Thursday, April 29, 2004

Hailey Gave Us Quite A Scare

Yesterday, we got quite a scare from Hailey.

It was time for her vaccinations. And, we suspected she had a bladder infection. After acquiring a urine sample (“Mom, what are you doing behind me while I try to pee?”), Lynne was taking Hailey to the vet mid-morning. On the way, Hailey started coughing up blood. Well, instead of vaccinations she got a good examination to figure out where the blood was coming from and why. Actually, there was no definitive answer. The urine sample did show lots of white blood cells and an infection, so antibiotics were prescribed and she was sent home.

After an hour or so, Lynne noticed continued bleeding, now coming from the nose. So, she rushed Hailey to a close-by specialty/emergency hospital (which we happen to know very, very well…).

The bleeding would not stop. She was swallowing blood and aspirating blood into her lungs. Her packed cell count was down to 16% from a normal level of about 40%. She was close to anemia, heart arrythmia, and other problems due to blood loss and lack of oxygen to her system.

The vets found a small wound behind her tonsil, and they had to cauterize it to stop the bleeding. She needed a blood transfusion from a donor dog (a black lab…so now we call her a “labernese”) overnight.

There was an immediate assumption that something was causing a condition that prevented her blood from clotting. As I understand it, there were three possible general causes: 1) some kind of clotting disorder that might be causing a lack of vitamin K; 2) her eating some kind of rodenticide that prevents blood clotting as a method for killing mice and rats; 3) Von Willebrand’s disease, an inherited or acquired disease that prevent blood from clotting.

We proceeded to have her tested for all conditions. As of this writing, we’ve only ruled out the first. Clotting tests were all positive.

The vet thinks this was some kind of one-time issue, caused by something like rodenticide…although we have been unable to find the source or cause. More test results over the next few days will tell us more.

In the meantime, she is pretty much back to normal. She is happy and relatively active. We are supervising her closely, making sure she doesn’t do anything to cause bruising or bleeding. She is eating soft food only and we don’t allow her to chew on plastic bones or sticks from the yard. She is on an antibiotic to both fight the infection in her bladder as well as any potential infection from blood in her lungs.

We came very, very close to losing her last night. We didn’t sleep a wink, each having our own nightmares about possible bad outcomes. Still, she is here with us as happy and cute as ever and we are so very grateful to the specialists who cared for her and the Black Lab who donated blood.

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Posted under: Dog Stuff • by Rick on 04/29/2004 at 09:07 PM
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