Von Willebrand's Disease: A Feline Bleeding Disorder How to Identify and Treat Feline Von Willebrand Disease In Cats

Von Willebrand's Disease: A Feline Bleeding Disorder https://images.pexels.com/photos/674580/pexels-photo-674580.jpeg

Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD) is a common bleeding illness characterized by a deficit or dysfunction of the Von Willebrand factor (VWF). We go into a deeper discussion in this article.

Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD) is a prevalent bleeding illness that affects humans as well as animals, including cats. This genetic condition is caused by a deficiency or malfunction of von Willebrand factor (VWF), a protein that helps with blood clotting. VWD can lead to spontaneous bleeding episodes, prolonged bleeding after surgery or injury, and spontaneous bruising.

We will give a thorough summary of VWD in cats in this article, including its causes, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatments.


Von Willebrand's disease is an inherited genetic illness characterized by a lack or dysfunction of the von Willebrand factor (VWF), a protein that aids in blood clotting. However, this deficiency leads to reduced clotting ability and increases the risk of spontaneous bleeding and prolonged bleeding after injury or surgery. The severity of the disease can vary, and some cats may only have mild symptoms, while others may experience severe bleeding episodes. In addition, certain breeds of cats, such as Scottish Folds, are predisposed to VWD and may have a higher risk of developing the disease.

It is important to note that environmental factors, such as dietary deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and infections, can also contribute to bleeding disorders in cats.


Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD) in cats is a genetic bleeding disorder. Some common symptoms of VWD in cats include:

  • Epistaxis (nosebleeds)

  • Bruising easily

  • Prolonged bleeding after surgery, injury, or dental procedures

  • Blood in the stool or urine

  • Anemia (pale gums)

  • Joint swelling

  • Swollen or prolonged bleeding gums

If you suspect that your cat has VWD, it's important to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.


Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD) in cats is diagnosed through a combination of clinical signs, physical examination, and laboratory tests. These tests could consist of:

  • To look for bleeding symptoms and a low platelet count, perform a complete blood count (CBC).

  • Coagulation profile (PT/PTT) to evaluate blood clotting ability.

  • To gauge the quantity and activity of von Willebrand factor in the blood, use the von Willebrand factor (VWF) assay.

  • VWD-causing genetic mutation confirmation using DNA testing.

The diagnosis of VWD in cats requires a comprehensive evaluation and may involve multiple tests to confirm the presence of the disease and determine the type and severity of vWD.

How to Treat Von Willebrand's Disease In Cats

Depending on the condition's severity, the following steps are commonly taken to treat and recover from VWD in cats:

  1. Diagnosis: A definitive diagnosis of VWD is usually made through laboratory tests, including VWF antigen and activity tests.

  2. Medical treatment: Treatment might not be essential in minor situations. Treatment options for mild to severe instances might include:

  • VWF supplementation: Infusions of VWF-containing products, such as plasma or recombinant VWF, may be used to correct the deficiency and improve clotting.

  • DDAVP (desmopressin acetate): A synthetic hormone that can stimulate the release of VWF from storage sites in the body.

  • Antifibrinolytic agents: Medications that can aid in the prevention of blood clot breakdown.

  1. Management of bleeding episodes: In the case of bleeding episodes, prompt treatment may be necessary to stop the bleeding and prevent complications.

  2. Monitoring: Regular monitoring of VWF levels and bleeding tendencies is necessary to assess the effectiveness of treatment and make adjustments as needed.

Can You Prevent Von Willebrand's Disease In Cats?

Recall that Von Willebrand's disease (VWD) is a genetic condition, meaning it is caused by an inherited genetic mutation. There is currently no known technique to stop cats from developing VWD. VWD can be less common in subsequent generations, though, thanks to appropriate breeding procedures, including testing breeding cats for the illness and avoiding breeding carriers.

Ensure you work with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and manage VWD in affected cats to prevent bleeding episodes and maintain the cat's quality of life. Genetic testing and counseling can assist you in making educated decisions to lower the chance of spreading the condition to future generations if you're thinking about breeding your cat.

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