Acta Vet. Brno 2023, 92: 289-301

Assessment of plasma protein C activity in dogs with portosystemic shunt

Andrea Nečasová1, Jana Lorenzová1, Kristína Řeháková2, Danka Haruštiaková3,4, Alois Nečas1

1University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinic, Department of Surgery & Orthopaedics, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinical Laboratory, Brno, Czech Republic
3Masaryk University, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses, Brno, Czech Republic
4Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, RECETOX, Brno, Czech Republic

Received December 16, 2022
Accepted July 11, 2023

Portosystemic shunt (PSS) is a vascular disease that can be treated by various surgical techniques. Current veterinary studies are evaluating new prognostic markers in dogs with PSS. This study aims at evaluating the prognostic value of plasma protein C activity in dogs (n = 34) with PSS treated surgically using an ameroid constrictor. Plasma protein C activity was measured in the following time periods: preoperatively (T1), 2 days after surgery (T2), 8 weeks after surgery (T3) and > 6 months after surgery (T4). There was a significant increase in plasma protein C activity between T1/T2 and T3/T4 (P < 0.001). There was no significant relationship between the plasma protein C activity and sex (P = 0.676), age (P = 0.172), breed (P = 0.573), type of clinical signs (neurological P = 0.993; gastrointestinal P = 0.924; urological P = 0.385) and type of portosystemic shunt (P = 0.516), except for dogs with a caval type of extrahepatic PSS termination that had significant lower plasma protein C activity values compared to dogs with a diaphragmatic type of extrahepatic PSS (P = 0.031). No significant relationship was found between plasma protein C activity and the probability of the dog’s death (P = 0.334) or the dog’s clinical outcome (P = 0.960). Although not a prognostic factor, protein C activity is a laboratory marker that is useful for the diagnosis of PSS in dogs and can also be helpful in the postoperative monitoring.


This work was supported by funds from grant agency IGA VETUNI Brno (FVL IGA 2021 – project no. 104/2021/FVL) of University of Veterinary Sciences Brno. This study presents a part of a dissertation that will be submitted by MVDr. Nečasová to the University of Veterinary Sciences Brno in the fulfilment of the Doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine.


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