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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hate to be as a pain, as I am sure that this subject has been done to death. However, my two pups have just been tested for VWD prior to their neutering and spaying. Male is clear, but female definately has disease as her score is 24 and anything under 50 is a carrier and definately in the "at risk" category.
For little Mishka's surgery, the vet states he will have blood/blood products on hand if the need arises for her to be transfused. I have only received this information this morning, and I am asking for advice as I am on my way off to the ER where I work, and dont have time to hunt through the site for information on this disease.

How pernicious is it and apart from the obvious of excessive bleeding following injuries and apparently spontaneous nosebleeds, what should I be aware of and what does the future perhaps hold for me and my little girl.
I shall have Kaltostat on hand 24/7 from now on.

She suffers awful motion sickness in the car as well, which I am really hoping she will outgrow, as the last car trip resulted in her being admitted to hospital for IV fluid replacement as she developed persistent projectile vomiting. Considering her clotting status, it seems she could rupture veins in her throat or abdomen with all that vomiting. I love taking her to the beach as she loves to swim. It is a conundrum.
Any advice and information will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 

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If you are in a position to have your pups DNA tested for von Willenbrand's Disease, that will give you factual information regarding their vWD status. The amount of clotting factor that is circulating at any given time is subject to change for all sorts of reasons, and so the ELISA test may give a very incorrect picture.

If your girl is affected, I don't know how to predict what is in her future unless and until she demonstrates she has a clinically significant bleeding issue. In my experience, stress is a major factor in bleeding episodes... my male tried to bleed out from everywhere (not just a nosebleed) the only time he was away from me and his home, and I have a friend who had the same experience with her Chihuahua when he was boarded.

Although I have never heard of it happening, I think you are correct that the sort of vomiting you describe could cause an issue with an affected dog. Have you tried any of the motion sickness meds for her (e.g. Bonine)? Very short trips to wonderful places may be helpful, too.
 

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Did your vet do the elisa test? It is not accurate and does not tell you whether your doberman is clear, carrier or affected. The ONLY test to determine your doberman's status is the DNA test by Vetgen. You can order the kit and swab the inside of the cheek or your vet can draw blood and send to Vetgen. I think there is another DNA test over in Europe, but not positive. Try putting "doberman DNA vWD test" into your search engine and see what comes up or email someone at DPCA, guessing you have an Australian breed club. Even if a doberman DNA tests affected, it is rare for them to actually be clinically affected where they bleed excessively. What about your breeder? A quality breeder should know all this and your pups parents should have been tested.
 

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Sea Hag
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I know dogs who have had successful surgery with an ELISA test result of 12. In the days before the dna test was developed, one of my bitches was tested 3 times with the ELISA blood test-we got a test result in each of the three possible categories. Pick one: she was clear, carrier, affected. As others have said, the only accurate, definitive test is the dna test, and I know there's an Australian company licensed by Vetgen to offer this test.

There's a difference between being genetically affected and being clinically affected. MOST affected dogs never become clinically affected, they have routine surgeries, get injured, etc without any clotting difficulty. In the rare situations where an affected dog does display clotting problems due to vWD, it's usually as a secondary complication to some other medical issue.

I'd look for a vet clinic that routinely stores blood products like fresh frozen plasma-not all of them do. If the vet clinic stores it at all times, then you'd only have to pay for what's used if any is needed, rather than having to pay to have it on hand whether it's needed or not. Clinics with a 24 hour emergency service are the ones most likely to store frozen plasma, at least that's true around here.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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When my girl was about to go to emergency surgery at a specialty practice, the quickest thing we could do was run coags (which I am thinking is what your vet did because it can be done in house at some places). Her coags were slightly elevated so she was given 1 bag of Fresh Frozen Plasma prior to sugery. (I wont discuss how the ending went but that is standard protocol) I would recommend you taking your girl to a specialist for the procedure just to be on the safe side. And since there is no real rush on her surgery, take the proper precautions and have her actually vWd tested via Vetgen. Do more research for yourself first as well. Good luck!!
 
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On my way to work so not much time,but...
Quinn is clinically affected. Some days are fine. He'll get a little cut or something and stop bleeding fairly quickly. Other days are a disaster. He has had small nicks in his ear that gushed everywhere and took hours to control. He recently had to have part of his (natural) tail and a chunk of his ear amputated due to a vasculitis. He had plasma prior to surgery. he bled way more than the average dog but pulled through with no problems.

I had the DNA test done on him. That showed he was affected. I considered the elisa to get actual numbers but decided that would just be rubbing salt in the wounds since I was already upset. The interesting (to me, anyway) thing is that prior to surgery we ran a clotting profile. It came back perfectly normal. WE also did a buccal muccousal bleeding time. I believe the avearge clotting time is between 3-4 minutes. He showed no sign of stopping after 8 minutes. That taught us all a lesson,not to rely only on the clotting panels.

