Canine von Willebrand Disease - Background

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Comparative Coagulation

Canine von Willebrand Disease - Background

von Willebrand Disease (abbreviated vWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder caused by lack of von Willebrand factor protein (vWF). This protein circulates in the blood stream and must be present at the site of blood vessel injury in order to control bleeding from that vessel. Von Willebrand disease is a distinct disorder, it is not hemophilia.


There are three variants or forms of vWD (types 1,2,3) defined by the quantity and structure of plasma von Willebrand factor (abbreviated vWF) in affected dogs. Within each breed a single form of vWD predominates. Characteristic biochemical and clinical findings have been described in a number of breeds with high prevalence and/or severe forms of vWD.


vWF concentration/ structure
Clinical Severity
Affected Breeds
Type 1 low concentration/ normal structure variable Airedale, Akita, Bernese Mountain Dog, Dachshund, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Golden Rertiever, Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Manchester Terrier, Schnauzer, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog and others
Type 2 low concentration/ abnormal structure severe German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer
Type 3 vWF markedly reduced or absent severe Familial:
Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Dutch Kooiker, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog

Blue Heeler, Border Collie, Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, mixed breed, Pomeranian and others