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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

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Condition Overview

This is an acquired bleeding disorder triggered by shock and infection, certain tumors (particularly hemangiosarcomas, osteosarcomas, and cancers of the prostate and mammary glands), and severe injuries such as crush wounds and burns.

Symptoms

Disseminated intravascular coagualtion (DIC) is characterized by intravascular clotting throughout the entire capillary circulation, followed by spontaneous bleeding when all the clotting factors have been consumed. The bleeding associated with DIC involves the nose, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, ad body cavities. Dogs with DIC are extremely ill and often die.

Causes

Shock and infection, certain tumors, and severe injuries such as crush wounds and burns.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.

Treatment

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.

An important additional step in treating DIC is to control the underlying cause of the intravascular coagulation. While it may seem contradictory, these dogs may need heparin to limit the clotting taking place.

Prevention

There is no prevention for this condition.

Support

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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