This is a sex-linked recessive trait that occurs only in males who inherit a maternal X chromosome carrying a defective gene. Females always inherit two X chromasomes, at least one of which usually contains a normal dominant gene.
Hemophilia produces bleeding into the chest and abdominal cavities, muscles, and subcutaneous tissues. Bleeding into the joints is common.
Hemophilia A (most common) is a deficiency of coagulation factor VIII. hemophilia B is a deficiency of factor IX. Hemophilia occurs in all breeds, with predisposition among German Shepherd Dogs, Airedale Terriers, and Bichon Frises.
Other coagulation deficiencies involve factors VII, X, XI, and prothrombin. These deficiencies are inherited as single-factor autosomal traits and affect males and females alike. They are less common than hemophilia. Affected breeds include the Boxer, English and American Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Beagle, and Kerry Blue Terrier.
The diagnosis of a coagulation factor deficiency is based on a number of clotting tests, plus an analysis for the specific factor that is deficient. PennGen offers genetic tests for factor VII and XI.
Successful treatment of spontaneous bleeding requires rapid diagnosis. Dogs with severe blood loss are given fresh, whole blood containing red cells, platelets, and active coagulation factors. Dogs with less severe blood loss who don't require a blood transfusion are given fresh-frozen plasma or concentrates containing the missing coagulation factors.
Dogs with inherited coagulation disorders, and those who may be carriers, should not be bred.
Please contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have this condition.
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