Hypercoagulability in dogs with protein-losing nephropathy as assessed by thromboelastography

J Vet Intern Med. 2013 May-Jun;27(3):462-8. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12067. Epub 2013 Mar 25.


Background: Dogs with protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) are at risk of thromboembolic disease, but the mechanism leading to hypercoagulability and the population of dogs at risk are unknown.

Objectives: To characterize thromboelastography (TEG) and its association with serum albumin (SALB), UPC, and antithrombin activity in dogs with PLN.

Animals: Twenty-eight client-owned dogs with PLN (urine protein:creatinine ratio [UPC] > 2.0) and 8 control dogs were prospectively enrolled in this observational study.

Methods: TEG parameters, antithrombin activity, serum biochemical profiles, and UPC were measured. TEG analyses were run in duplicate with kaolin activation; reaction time (R), clot formation time (K), α-angle (α), maximal amplitude (MA), and global clot strength (G) were analyzed.

Results: Dogs with PLN had lower K (P = .004), and higher α (P = .001), MA (P < .001), and G (P < .001) values than controls. No significant correlation between TEG parameters and UPC, SALB, or antithrombin was noted. Twelve PLN dogs (42.8%) were azotemic and 19 (67.8%) were hypoalbuminemic (SALB < 3.0 g/dL); 11 had SALB < 2.5 g/dL.

Conclusions and clinical importance: These results indicate that dogs with PLN have TEG values that demonstrate hypercoagulability compared with a control population but that antithrombin, SALB, or UPC cannot be used in isolation to predict this result. A comprehensive evaluation of the coagulation system in individual patients may be necessary to predict the point at which anti-thrombotic therapy is indicated.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / blood
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / epidemiology
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Thrombelastography / veterinary*