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BLEEDING time (BT) is a cage-side screening test for the in vivo evaluation of primary haemostasis in dogs (Brooks and Catalfamo 1993). In the context of adequate platelet concentration (>70,000/μl), BT will be prolonged in moderate-to-severe platelet (von Willebrand disease, inherited or acquired platelet defects) or vascular dysfunction (Sakai and others 2003, Bromel 2010). The buccal mucosal bleeding time (BMBT) is the more widely accepted BT technique in the dog, due to its cost-effectiveness, limited invasiveness and higher specificity in evaluating primary haemostasis (Jergens and others 1987, Brassard and Meyers 1991, McConnell 2000). The test appears to be well tolerated by the majority of alert dogs; however, uncooperative dogs may preclude its performance necessitating chemical restraint. The combination of medetomidine and an opioid may be useful for the immobilisation of fractious dogs not amenable to safe handling (Bednarski 2007). On the other hand, limited information is available on the potential interference of the sedative or anaesthetic agents with the result of BMBT, and the potential antiplatelet effect demonstrated by some anaesthetics (eg, opioids) makes such an investigation worthwhile (Brooks and Catalfamo 2000). In a previous study, no significant difference in the mean BMBT values was found among different groups comprising healthy dogs with no chemical restraint (n=13), sedated with xylazine (n=27) or …
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