The English Springer Spaniel and Von Willebrand’s Disease: Prevention and Treatment

Dog owner question

"Hi! My English Springer Spaniel, Baxter, sometimes behaves strangely. I've seen some minor bruising on his skin and his wounds seem to be healing slowly. I read that this breed of dog is prone to Von Willebrand's disease. What symptoms should I watch for and what can I do if Baxter has this disease?"

Veterinary answer

"Hi! It is very important that you have raised this question as the English Springer Spaniel breed is indeed susceptible to Von Willebrand's disease. This is a genetic disorder that affects the coagulation of the blood, i.e. blood clotting.

Blood clotting in dogs with Von Willebrand's disease is slow or almost non-existent. This means that even small wounds or operations can cause severe bleeding.

Signs of the disease include frequent nosebleeds, bloody urine or stools, prolonged bleeding from even minor wounds, and extensive bruising of the skin or internal bruising. In Baxter's case, slow-healing wounds and bruising on the skin appear to be signs of Von Willebrand's disease.

English Springer Spaniel 2

If you suspect Von Willebrand's disease, take Baxter to the vet immediately!

To confirm the diagnosis, a blood test should be carried out to detect any blood clotting problems. If Baxter is diagnosed with Von Willebrand's disease, it is important to know that it is a lifelong condition that requires careful treatment and monitoring.

Treatment of the disease usually involves surgical intervention and minimisation of injury. Unfortunately, as it is a genetic disease, there is no cure, but symptoms can be managed.

Dogs diagnosed with Von Willebrand's disease should have regular blood tests to monitor blood coagulation and the progression of the disease.

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Also, it is important that if Baxter is diagnosed with Von Willebrand's disease, that any future surgical procedures are reported to the vet as this increases the risk of bleeding.

Most importantly, keep an eye on Baxter's behaviour and health and if you notice any worrying signs, take him to the vet immediately.

Von Willebrand's disease is a serious condition, but with proper medical care and attention, dogs can live a full life in many cases."