Bleeding Issues

 

Over the years there have been numerous anecdotal stories of GSMDs suffering from a variety of bleeding issues.  Those stories have ranged from Swissies with uncontrolled bleeding who died (or nearly died) during simple surgeries to Swissies who suffered from severe nosebleeds.  Every time I hear of one of these young dogs bleeding out or dying from nosebleeds, it drives home once again the very real threat these issues may present for our breed.

The extent of these bleeding disorders is not known at this time, nor have they been clearly identified.  However, in 2009 Dr. Mary Boudreaux, DVM in the Department of Pathology at Auburn University, stumbled upon a gene mutation for a platelet disorder.  This P2Y12 mutation was first identified in a dog who suffered uncontrolled bleeding during a routine spay.  

We are incredibly lucky that a blood sample from this dog wound up in Dr. Boudreaux's hands.  Dr. Boudreaux has been researching hemostatis and platelet pathophysiology for over 25 years, and in the last ten years she has identified genetic mutations for various bleeding disorders in several breeds (Great Pyrenees, Otterhounds, Landseers, Basset Hounds, German Shepherds and now Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs).  We are even more fortunate that Dr. Boudreaux has been able to develop and conduct DNA testing for these disorders.

To date, very few Swissies have been tested for the P2Y12 platelet disorder mutation.  But the test does exist, and it can identify whether a Swissy is a carrier, is affected or is clear of the mutation.  The test is very simple and can be utilized by all Swissy breeders.  Carrier detection is vital if we're going to control the spread of inherited defects, and DNA testing is the only reliable method of detection.   We are lucky that there is a test for this mutation, as there are many other health issues we already combat, such as epilepsy, where we are very far away from any kind of genetic testing.  

Pet owners of non-breeding Swissies may also wish to have their dog tested, as this mutation COULD have grave consequences should your dog undergo a routine surgery such as a neuter or spay, or even a routine teeth cleaning.  By making a vet aware of a dog's "potentially" compromised clotting ability, they will be much better prepared to combat any bleeding issues a dog encounters during a surgery, blood draw or any issue that presents with excessive and uncontrolled bleeding.

Keep in mind that a Swissy may or may not experience bleeding, regardless of their P2Y12 status.  Simply not enough data exists to predict which dogs will be symptomatic or why.  There have been numerous dogs who have experienced serious bleeding who are NOT P2Y12 "affected."  Some dogs have suffered from serious nosebleeds, as mentioned above, which is not typically how a P2Y12 clotting mutation would present, and suggests that there may be multiple sources of bleeding in this breed.   At this time, it would behove any GSMD owner to let their vet know, prior to any surgery, that the breed does occasionally experience bleeding of unknown origin.  This information can be important to prepare a vet should a Swissy in their care experience unusual bleeding during surgery or post-operatively.
 

To read more about Dr. Boudreaux and her work, click here.
The form for blood sample submission ithrough Auburn University is also available here.
Pawprint Genetics is now offering P2Y12 testing for the GSMD.  This is a buccal swab sample submission, which can be done at home (rather than having your vet draw and ship blood, which makes this test somewhat more affordable).  
Currently Auburn and Paw Print Genetics are the only two labs in the US approved and accepted for this test in GSMD.


Although much more research needs to be done, and more data collected to determine the expression of this mutation, we have chosen to test our breeding dogs in the hopes that we can reduce the number of GSMD who are carriers or affected with this mutation in our breeding program.

The following Aegis owned, co-owned or bred dogs have been or are currently in the process of being tested for the P2Y12 mutation:
 

 

DOG STATUS OFA NUMBER IF APPLICABLE
BOWIE (Alli x Blaze) CARRIER SMH-RPD1/ 71M-VPI-CAR
SHEA (Ushi x Denali) CLEAR SMH-RPD2/ 55M-VPI
MAYBELL (Moxie x Bowie) CLEAR SMH-RPD3/ 39F-VPI
CLAIRE (Moxie x Bowie) CLEAR SMH-RPD5/ 40F-VPI
WILLI (Ushi x Boo) CLEAR SMH-RPD4/ 42F-VPI
TRUDI (Klara x Sully) CLEAR SMH-RPD6/ 64F-VPI
NOKA  (Frida x Bowie) CLEAR SMH-RPD7/ 33F-VPI
OBI (Anke x Bowie) CARRIER SMH-RPD8/ 46M-VPI-CAR
BARRETT  (Anke x Bowie) CARRIER SMH-RPD9/ 46M-VPI-CAR
ELLIE (Anke x Bowie) CLEAR SMH-RPD11/40F-PI
BRONX (Noka x Shea) CLEAR SMH-RPD12/33F-PI
WALKER  (Nigella x Obi) CLEAR SMH-RPD10/ 10M-PI
FRITZI  (Ellie x Bosco) CARRIER SMH-RPD13/24F-PI-CAR
SUMMIT  (Maybell x Shea) CLEAR SMH-RPD14/23F-PI
EDEN (Maybell x Shea) CLEAR SMH-RPD15/23F-VPI
DUTCH (Noka x Shea)   CLEAR  SMH-RPD16/33M-PI
SAILOR  (River x Barrett) CARRIER SMH-RPD17/12F-PI-CAR
EASTER  (Ellie x Bosco) CLEAR  
SAX  (Nola x Hero) AFFECTED  
     
     
     
     
     
     



 

 

 

 

 

    

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