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Comparative Coagulation

Vitamin K Deficiency Coagulation Panel FAQs

Vitamin K Deficiency Coagulation Sample Submission FAQs

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Vitamin K Deficiency Testing and Interpretation FAQs

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What sample is required for Vitamin K Deficiency Coagulation Panel?

Separated citrate plasma (plasma from a blue top tube) is the only valid sample. DO NOT SUBMIT SERUM. Request test code COAGKDEF and ship at least 0.5 mL plasma in an insulated box with cold packs for overnight delivery. See Comparative Coagulation Sampling Overview for detailed sampling instructions.

Can I submit post-mortem blood, tissue, or feed samples?

No, coagulation testing requires citrate plasma drawn antemortem. For other sample types, use the test code ACOAGSOL to screen for the presence of specific anticoagulant rodenticide compounds in solids (tissue, feed) or test code ACOAGLIQ for submission of liquids (stomach contents, urine, post-mortem blood). Refer to the Toxicology test menu for more details.

What is the turnaround time and cost for Vitamin K Deficiency Coagulation Panel?

Vitamin K deficiency coagulation panels are performed daily (Monday thru Friday) and results reported within 24 hours of sample receipt. Refer to the AHDC test/fee list for current pricing.

What is the shipping address for the Vitamin K Deficiency Coagulation Panel?

Comparative Coagulation Section/AHDC
College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University
240 Farrier Road
Ithaca , NY 14853

Comparative Coagulation Section/AHDC
College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University
PO Box 5786
Ithaca , NY 14852-5786

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Is anticoagulant rodenticide toxicity a common cause of Vitamin K Deficiency?

Yes! The ASPCA poison control center consistently lists rodenticides in their top 10 toxin exposures for domestic dogs and cats. Anticoagulant poisoning is one of the most severe acquired bleeding disorders diagnosed at the Comparative Coagulation laboratory. All species are at risk if they ingest the poisons, including cats or predatory birds that ingest rodenticide-poisoned prey.

How long after ingestion of anticoagulant rodenticide will signs of bleeding develop?

Anticoagulant rodenticides cause bleeding after a delay of at least 12 to 24 hours from the time of ingestion. These products block hepatic vitamin K recycling resulting in gradual depletion of circulating levels of functional coagulation factors (Factors II, VII, IX, and X). The type and amount of product ingested will influence the severity, onset, and duration of clinical signs.

Will the Vitamin K deficiency coagulation panel detect non-anticoagulant rodenticides?

No. Other rodenticides have different mechanisms of action. These products include bromethalin (neurotoxin), cholecalciferol (hypercalcemic renal failure) and zinc phosphide (phosphine gas induced pulmonary edema). The Vitamin K deficiency panel will identify patients with active bleeding due to anticoagulant rodenticides such as warfarin, diphacinone, and brodifacoum, whose mechanism of action is based on vitamin K antagonism.

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What other diseases cause Vitamin K deficiency?

Vitamin K deficiency may develop in patients with biliary obstruction, liver disease, prolonged oral antibiotic therapy, and malabsorption syndromes. Screening to detect early deficiencies and vitamin K1 supplementation as needed will prevent bleeding complications if surgery or invasive procedures are performed.

Can I use the Vitamin K deficiency coagulation panel to screen for hereditary Factor VII deficiency?

Yes. Hereditary Factor VII deficiency causes specific prolongation of the PT assay and low Factor VII activity. In contrast to vitamin K deficiency states, the aPTT and all other factors are normal. Hereditary Factor VII deficiency has been well characterized in Beagles and Alaskan Klee Kai dogs, and isolated cases have been identified in several other canine breeds and in domestic cats.

Where can I learn more about Vitamin K dependent coagulopathies?

See the Coagulation Lab's Vitamin K deficiency web page for more on Vitamin K's role in coagulation, managing Vitamin K deficiency states, a veterinary bibliography, and external links.

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