Hemophilia is a blood clotting disorder where the platelets of the blood malfunction and don’t coagulate. It is a genetic disorder, meaning it is present at birth and there are two types – Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B. Hemophilia A is a less severe form of the condition and it is this form that is most common among dogs.
Almost all breeds of dogs, including mixed breeds, are vulnerable to the disease, but German Shepherds, Beagles, and Shetland Sheepdogs seem to be the most prone.
If the condition is mild, dogs can live with hemophilia without much issue. As long as any traumatic instances where bleeding could occur are closely monitored, veterinary intervention may not even be necessary.
Of course, it is always imperative to inform any veterinarian of the condition, especially if the dog needs a surgical operation where bleeding will occur during treatment.
If the condition is severe, the dog will experience uncontrollable bleeding after any injury and sometimes without any cause at all. Bleeding could be internal or external and is often found in the joints. It is incredibly hard to stop the bleeding once it starts and blood transfusions and other veterinary interventions will be necessary.
Many times, it’s hard to diagnose hemophilia until a traumatic incident occurs and the excessive bleeding is noticed. However, if it is known that hemophilia runs in the family, it’s a good idea to get the dog tested or at least inform the veterinarian of the possibility.
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.