The Coag Dx Analyser measures the clotting pathways PT (prothrombin time) and APTT (activated partial thromboplastin time). We use it when we have a patient who is bleeding and we’re concerned that they have issues with coagulation.
What’s good about it
This unit measures two coagulation pathways that are involved in blood clotting. If one of these pathways registers as ‘prolonged’ on the screen then this points us in the direction as to why the patient is bleeding.
One of the main reasons we use it is when we suspect that a dog has eaten rat bait. In these cases, the clotting vitamin to be consumed is vitamin K and this will elongate one of the clotting pathways (PT). If we have a very suspicious history and a prolonged PT on this machine then that’s basically a diagnosis. We can then give the appropriate treatment and hopefully save the patient’s life.
Usually, we are hoping to eliminate rat baits and problems with coagulation, but there have been a few cases in the past few months that the analyser has allowed us to diagnose quickly and helped to save the patient.
There was a bit of a debate when we bought it as to whether we would get value for our money. At this rate, I think we probably will, particularly with after-hours cases. When a dog comes in at 6.30 on a Friday night, you need to know if it’s rodenticide toxicity so that you treat it promptly, and can feel more comfortable leaving the patient overnight after it’s stabilised. It’s really handy to have that information if you don’t have the option to refer to a 24-hour emergency centre.
What’s not so good
The only issue with the Analyser is that the cartridges have to be at room temperature before inserting them into the machine. It can take 20 minutes for them to warm up which isn’t great when you have a bleeding patient and want to know if you need to give them therapy immediately or not.
Where did you get it
By Dr Tess Butler, Moe Veterinary Centre, VIC.