My advice to anyone with a VWD dog who needs surgery is to a) find a vet that keeps blood product on hand and B) do a buccal muccousal bleeding time prior to surgery. That will give you a picture of what is going on that day since it can seem to vary.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you to all who have been kind enough to offer advice. It appears that it has been the ELISA test that has been done as it has come back as "affected". The whole process was a little confusing as the blood was drawn on both pups, and then sent away to Melbourne, and the results have taken three weeks to return. Each pup cost $178.00 to test and therefore I was sure that this was the definitive test. Now it seems that I may as well have run an INR on my pups via the ISTAT machine I use in the ER for emergency pathology results. Mind you, the laboratory might have raised a few eyebrows at the results:D
The female pup was given to me by a friend in Sydney, whose two Dobes accidently bred. The Dam is Red and the Sire is Black, both beautiful animals, however since this pregnancy was not planned, no tests were done. The male is from a reputable breeder who breeds champion show Dobes. I think she was insulted when I asked her the VW status of her breeding pair....:D
I will do some more research with regards to the Vetgen and where it is available in Australia. I did google that originally, but thought it was only available in the USA.
Very grateful to you all for taking the time and trouble to advise and guide me. It was a hell of a shock to find this diagnosis as we lost our precious Tosca so recently, and as I am such a drama queen, I have visions of her exsanguinating one day while I am at work.
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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I know dogs who have had successful surgery with an ELISA test result of 12. In the days before the dna test was developed, one of my bitches was tested 3 times with the ELISA blood test-we got a test result in each of the three possible categories. Pick one: she was clear, carrier, affected. As others have said, the only accurate, definitive test is the dna test, and I know there's an Australian company licensed by Vetgen to offer this test.

There's a difference between being genetically affected and being clinically affected. MOST affected dogs never become clinically affected, they have routine surgeries, get injured, etc without any clotting difficulty. In the rare situations where an affected dog does display clotting problems due to vWD, it's usually as a secondary complication to some other medical issue.

I'd look for a vet clinic that routinely stores blood products like fresh frozen plasma-not all of them do. If the vet clinic stores it at all times, then you'd only have to pay for what's used if any is needed, rather than having to pay to have it on hand whether it's needed or not. Clinics with a 24 hour emergency service are the ones most likely to store frozen plasma, at least that's true around here.
Just wanted to echo what MurreyDobe said here (bold is mine). My male came back Affected via the Vetgen DNA test. I panicked! Even messaged MurreyDobe for advice!

He had a clot timing test the morning of surgery (neuter/gastropexy via laparoscopy) and clotted in 1 minute 30 seconds. He came through surgery fine. No issues at all. He cut his paw the other day and it clotted very quickly. He's affected, but not clinically affected at this time. I'd order the DNA test if I were you. Oh, and breathe!
 
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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When my girl was about to go to emergency surgery at a specialty practice, the quickest thing we could do was run coags (which I am thinking is what your vet did because it can be done in house at some places). Her coags were slightly elevated so she was given 1 bag of Fresh Frozen Plasma prior to sugery. (I wont discuss how the ending went but that is standard protocol)

Reading between the lines with regards to the ending of your girls emergency surgery, am I right in presuming the outcome was not favourable. If so, I am so sorry you had to go through that, and thank you for sharing that information.
 

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You got lots of very good information on the vWD issues from many people so I'll only note the motion sickness issue.

Dogs, in general can take any of the motion sickness over-the-counter meds that people can take--your vet should be able to give you dosing information. Also there is at least one fairly new motion sickness med available for dogs--ask your vet about that. I lived with motion sickness as a child (pre OTC stuff) and got sick on everything that moved--still do on some things like backseats of soft sprung large cars in hilly or curvey terrane.

Most puppies acclimate even without meds but it helps to not feed immediately before taking them in a car. It also helps to do some very short trips that have great endings (like a fun place to run or a very special treat or a nice walk)--and some dogs do better confined to crates while traveling than loose.

I know that there are at least a couple of threads on carsickness--try the search function for them and more information and good luck.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You got lots of very good information on the vWD issues from many people so I'll only note the motion sickness issue.

Dogs, in general can take any of the motion sickness over-the-counter meds that people can take--your vet should be able to give you dosing information. Also there is at least one fairly new motion sickness med available for dogs--ask your vet about that. I lived with motion sickness as a child (pre OTC stuff) and got sick on everything that moved--still do on some things like backseats of soft sprung large cars in hilly or curvey terrane.

Most puppies acclimate even without meds but it helps to not feed immediately before taking them in a car. It also helps to do some very short trips that have great endings (like a fun place to run or a very special treat or a nice walk)--and some dogs do better confined to crates while traveling than loose.

