• Open Access

Hypercoagulability in Dogs with Protein-Losing Nephropathy as Assessed by Thromboelastography


  • This study was presented in abstract form at the 2010 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Denver, CO.
  • This study was supported by the North Carolina State University Firestone Research Endowment.

Corresponding author: Shelly Vaden, North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1060 William Moore Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; e-mail: slvaden@ncsu.edu.



Dogs with protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) are at risk of thromboembolic disease, but the mechanism leading to hypercoagulability and the population of dogs at risk are unknown.


To characterize thromboelastography (TEG) and its association with serum albumin (SALB), UPC, and antithrombin activity in dogs with PLN.


Twenty-eight client-owned dogs with PLN (urine protein:creatinine ratio [UPC] > 2.0) and 8 control dogs were prospectively enrolled in this observational study.


TEG parameters, antithrombin activity, serum biochemical profiles, and UPC were measured. TEG analyses were run in duplicate with kaolin activation; reaction time (R), clot formation time (K), α-angle (α), maximal amplitude (MA), and global clot strength (G) were analyzed.


Dogs with PLN had lower K (= .004), and higher α (= .001), MA (< .001), and G (< .001) values than controls. No significant correlation between TEG parameters and UPC, SALB, or antithrombin was noted. Twelve PLN dogs (42.8%) were azotemic and 19 (67.8%) were hypoalbuminemic (SALB < 3.0 g/dL); 11 had SALB < 2.5 g/dL.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

These results indicate that dogs with PLN have TEG values that demonstrate hypercoagulability compared with a control population but that antithrombin, SALB, or UPC cannot be used in isolation to predict this result. A comprehensive evaluation of the coagulation system in individual patients may be necessary to predict the point at which anti-thrombotic therapy is indicated.