Prospective multicenter evaluation of coagulation abnormalities in dogs following severe acute trauma

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2014 Jan-Feb;24(1):93-104. doi: 10.1111/vec.12141. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Objectives: To describe coagulation abnormalities in dogs following severe acute trauma and to evaluate the relationship between coagulation, clinical, and laboratory variables, and disease and injury severity, as well as the ability of coagulation variables to predict the presence of body cavity hemorrhage (BCH), necessity of blood product administration, and outcome.

Design: Prospective, multicenter, observational study.

Setting: Two university teaching hospitals.

Animals: Forty client-owned dogs sustaining severe blunt or penetrating trauma.

Interventions: Blood samples were collected within 12 hours of the traumatic incident for measurement of blood gases, lactate concentration, platelet count, activated clotting time, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), fibrinogen concentration, antithrombin activity, D-dimer concentration, protein C activity, plasmin inhibition, plasminogen activity, and kaolin-activated thomboelastography.

Results: Decreased platelet count was a risk factor for the presence of BCH (P = 0.006) and decreased platelet count (P < 0.001), protein C activity (P = 0.001), angle (α) (P = 0.001), maximum amplitude (MA) (P < 0.001), and clot strength (G) (P = 0.002) were risk factors for blood product administration. Nonsurviving dogs were hypocoagulable with prolonged aPTT (P = 0.008), decreased plasmin inhibition (P = 0.033), decreased α (P = 0.021), and decreased MA (P = 0.038) compared to surviving dogs. Multivariate analysis accounting for disease severity showed that prolonged aPTT (P = 0.004, OR = 1.74) was the strongest predictor of nonsurvival. Prolonged aPTT was positively correlated with APPLE-fast score (P < 0.001, r(2) = 0.35), lactate concentration (P < 0.001, r(2) = 0.35), and negative base excess (P = 0.001, r(2) = 0.27). Acute traumatic coagulopathy, as defined by 2 or more abnormal coagulation tests, was diagnosed in 15% of dogs at hospital admission and was more common in dogs with increased disease severity (P = 0.002), decreased systolic blood pressure (P = 0.002), and increased lactate concentration (P = 0.011).

Conclusions: In dogs with severe traumatic injuries and hypoperfusion, measurement of thromboelastography and aPTT should be considered to support clinical assessments in predicting the need for blood product administration and nonsurvival.

Keywords: hemorrhage; hemostasis; hypotension; lactate; perfusion; thromboelastography.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / etiology
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / pathology
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Shock / complications
  • Shock / veterinary
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / veterinary*