Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), also known as consumptive coagulopathy, is a pathological activation of coagulation (blood clotting) mechanisms that happens in dogs as a response to a variety of diseases.
As its name suggests, DIC leads to the formation of small blood clots inside the blood vessels throughout the body. As the small clots consume all the available coagulation proteins and platelets, normal coagulation is disrupted and abnormal bleeding occurs.
Causes of DIC in dogs include:
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Toxoplasma spp
- Sepsis due to Mycobacterium spp, Histoplasma spp
- Coagulopathy - Von Willebrand's disease
- Inflammatory conditions - e.g. hepatitis
- Neoplasia - e.g. hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, leukemia
- Immune disorders - Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia
- Trauma - heat stroke, physical trauma, shock
- Toxins and snake-bite poisoning
Treatment involves aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, Vit K supplementation with fresh whole blood, platelet-rich plasma, or fresh/fresh-frozen plasma, 10-20 ml/kg.
Blood transfusion may be indicated in some patients, to replace platelets or coagulation factors, especially if anaemia is severe enough to compromise oxygen-carrying capacity.
The prognosis is largely determined by the primary disease. Acute diffuse DIC has a very poor prognosis.
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