Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100): Evaluating Clot Formation for Canine Health

The Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100) is a valuable diagnostic tool used in dogs to assess platelet function and evaluate clot formation. By simulating high shear conditions, the PFA-100 measures the time it takes for platelet plug formation, providing insights into the efficiency of primary hemostasis. In this in-depth article, we explore the importance of the Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100) in dogs, understanding its role in evaluating clot formation and supporting optimal canine health.

Understanding the Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100)

The PFA-100 is a specialized instrument designed to assess the primary hemostatic function of platelets in a high shear environment, similar to narrowed blood vessels.

Assessing Platelet Function

The PFA-100 evaluates the ability of platelets to form a stable plug at the site of injury, indicating their role in initiating the blood clotting process.

How the PFA-100 Works

  1. Test Procedure: The PFA-100 test involves drawing a blood sample and placing it into a disposable cartridge.
  2. Shear Conditions: The cartridge contains a membrane with a small aperture, and blood flows through the aperture under high shear conditions.
  3. Evaluation of Closure Time: The time taken for the aperture to close due to platelet plug formation is measured, indicating the efficiency of clot formation.

Indications for PFA-100 Testing in Dogs

  1. Bleeding Disorders: Dogs experiencing unexplained bleeding tendencies may undergo PFA-100 testing to identify platelet dysfunction.
  2. Preoperative Assessment: Prior to surgeries, especially those with potential bleeding risks, PFA-100 testing ensures adequate platelet function.

Interpreting PFA-100 Results

  1. Normal Closure Time: A normal PFA-100 closure time suggests efficient platelet function and effective clot formation.
  2. Prolonged Closure Time: An extended closure time indicates impaired platelet function and potential clotting abnormalities.

Complementing Other Tests

PFA-100 testing complements other coagulation tests, such as the Von Willebrand Factor Assay and Platelet Aggregometry, providing a comprehensive evaluation of clotting abilities.

Advantages and Limitations

  1. Advantages: The PFA-100 offers rapid and reliable results, helping veterinarians make timely decisions for canine patients.
  2. Limitations: The PFA-100 evaluates only primary hemostasis, and additional tests may be necessary for a complete coagulation assessment.

Tailored Canine Care

  1. Early Detection: PFA-100 testing enables early detection of platelet dysfunction, allowing for prompt management and preventive measures.
  2. Appropriate Management: Based on the test results, veterinarians can provide tailored care to support optimal blood clotting in dogs.


The Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100) is a valuable diagnostic tool in assessing platelet function and clot formation in dogs. By providing insights into primary hemostasis, PFA-100 testing contributes to enhanced canine care, enabling early detection and appropriate management of clotting disorders. Incorporating the PFA-100 into the coagulation assessment toolkit supports the overall well-being and longevity of our beloved canine companions.