What is DIC – Disseminated intravascular coagulation? - Page 1

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What is DIC – Disseminated intravascular coagulation?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra - My dog recently died – my son took her roller blading and she developed heat stroke. She went to the local emergency clinic where she was treated. The clinic was great. However, she developed something called DIC. She started bleeding. They are treating her with plasma and different medications and so far she is hanging in there. Can you tell me a little about DIC?

Sarah and Ron Miller


Hi – thanks for your email and question. I'm sorry to hear about your dog developing DIC. DIC stands for "Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation". It is a complex syndrome of disorders and deregulation of coagulation that occurs secondary to some primary disease or problem. Heat stroke is a common cause of DIC.

Essentially, when DIC occurs, a cascade of events takes place within the body that leads to abnormal activation of products that encourages the blood to clot. Components such as fibrin are released within the blood stream. This can cause either very rapid clotting and possible abnormal blood clots and eventually loss of the ability to clot as the clotting ingredients are used up. Uncontrolled bleeding is the final result in this progress.

We have an article that talks about this syndrome that might be helpful to you. Go to Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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