Genetic Test for Post-Operative Hemorrhage is Here!

Photo by Ellen Bonacarti.

We are THRILLED to announce that our breed has a new genetic test — the DEPOHGEN™ test for Delayed Post-Operative Hemorrhage (also called Delayed Bleeding Syndrome or hyperfibrinolysis)!

The research has now been published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

A commercial test is now available! At present, the test is available only through Washington State University*. You can read more about the test and order it here.

This test tells us which dogs are affected with a genetic mutation that causes Delayed Post-operative Hemorrhage (DEPOH), which is a disorder of clot stability, not clot formation. When it occurs, bleeding is usually (but not always) delayed, typically starting within 24–48 hours after surgery or major trauma. It is prevented or treated with aminocaproic acid or tranexamic acid. DEPOH is a totally separate problem from Factor VII Deficiency — in fact, it is possible for a dog to be affected with both problems.


And we mean EVERY Deerhound — this is not just a problem with North American Deerhounds. The last few cases for the study came from Europe—and all of the dogs were from different lines.

The test is inexpensive ($65) and is just a cheek swab, so is easy to do right at home and inexpensive to mail via regular mail.

For breeders, the new SDCA Code of Ethics Health Testing Guidelines state that breeders

“…should know the genetic status of any Deerhound produced. If a breeding cannot produce a Deerhound affected by DEPOH because both parents are free of the DEPOH genetic variant, which is dominant, then there is no need to test offspring for the DEPOH genetic variant. If a breeding might produce a Deerhound with DEPOH because at least one parent carries the DEPOH genetic variant, then the breeder should test offspring before they go to their new homes. When transferring a Deerhound to its new home, a breeder should inform the new owner in writing of the dog’s genetic status in terms of DEPOH. The breeder should direct the new owner to consult a veterinarian and the SDCA Health Website for information about what the dog’s genetic status means for its health.”

The DEPOHGEN™ test will be offered at the 2023 National Specialty Health Clinic for dogs at the show. The Health Fund is subsidizing $35 of the test cost. You will be able to pay the owner’s $30 share of the cost and sign up for the clinic through the Deerhound Store. Information will be posted shortly.

Many thanks to Dr. Court for spearheading this research and the literally dozens of volunteers who shared their experiences, DNA samples, and vet records.

More information on DEPOH can be found here.

The new SDCA Code of Ethics Health Testing Guidelines can be found here.

*As part of the patent agreement between WSU and the SDCA, a small royalty from DEPOHGEN™ test sales will be returned to the SDCA.