I know that there are at least a couple of threads on carsickness--try the search function for them and more information and good luck.
Initially the pups were fine. I had a Toyota Yaris and with seats folded down I could squash all three Dobes in back. No problems going to vet or beach. Then suddenly one of the pups began to vomit. I thought maybe too cramped at the back, and bought a new 4x4 SUV with huge space in the cargo area. Both pups vomited.
When they went to the vet for their pathology, I did not feed them, and they were both given maxalon. He was ok, she vomited relentlessly there and back and continued to do so even though she received a top up maintenance dose of IMI maxalon. Thats when we tootled back to the vet and she was rehydrated with IV fluids. Vet gave her some meds called Serenia, which I think helped on the way home again as she gagged but did not vomit (and they had given her a trial lunch before she left) She remained nauseous, but this time it settled quickly.
This is a new problem that was not there initially as the pups were having numerous fun trips in the car, until the vomiting started. I feel sorry for them when they are nauseous and vomiting and therefore am now reluctant to take them anywhere. And, before there are any "female driver" remarks ;), I always drive as if I have fragile cargo on board and attempt to make the journey as smooth as possible.
The boy seems to be ok on the maxalon, but its not enough for my girl. I am on two weeks leave from monday, and I would like to be able to take all to the beach without vomiting, gagging, salivating and revolting smells from the back of the cab. I usually end up vomiting as well as the pup who has not yet vomited, usually eats what the other pup has just vomited up.... I think the regurgitation is passed from one pup to another and back again...(ok, I am now feeling decidedly ill myself).
Hopefully they will outgrow this problem. She develops hiccups regularly as well. At least once a day, but they never last long.
 

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Now your problem is going to be educating your vet and convincing him what he has believed for who knows how long is wrong. Better print out all the info for him to read. Good luck! Some are more open minded than others.
 

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Oh, forgot to address the breeder situation. Let's just say, a breeder shows their true self when things go wrong or they are questioned about their breeding practices. Getting defensive because you wanted to know some health history on your pup is inexcusable! A proper breeder does the tests needed by their chosen breed and will be happy to show you the results and explain them to you. If s/he doesnt do some tests, they should explain why they skipped them. Not all breeders believe in doing everyone of the available tests and that doesnt necessarily make them a bad breeder. You have to decide for yourself what health tests you want done before you choose to support a breeder by purchasing their puppy.
 

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Tuff Pups
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, forgot to address the breeder situation. Let's just say, a breeder shows their true self when things go wrong or they are questioned about their breeding practices. Getting defensive because you wanted to know some health history on your pup is inexcusable! A proper breeder does the tests needed by their chosen breed and will be happy to show you the results and explain them to you. If s/he doesnt do some tests, they should explain why they skipped them. Not all breeders believe in doing everyone of the available tests and that doesnt necessarily make them a bad breeder. You have to decide for yourself what health tests you want done before you choose to support a breeder by purchasing their puppy.
I am lucky in that I have a vet who listens to me and will work with me for the sake of the health of my kids. He was the vet who attended at the sudden demise of my Red Dobe Tosca on 31/12/2011. I dont think he has done VW tests before as he did not even know how many millilitres of blood was required, but at least he made an effort to find out. I think I am probably a more pedantic parent than a lot of other people in the area where I am living. Suffice it to say, I am sure he will be amenable to new information. I have no restraint with changing vets if I feel that the care is below par.

The breeder I bought my boy from, really ought not to be breeding and selling her pups. On research, her bloodlines looked good and she breeds really top Dobes. However, that is exactly the problem, I know her dogs are tested for all and sundry, but as she breeds so many litters to obtain a working Dobe for herself, I feel that she loses sight of the other pups and the kind of homes they are exposed to. Its almost as if she sells the other pups and then forgets about them, and that bothers me. Although I have no plans to show Ceasar, I had to BEG her for the papers for his innoculations and for the microchip papers....all took two months to arrive. Then I received his show papers.
Although I have her as a friend on Facebook (well, her kennels anyway) she has shown no interest in my ongoing saga on how he is growing and the progress he is making, or the photos of the pups I have there. Maybe I am wrong but that troubles me. I would prefer that a good breeder be aware of where their pups have gone and show interest in their ongoing care and progress. but then that is just me. I have no intention of breeding with my pups (VW aside), as after all the years of Dobermann rescue I have done, I just would not be able to find people I could trust enough to home a pup, ergo, I would end up with Dobes everywhere. Dont think I fancy the idea of 11+ Dobes all vomiting in my poor car.

Never having had Doberman pups before, the purchase of the little boy has been a learning curve for me, and one I am really enjoying. All our rescue Dobes have been adults, and its so rewarding having our own little pups that we can mould and are not adversely affected by the horrors wrought on them by dodgy people who should not even own a plastic dog.
 
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