• Open Access

Thromboelastographic Evaluation of Dogs with Congenital Portosystemic Shunts


  • This study was supported by a grant from the Companion Animal Health Fund at TCSVM.

Corresponding author: Cynthia R.L. Webster, TCSVM, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536; e-mail: cynthia.leveille-webster@tufts.edu.



On plasma-based assays, dogs with congenital portosystemic shunts (CPSS) have changes in serum concentrations of both pro- and anticoagulant proteins, but how these abnormalities affect whole blood coagulation assays (eg, thromboelastography) are unknown.


To conduct kaolin-activated thromboelastography (TEG) analysis in dogs with CPSS and to compare TEG coagulation status with clinical presentation, routine serum biochemistry, and plasma-based coagulation tests.


Twenty-one client-owned dogs with CPSS confirmed by ultrasound examination or nuclear scintigraphy.


In a prospective study, signalment, clinical presentation, TEG analysis, CBC, serum biochemistry, and hemostatic tests (platelet count, prothrombin time [PT], activated partial thromboplastin time [aPTT], quantitative fibrinogen, antithrombin [AT] activity, protein C [PC] activity, d-dimers, and factor VIII activity) were analyzed in dogs with CPSS.


Dogs with CPSS had significantly shorter K values and increased angle, maximum amplitude (MA), and G values compared with the reference population. On plasma-based coagulation testing, dogs with CPSS had significantly prolonged PT, lower platelet counts, lower AT and PC activities, and increased d-dimers and factor VIII activity. Evaluation of G value defined 9/21 dogs with CPSS as hypercoagulable. These dogs were more likely to have hepatic encephalopathy (HE) than CPSS dogs that had normal coagulation.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

TEG analysis detected hemostatic abnormalities consistent with a hypercoagulable state in some dogs with CPSS. The presence of a hypercoagulable state was 40 times more likely in dogs with symptomatic HE.