If someone you know who has had a dog that bled or a first-degree relative of a dog that bled, and fibrinolysis was suspected (as opposed to Factor VII), please send them this blog post so they can be included. We are really having a hard time finding samples from affected dogs, so we need everyone to spread the word!
As many of you already know, Deerhounds can suffer from post-surgical bleeding even if they are Factor-VII normal. John Dillberger has written about research at Ohio State University (OSU) that investigated the cause of excessive post-operative bleeding that occurred one or two days after surgery in many Greyhounds. Evidence suggested that affected dogs suffered from fibrinolysis, a condition where they formed normal blood clots, but the clots dissolved too quickly. A human drug called epsilon aminocaproic acid (Amicar®) appears to reduce the risk of bleeding or treat the problem if it occurs, and many Deerhound owners now routinely give this drug if their Deerhound needs surgery.
Why do some Deerhounds bleed? We don’t know the answer to that yet, but we hope to learn more, as we are excited to announce that we have a research partner who is going to do some work on this: Dr. Michael Court at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, for whom we already provide samples for his research on anesthesia sensitivities in sighthounds, is also looking into post-operative bleeding (fibrinolysis) in Greyhounds and has agreed to include Deerhounds in that study as well.
To do this, he needs samples, ideally from affected dogs. So, if you have had a dog that has bled post-operatively and fibrinolysis is suspected, we DESPERATELY need a sample from your dog. If your dog is still alive, please email Dr. Court’s lab for a cheek swab kit. If your dog is deceased but you had sent DNA to CHIC, Penn, Ohio State University, or anywhere else, please let us know (use the contact form below) so we can arrange to have DNA sent to Dr. Court.
Finding samples from affected dogs is tough, because so many dogs with fibrinoylsis die from it, so Dr. Court is also interested in samples from first-degree relatives of dogs that bled. If you have a parent, sibling, or offspring of a dog that had suspected fibrinolysis, please contact Dr. Court at the email address above for a cheek swab kit.
We have a great opportunity here to make some progress on a condition that kills several Deerhounds a year, but we can only do it if we get enough samples from affected dogs and their relatives. Cheek swabs are easy to do at home and inexpensive to mail via regular first-class mail. If you have an affected dog or a first-degree relative of an affected dog, please help us out and request a cheek swab kit. If you know of someone else with an affected dog or relative, please send them this post. Thank you!