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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Von Willebrand's blood disorder
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Member Since:
21 January 2009
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21 January 2009 - 7:31 pm
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Hi all,

We're still in shock from the sad news of Cosmo's, our beloved 9+ yr-old Dobe, diagnosis of cancer.  It's in the knee capsule or bone of his right hind leg. As a conservative approach, the surgeon suggests a biopsy, but Cosmo's leg has significantly atrophied, & he's not using it much at all.  The fact that he's been getting around on 3 legs lately proves that he'll do better with this impending surgery than we will. Of course we have many questions, but for now our main question is:  Is there anyone out there who opted for this surgery on a dog with Von Willebrand's blood disorder?  Although the surgeon didn't seem overly concerned about this-this is a wonderfully-equipped clinic-we will feel better communicating with someone in a similar situation.

Lil & Art

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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21 January 2009 - 7:53 pm
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Thanks for joining the forums Dobie Fan!

Since this question is of such a technical nature, we've moved it here to the Ask A Vet forum ... with hopes that you'll get an answer more quickly.

Sorry to hear about Cosmo, but he should do fine since he is virtually a tripawd already. We had just never heard of Von Willebrand's ourselves. Best wishes.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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22 January 2009 - 2:00 am
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Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD) is a bleeding disorder seen most often in Dobies but it can also affect other breeds.  Did they say how low you dog's number was on the test? Did this dog ever bleed in the past?  I would probably skip the biopsy and go right to the amp surgery and send the leg for biopsy later.  VWD is easily controlled with either a transfusion of plasma or blood with Von Willebrand's Factor or with a treatment called DDAVP which stimulates the body to kick out more Factor. It depends on how severely your dog is affected.

Pam and Tazzie

Member Since:
21 January 2009
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22 January 2009 - 8:52 pm
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I appreciate your reply, Pam.  Cosmo is at 6% for VWD. However, we only learned of this disorder last month when Cosmo's regular vet was ready to perform knee surgery & noticed some bruising. Cosmo has been our loyal companion all these years, & we never suspected anything.  He was neutered at 2 yrs, has had teeth cleaning, & has had unlimited play in the fields around our home with no problems whatsoever. We feel more assured with your opinion, along with the surgeon's, in regards to treating this disorder for his impending surgery. Thanks.

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