Unfractionated and low-molecular-weight heparin for hypercoagulability in dogs and cats - Veterinary Medicine
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Unfractionated and low-molecular-weight heparin for hypercoagulability in dogs and cats
A new type of heparin, low-molecular-weight heparin, shows promise as an effective and easier-to-use form of therapy for people prone to thromboembolism. Does the same hold true for dogs and cats?



A variety of conditions in dogs and cats cause hypercoagulability and may benefit from prophylactic heparin therapy. Prospective, controlled clinical trials are needed to determine optimal treatment strategies. Although low-molecular-weight heparins are advantageous for treating hypercoagulability in people, the convenience of once-daily dosing for people appears to be lost in small animals. It is more expensive to treat with low-molecular-weight heparin compared with unfractionated heparin, and no evidence exists to support improved outcomes. Clinical research is ongoing to identify situations in which low-molecular-weight heparins are preferred for anticoagulant therapy in dogs and cats.

Bryan E. Harnett, DVM
Mission MedVet
5914 Johnson Drive
Mission, KS 66202

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri
379 East Campus Drive
Columbia, MO 65211


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