usually secondary to an underlying disease.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

A blood clot that is blocking arteries in the lungs will present as severe breathing difficulties that come on suddenly, rapid breathing, lack of energy, and possible fever. A blood clot blocking the aortic artery – the major artery from the heart to the body – will show as sudden weakness or paralysis, pain in the limbs, an absent or weak pulse in the arteries on the inside of the thigh, cold limbs, or blue-purple colored nails

 

Causes

 

Hypercoagulability onset may be due to blood platelets that are stickier than normal, resulting in too much clotting of blood cells; deficiencies in antithrombin, a natural anticoagulant that prevents clotting in the arteries and veins; decreased removal of coagulation factors, that is, not enough procoagulants are being removed, resulting in an abundance of coagulating factors; or, defective fibrinolysis. Fibrinolysis is the process where fibrin, the protein end product of blood coagulation, is dissolved, resulting in the removal of small blood clots from the bloodstream.

 

Some of the other causes for this condition are:

 

  • Protein-losing nephropathy: a condition resulting in a loss of protein from the intestines so that anti-clotting/anticoagulant proteins are lacking
  • Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia: the abnormal breakdown of blood vessels
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy: a serious disease of the blood vessels, which is usually secondary to a life-threatening illness, or precipitated by a bacterial infection in the blood (sepsis)
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Parasite infection: specifically with Dirofilaria, a genus of worms that includes the heartworm
  • Under-functioning thyroid gland
  • Cancer

 

 

 

Diagnosis

 

Since hypercoagulability is usually the result of an underlying disease, your veterinarian will order tests for activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) to measure how quickly your dog's blood is clotting, in addition to a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, and a comprehensive urinalysis.

 

Chest x-rays will help to visualize abnormalities in the lungs, and an abdominal ultrasound may be used to further examine the body for an aortic artery blockage. An echocardiogram can also be used, for diagnosing blood clots in the heart, and for detecting high blood pressure in the lungs that may be present due to blood clots there.

 

An examination using an injection of a radiopaque substance in order to view the blood vessels, called angiography, may also be necessary for confirming a blood clot. Another test, called nuclear perfusion scintigraphy, uses a radioactive tracer to illuminate the internal body, and is useful for noninvasively diagnosing blood clots in the lungs.

 

 

Related Articles

High Blood Pressure in the Portal Vein to the...
When ingested food enters into the intestinal tract, the nutrients and toxins that...
READ MORE
Anemia (Methemoglobinemia) in Dogs
Under normal conditions, methemoglobin is converted back to hemoglobin, and a balance...
READ MORE
Blood Related Deficiencies in Dogs
The term pancytopenia does not refer to a disease itself, but rather to the simultaneous...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

What Are Lean Proteins and How They Can Help ...
Protein is an important component in your pet's food, but not all proteins are the...
READ MORE
5 Tips to Keep Your Senior Dog Healthy
Senior dogs have different health requirements than younger dogs. Here are some tips...
READ MORE
Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your ...
Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM