Cuts and scrapes are a fact of life, for humans and animals. Yet they're a significant danger if your dog has Von Willebrand's disease, a condition similar to human hemophilia, in which blood cannot clot properly. Because of this, any injury, even a minor one, will cause the dog to bleed profusely. Without treatment, dogs can easily bleed to death following surgery or from what would normally be considered minor wounds.
Von Willebrand's Disease is an inherited disorder. Affected dogs are missing a specific element in their blood that helps the platelets to form clots. It's a substance that helps stabilize one of the blood's clotting elements, known as Factor VIII, which is vital to the clotting process. The missing substance is known as Von Willebrand's factor, after the Finnish physician who discovered and researched the condition in the 1920s. [...]
If you notice your dog is bruising easily or bleeding with no obvious cause, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Your pet may have one of several types of bleeding disorders that can affect canines. These disorders occur when the blood does not clot normally, in turn causing the dog to bleed abnormally or excessively after any minor injury or cut.
There are a number of warning signs that indicate your dog may have a blood disorder. Be watchful for any bleeding or bruises that have no obvious cause, frequent nosebleeds and blood in the animal's urine or feces. Also, the gums may be pale, and there may be tiny pinpoint-sized red spots on the gums or the whites of the eyes. If your dog becomes tired easily, he also may have anemia, which results from a reduced number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. [...]
Most puppies have worms when they are born, that they contracted from their mother. Fleas and worms are another health concern that can cause a variety of problems. New puppy owners have to deal with this as both part of their puppy's care and the duration of their dogs' life. Worms are nasty parasites that usually live in a puppy's digestive system, but some do invade the heart or other organs. Puppies experience problems ranging from anemia and vomiting or, in the case of heartworm, even death if left untreated. After a veterinarian identifies the problem, treatment is normally very effective and straightforward. [...]
Von Willebrand's disease, often abbreviated as vWD is a hereditary blood disorder in dogs that leads to excessive bleeding. Von Willebrand's disease is very similar to hemophilia in humans and while controllable and manageable can be fatal under certain conditions.
Any breed of dog can have von Willebrand's disease but some breeds are more prone to having the genetic factors for the condition than others. Larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Airedale Terriers, Keeshonds and Standard Poodles are more prone to having the condition whereas some of the medium to small sized dogs such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Corgis and Scottish Terriers also have a higher than average rate of von Willebrand's disease indicating it can also be a breed specific condition. Males and females are equally likely to have the condition and many dogs may go undiagnosed their entire life if they do not have any injuries or other related health problems. [...]
The dramatic rise in popularity of the German Shepherd Dog almost from its first introduction to the United States is perhaps the single biggest reason that this breed historically was known for fairly significant health problems. Thankfully a great many highly reputable breeders have been working diligently over the last thirty years or more to eliminate many of the problems found in the breed, and there are very well developed, healthy lines of German Shepherd Dogs found all over the country. The massive random breeding programs used in the early 1900's did cause some problems, however this is certainly not true today. [...]
As with any purebred line of dogs or any hybrid dog breed combination, there are inherited genetic problems that can occur. It is important for dog owners to understand that there are no health issues that occur only in the Rottweiler, rather most of these conditions occur in almost all other types of large breed purebred and mixed breed dogs. [...]
The vast majority of the Doberman Pinscher breed of dogs are extremely health canines that live on average 12 to 14 years. They tend to have several health conditions that are common in other breeds and no common major health concerns that are unique within the Doberman breed. It is highly likely that the strong foundation stock that was used to start the breed in the late 1800’s had these genetic conditions as well, and they continue to be present in the modern day Doberman Pinscher as well as the existing foundation breeds. [...]
Basset Hounds, perhaps because they were originally developed by using dwarf lines found within Bloodhound and other hunting hounds, tend to have slightly more health concerns than most of the other hound breeds. They have also had significant spikes in popularity throughout history, leading to poor breeding practices by many backyard types of breeders only in it for the money. Reputable breeders and kennels have maintained very healthy and genetically sound Basset Hounds that have few of the health issues listed below. [...]