• This research was funded by the Ricky Fund of The Winn Feline Foundation.


Objectives: 1) Validate a chromogenic assay to measure Factor Xa inhibitory activity (anti-Xa activity) in normal feline plasma and following administration of low molecular weight heparins and unfractionated heparin. 2) Compare the effects of two commercially available low molecular weight heparins (LMWH), unfractionated heparin (UFH), and placebo on TEG, anti-Xa activity, PT/aPTT, PCV/TS and platelet count in healthy cats.

Methods: Our study consisted of two phases: 1) the evaluation of a commercially available chromogenic anti-Xa assay (Rotachrom Heparin, Diagnostic Stago) for use in cats, and 2) the evaluation of hemostatic effects of LMWH in healthy cats. Phase 1: The anti-Xa assay was validated for use in cats using feline plasma and serial dilutions of the plasma spiked with UFH, enoxaparin, and dalteparin. Phase 2: Five healthy cats were included in a randomized Latin Squares model crossover-design to compare the effects of UFH and LMWH in cats. The cats then received one of the following subcutaneously: 1) 250 IU/kg UFH QID, 2) 100 IU/kg dalteparin BID, 3) 1 mg/kg enoxaparin BID, 4) 0.25 mL/kg 0.9% saline (placebo) QID. A minimum of a two-week washout period separated each treatment period. Each drug was administered for 5 days. Blood samples were obtained to measure anti-Xa, TEG, PT/aPTT, platelet count, and PCV/TS on Days 1, 3, 5, and 6 of each treatment cycle. Samples were collected at time 0 on each sample day for all parameters and on select days at hours 4, 8, and 12 for anti-Xa and TEG.

Results: Preliminary results using the validated anti-Xa assay (from the first part of this study) demonstrate that LMWH treatment results in peak anti-Xa activity at the 4-hour sampling time that returned toward baseline by 8 hours (in 5/6 cats treated with LMWH thus far). Similar anticoagulant effects were noted in the TEG parameters of cats receiving LMWH (i.e., peak effects were noted at 4 hours). Analysis of current data by linear regression identifies a relationship between anti-Xa measurements and TEG parameters for cats treated with all heparin therapies (p<0.001). A similar relationship exists between anti-Xa and aPTT.

Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest an anticoagulant effect of LMWH in cats that may not be uniform across individuals. Anti-Xa activity or TEG may provide useful tools for monitoring LMWH.