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From Cornell University

Protein C Activity Assay

Protein C is a plasma anticoagulant factor required for maintenance of hemostatic balance. Protein C is synthesized in the liver and measurement of protein C activity aids in the diagnosis of thrombotic disorders and liver disease.

Protein C as a Biomarker of Liver Function Recent studies indicate that protein C deficiency is a marker of liver disease in dogs. Protein C deficiency develops in dogs with hepatic synthetic failure and in portosystemic shunting disorders.
The protein C activity assay is especially useful as a non-invasive measure of portal blood flow. Dogs with congenital portosystemic vascular anomalies (PSVA) typically have low protein C activity, with values < 70% of normal. Although clinical signs and chemistry profiles of dogs with PSVA and microvascular dysplasia are similar, the finding of low protein C activity supports a diagnosis of PSVA. Furthermore, protein C activities can be monitored after shunt ligation to assess restoration of portal blood flow.
Sample Requirements
Submit 0.5 to 1.0 mL of citrate plasma, shipped overnight on a cold pack
Test Turnaround and Costs
Same-day reporting: the test is run daily (M-F) with results faxed out as soon as the assay is complete
Protein C Activity assay fee
Test Principle
Test plasma is treated with a venom-derived activator, and the amount of functional protein C produced is measured in a chromogenic assay system. Results are reported as % protein C activity compared to a same-species standard. Protein C activity assays are routinely offered for dogs, cats, and horses. Please call for information on other species.
References
Toulza O, Center SA, Brooks MB, Warner K, Deal W. Protein C deficiency in dogs with liver disease. Proceedings of the 22 nd Annnual ACVIM Forum, Minneapolis, MN 2004; p. 866-867.
de Laforcade AM, Shaw SP, Freeman LM, Brooks MB, Rozanski EA, Rush JE. Coagulation parameters in dogs with naturally occurring sepsis. J Vet Intern Med 2003;17:674-679.
Mack CL, Superina RA, Whitington PF. Surgical restoration of portal flow corrects procoagulant and anticoagulant deficiencies associated with extrahepatic portal vein thrombosis. J Pediatr 2003;142:197-199.
Kottke-Marchant K, Comp P. Laboratory issues in diagnosing abnormalities of protein C, thrombomodulin, and endothelial cell protein C receptor. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002; 126:1337-48
 

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Lynn,

Thanks so much for the posting. Our baby may be having this test next. They believe she has a liver shunt by blood work results alone. I suppose I'm in denial, but another rest may give me more answers.

Are you dealing with something similar? And had your little one had this test yet?
 

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A.B,
I'm dealing with the same thing. I got the Bile Acid Test done for my Kaotang as a pre-spaying blood work. It came back high about 105 pre- and 90 post-prandial. Her liver enzymes were, however, quite normal. Plus, her cholesteral and bilirubin were high which is the opposite of a sign of a shunt.

I've been to many different vets. Some said I did the test unnecessarily and ignored the results. Some told me to wait and see as Kaotang hasn't really exhibited any symptoms (apart from the occasional mysterious head bobbing). The latest one we've been to is convinced she has a shunt even though he agrees something's odd about the contradicting blood results.

Unfortunately, we don't have the Protein C test for pets here in Thailand. And I haven't had any luck tracking down an animal hospital that does scintigraphy. Next week, I'm going to get a oh I don't know tenth opinion from yet another vet. Hope we both find some definitive answers soon. Not knowing is driving me worried nuts. I'm so scared that what I'm feeding her is killing her!

By the way, have you gotten a BAT done? That's another way to know more. Just make sure your vet does the test correctly. I'm getting Kaotang a retest too.

Goodluck to the both of us. And do let us know what you've found out.

Dawn
 

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Lynn,

Thanks so much for the posting. Our baby may be having this test next. They believe she has a liver shunt by blood work results alone. I suppose I'm in denial, but another rest may give me more answers.

A liver shunt cannot be diagnosed by blood work alone.. plus tests like the BAT and Protein C only indicate that there is a liver problem, it does not tell us what kind...further testing like doppler ultrasound, scintigraphy, or MRI would be needed to confirm what is going on...one of mine has MVD...sorry to hear about your baby...
 
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