• Open Access

The Presence of Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Healthy Bernese Mountain Dogs


Corresponding author: L.N. Nielsen, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Dyrlaegevej 16, Dk-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark; e-mail: lini@life.ku.dk.



The role of antiphospholipid antibodies in the prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) previously identified in healthy Bernese Mountain Dogs remains unknown. In people, an isolated prolonged aPTT without evidence of bleeding might be because of a thrombophilic condition caused by antiphospholipid antibodies.


To examine if prolonged aPTT in healthy Bernese Mountain Dogs is because of antiphospholipid antibodies.


Twenty-two healthy Bernese Mountain Dogs and 10 healthy adult dogs of various breeds.


Prospective case control study. Healthy Bernese Moutain Dogs were examined twice over 6 months. Dogs were investigated for the presence of lupus anticoagulants and anticardiolipin (aCL) antibodies by the use of multiple aPTT tests with low and high lupus anticoagulant sensitivities, a mixing study, and an ELISA test for aCL antibody optical density to detect solid phase antiphospholipid antibodies.


In all, 15 of 22 healthy Bernese Mountain Dogs were positive for lupus anticoagulants. The Bernese Mountain Dogs had markedly higher levels of aCL antibodies compared with the control dogs (P = .006). In all, 7 of 21 of the Bernese Mountain Dogs were positive for both lupus anticoagulants and aCL antibodies, whereas 4 of 21 Bernese Mountain Dogs were negative for both.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

Lupus anticoagulants and aCL antibodies could be the cause of prolonged aPTT in healthy Bernese Mountain Dogs. The importance of the antiphospholipid antibodies in the dogs remains unknown.