It appears that vwd hides in many ways, not only does it affect our dogs when it comes to their blood counts, it can attack and can affect thier total body function and growth.
i have been doing alot of research on vWD, because as many of you know, bearla was affected by it, as has a few other gsd on this forum. i was surprised to find out that vWd also affects the growth of some pups, can cause limbs to become lame, spontaneous hemorrhage for mucosal surfaces, epistaxis, hematuria, melena and excessive hemorrhage from surgery or trauma. Stillbirths, neonatal deaths, prolonged bleeding at tail docking, ear cropping or dewclaw removals are other common manifestations. Bleeding from gums, excessive umbilical cord bleeding at birth, excessive bleeding from toenails cut too short, and bleeding after elective procedures. Some other clinical signs are: bloody stools, feces, hematochezia , forelimb lameness, forelimb swelling, generalized lameness or stiffness, head, face, ears, jaw, nose, nasal, swelling, hematuria, hemorrhage of any body part or clotting failure, hind limb lameness, hind limb swelling, hyphema, neck swelling, pale, pelvic or perennial swelling, petechiae or ecchymoses, red or brown urine, swelling skin or subcutaneous, swelling, mass external abdomen, tachycardia, thoracic swelling, varying forms of stunted growth as well as dwarfism.
i found this all out while researching and also trying to find the cause for various health issues that bearla has suffered from, is suffering from and her half sister misty is having problems with.
Misty's growth is still stunted and probably have to undergo treatments. She is still the size of a 4 to 5 month old pup and she will be 1 yr old on July 7th. i have also found out a few other things that totally threw me. Although many of us want to blame the breeder when this type of issue arises, its NOT always there fault. I have talked to quite a few vets, including a couple of them that i have dealt with. I asked them, if they test all pups that the breeders bring in, or if tehy test dams, sires. i received a split answer, and the breeders that tune into this board, may want to discuss this matter with the vets that care for your breeding stock. ALOT of vets, approximately 7 out of 10, charge breeders for testing for vwd and its related issues. as i said, they CHARGE FOR IT. Those same vets hae stated that 1 out of 4 of them actually do test. WHY? very simply. if they test for it, they must tell the breeder, the breeder makes a decision to go ahead and take the chance of breeding the affected animals, whether they are gsd or otherwise, or euthanzie or go to a vet who will clear their stock and deem them healthy. alot of them would rather NOT tell the breeder because they want to make money of the new born pup exam, tatooing, etc. Breeders make vets alot of money and they dont want ot loose that money. One vet i spoke too, divulged confidentially to me, that the money he has made off breeders, has paid for his million dollar home, his estate in cottage country, boats, cars, trips, etc. This is the reason that our dogs are suffering and they dont have to. Breeders are taking a beating too, not only the gsd breeders, but those who breed, pit bull terriers, bull terriers, staff terrires and other dogs prone to the disease, including collies. vets are taught in veterinary college that we humans will pay any amount to care for our animals, we will do withut things ourselves but we pay millions out every year for vet care, animal related clothing, bedding, jewlery, personalized bowls, bags, carriers, etc, and we never argue the amount being charged. Some people make small jackets within thier homes that cost them $4.00 to make, and sell them for upwards of $65.oo or higher to dog owners. I make dog pillows and beds which cost me on average, $4.oo for a xs, to $40. for a xl. and i could charge anywhere from $45. - $100. or more for them. i dont, but i could. the vets are right. we humans are suckers when it comes to our pets. we pay $100. a month or more for vet insurance only to receive $4.00 back on a claim. We are told that yearly testing costs upwards of $100. - $400. or more for our pets. the truth is, it costs them, $10. per animal across the board. xrays cost us, $300.-up and it costs them $20. to complete one. So when they can diagnose forelimb swelling and then do tests that they already suspect the answer of, and charge us, $1000's. why not.
vWD can be deadly in more ways than one. OUr dogs can undergo countless painful needless tests so that we can find out why they have blood in their stools, or that our dogs are nearly dying on the table during routine spay procedures. Funny, though, when they do have this happens, our vets suddenly lower our bill substantially because they dont want us taking them to court to sue them and find out the real truth and potentially win the case and make them broke.
There should be new laws brought in to control our vets and to ensure that all vets test for this disease. Many of our dogs who develop hip dysplasia, are suffering from vWD related hip dysplasia, which could have been controlled much earlier in the dogs life.
vWD factor is a protein in the body that is delicate, and can be affected by numerous factors which would render the test result to come back with a false positive. if females are not tested mid cycle, or they are antibiotics, or the dog is stressed, the test will come back negative and you will only find out when the dog starts bleeding out. many of the hip problems that they develop, are infact not cases of hip dysplasia, they are cases of soft tissue injury during running or playing, which pools in the hip or knee joint etc.
i will be finishing a paper i have been writing on this disease and posting it for those who want a copy within a few days.
in the mean time. start asking your vets about the TRUTH.