Vicenza Variant in Dogs: A Unique Mutation Implicating Von Willebrand Factor

The Vicenza Variant is a rare genetic mutation in dogs that affects Von Willebrand Factor (VWF), a crucial protein involved in blood clotting. This unique variant is characterized by altered VWF function, leading to potential bleeding tendencies in affected dogs. In this in-depth article, we delve into the Vicenza Variant in dogs, understanding its impact on blood clotting, the diagnostic approach, and its implications for canine health.

Understanding the Vicenza Variant

The Vicenza Variant is a specific mutation affecting the structure and function of Von Willebrand Factor in dogs.

Role of Von Willebrand Factor (VWF)

  1. Vital Clotting Protein: VWF plays a key role in primary hemostasis, mediating platelet adhesion and facilitating clot formation.
  2. Carrier Protein: VWF also serves as a carrier for coagulation Factor VIII, which is crucial for the clotting process.

Genetic Basis

  1. Inherited Trait: The Vicenza Variant is inherited from a dog’s parents, typically following an autosomal recessive pattern.
  2. Specific Mutation: The variant is characterized by a unique mutation in the VWF gene, resulting in altered VWF structure and function.

Impact on Blood Clotting

  1. Reduced VWF Function: The Vicenza Variant leads to decreased VWF activity, affecting platelet adhesion and clot formation.
  2. Factor VIII Deficiency: The mutation may also impact the binding and stability of Factor VIII, further contributing to clotting abnormalities.

Clinical Presentation

  1. Bleeding Tendencies: Dogs with the Vicenza Variant may experience spontaneous bleeding, prolonged bleeding from wounds, and excessive bleeding during surgeries.
  2. Mucosal Bleeding: Bleeding from mucosal surfaces, such as the gums, is common in affected dogs.

Diagnosis of the Vicenza Variant

  1. Clinical Evaluation: History of bleeding tendencies and clinical signs are crucial in suspecting the Vicenza Variant.
  2. Genetic Testing: Specific genetic tests can confirm the presence of the Vicenza Variant in dogs.

Management and Treatment

  1. Preventive Measures: Avoiding activities that may cause injuries and traumas can minimize bleeding risks.
  2. Medication: Some dogs may benefit from medications that support clotting, but efficacy may vary based on individual responses.

Canine Health Implications

  1. Quality of Life: With appropriate management, affected dogs can lead a good quality of life.
  2. Challenges in Diagnosis: The rarity of the Vicenza Variant can pose challenges in diagnosis, necessitating specialized testing.


The Vicenza Variant is a rare genetic mutation in dogs that affects Von Willebrand Factor and impacts blood clotting. Understanding the unique features of this variant, its diagnosis, and management is crucial for providing tailored care and support to canine companions affected by potential bleeding tendencies. Genetic testing plays a significant role in confirming the Vicenza Variant and guiding informed breeding decisions to promote the overall well-being of our beloved canine friends.