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  • Author or Editor: Sharon L. Raymond x
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Summary

During a study period from 1985 through 1988, plasma von Willebrand's factor antigen (vWF:Ag) concentration was measured as a marker for prevalence of the von Willebrand's disease (vWD) trait in Doberman Pinschers (doberman, n = 5,554), Scottish Terriers (scottie, n = 1,363), and Shetland Sheepdogs (sheltie, n = 4,279). Significant increase in prevalence of the trait was seen in scotties and shelties during this period. In 1988, 73% of dobermans, 30% of scotties, and 28% of shelties tested had abnormal vWF:Ag concentration (<50% vWF:Ag).

We found significant differences between breeds with respect to age and vWF:Ag concentration of clinically affected dogs at time of diagnosis. The affected dobermans were older (doberman mean age, 4.6 years; scottie mean age, 1.7 years; sheltie mean age, 1.9 years) and had higher concentration of plasma vWF:Ag (doberman mean vWF:Ag, 15%; scottie mean vWF:Ag, 0%; sheltie mean vWF:Ag, 8%). Bleeding in affected dogs of all 3 breeds was observed predominantly from mucosal surfaces and from cutaneous sites of surgery or trauma. The most common site of mucosal bleeding in scotties and shelties was oral or nasal cavity, and in dobermans was the urogenital tract.

Differences in clinical manifestations of vWD in purebred dogs may reflect heterogeneous defects within the vWF gene, causing a variety of abnormalities in production, structure, and function of vWF protein. Analogous to vWD in human beings, acquired deficiencies of vWF may also contribute to the clinical variability of vWD in dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Ten clinically affected Shetland Sheepdogs were evaluated to define their severe bleeding diathesis and were determined to have von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF:Ag) values < 0.1% by elisa assay. The virtual absence of vWF protein by elisa assay and on multimeric analysis was diagnostic of either homozygosity or probable double heterozygosity for the canine von Willebrand disease (vWD) gene. Clinically affected dogs have type-III vWD and are the offspring of 2 heterozygous parents carrying type-I vWD. Twenty-three percent (1,428 dogs) of the more than 6,000 Shetland Sheepdogs screened for vWD at our facility since 1982 tested within the heterozygous carrier range for the common type-I form of this inherited disorder. Veterinarians and breeders should be aware of the potential for bleeding associated with elective and medical procedures in Shetland Sheepdogs and should use caution when breeding carriers of vWD because of the risk of producing clinically affected offspring with severe type-III vWD.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association