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Aortic thrombosis in dogs: 31 cases (2000–2010)

Geri A. Lake-Bakaar DVM1, Eric G. Johnson DVM, DACVR2, and Leigh G. Griffiths VetMB, DACVIM, PhD3
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  • 1 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To describe clinical signs, treatment, and outcome of aortic thrombosis in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—31 dogs with aortic thrombosis.

Procedures—Records were retrospectively reviewed and data collected regarding signalment, historical signs, physical examination findings, laboratory testing, definitive diagnosis, and presence of concurrent disease.

Results—The records of 31 dogs with clinical or postmortem diagnosis of aortic thrombosis were reviewed. Onset of clinical signs was acute in 14 (45%) dogs, chronic in 15 (48%), and not documented in 2 (6%). Femoral pulses were subjectively weak in 6 (19%) dogs and absent in 17 (55%). Frequent laboratory abnormalities included high BUN concentration (n = 13), creatinine concentration (6), creatine kinase activity (10), and D-dimer concentration (10) and proteinuria with a urine protein–to–creatinine concentration ratio > 0.5 (12). Concurrent conditions included neoplasia (n = 6), recent administration of corticosteroids (6), and renal (8) or cardiac (6) disease. Median survival time was significantly longer for dogs with chronic onset of disease (30 days; range, 0 to 959 days) than for those with acute onset of clinical signs (1.5 days; range, 0 to 120 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that aortic thrombosis is a rare condition in dogs and accounted for only 0.0005% of hospital admissions during the study period. The clinical signs for dogs with aortic thrombosis differed from those seen in feline patients with aortic thromboembolism. Median survival time was significantly longer for dogs with chronic disease than for dogs with acute disease. Despite treatment, outcomes were typically poor, although protracted periods of survival were achieved in some dogs.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Dr. Molly Church for pathology images and Dennis Feser for compilation of hospital population data.

Address correspondence to Dr. Griffiths (lggriffiths@ucdavis.edu).