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Von Willebrand’s Disease in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Similar to human hemophilia is the inability for blood to clot. Most commonly seen in Scottish Terriers, German Shepherds, Shorthaired Pointers, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Standard Poodles. Sometimes hypothyroidism is also in evidence.

Physical Symptoms

Bleeding occurring after surgery or injury that does not stop, bleeding from the gums or nose, blood in the stool, black or tarry stool, bleeding in the joints causing arthritis-like symptoms.


Genetic defect in which dogs lack the substance known as Von Willebrand’s factor which aids platelets in the clotting action.


Consult your veterinarian. Thyroid hormone replacement in dogs with hypothyroidism. Infusions with normal clotting blood from other dogs will aid in clotting. A new drug known as desmopressin acetate is sometimes administered nasally, but its effectiveness is very controversial. Generally dogs with Von Willebrand’s Disease should be spayed or neutered in order to prevent their passing on this disorder to offspring in accidental matings.

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