German Shorthaired Pointer: The danger of bleeding

Dog owner question

"Hi, my German Shorthaired Pointer bleeds for a longer period of time due to minor cuts and sometimes his nose bleeds. What could be the problem?"

Veterinarian's reply

Hi! What you describe is very similar to the symptoms of von Willebrand's disease (vWD).

Willebrand's disease (vWD)

VWD is a genetic disorder that occurs in the clotting of blood. Unfortunately, vizslas are breed predisposed to this disease.

Von Willebrand factor is a protein that is a key part of blood clotting. If the dog's body does not produce enough of this protein, or if it does not function properly, the dog's blood will not clot properly.

As a result, the dog will bleed for longer from any wounds and can easily develop internal bleeding, even after minor injuries. Nosebleeds are also a common symptom!

To diagnose vWD, a blood test is needed to measure the level of von Willebrand factor in the blood.

If your vet suspects your dog has vWD, he will probably recommend this test.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for vWD because it is a genetic disorder. Treatment usually focuses on managing symptoms and preventing bleeding episodes.

Short-haired German Vizsla (German Shorthaired Pointer)

If the dog suffers a serious injury or requires surgery, blood may need to be given to ensure safe clotting!

Dogs with vWD can live a normal life, but it is important that owners are aware of the nature of the disease and take care to avoid injury to the dog. Regular veterinary checks and proper care can help minimise the risk of complications.

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I hope this has helped to clarify the situation. I'm always here if you have any further questions!"