Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) in Dogs

Overview Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) in Dogs

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), also known as “DIC” or “Dysfibrinogen syndrome”, is a complex syndrome of disorders and deregulation of the coagulation. 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 process.

The DIC condition may occur in dogs of any age, breed or sex. DIC occurs secondary to diseases that cause an inappropriate coagulation response.

Primary disorders that can cause DIC include:

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) in Dogs

Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying disorder as well as the blood clotting parameters. There is not a single test that diagnoses DIC. Disseminated intravascular coagulation is generally diagnosed based on the presence of an underlying disease that causes DIC combined with laboratory changes that suggest problems in the coagulation (clotting) system.

Some of these tests include:

Treatment of DIC in Dogs

Patients with DIC will require initial in-hospital stabilization. Treatment is primarily directed at the underlying disease. In-hospital therapy includes intensive care and frequent evaluation of bleeding and blood clotting parameters. The goal is to treat the underlying condition while trying to control hemorrhage that results from DIC.

Treatments may include the following:


The prognosis depends upon the severity of the illness and the pet’s response to therapy. This condition is very serious and the prognosis is considered poor.

Home Care and Prevention

There is no long term management of DIC. Home care will depend on the underlying condition.

Aggressive and early treatment of the primary disorders that can cause DIC is the best prevention.