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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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We just found our dog coughing up blood. She is still wagging

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We just found our dog coughing up blood. She is still wagging her tail and acting fine but is coughing up blood about every 3 to 5 minutes. She sounds like she has croup when she is walking around or coughing up the blood. We have been trying to get a hold of a local vet but are not having any luck.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 4 years ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in.


How much blood is she coughing up?


Is she on heartworm prevention every month?


What color are her gums?


If you press on her abdomen from both sides, is she painful or uncomfortable?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She is coughing up small to moderate amount. Her gums are grayish brown. She is still wagging her tail. She was up walking around acting like she was trying to cough up something. She is now relaxing more and is laying down. She is not on heart worm pills. We just got some a couple days ago but had not started her on them yet.They did not test her for heart worms either just gave it to us. The name of it is Trifexis. We pressed on abdomen and she didn't act like it bothered her.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the information. Sorry about the wait. It could be something she ate, either something poisonous or a foreign body that is causing damage to the GI tract. If you have a big property, and she tends to roam, there could be anything she could have gotten into, including some plants. The graying brown gums do concern me, unless, of course, that is what they alway look like. It could mean a clotting problem, or it could be an immune system reaction destroying her red blood cells. Heartworm disease, lungworms, pneumonia and a gastrointestinal ulcer are all possible. I definitley would not start Trifexis unless you know she is heartworm negative. More of a chance of a reaction with a heartworm positive dog. Vomtiing blood is not typically a good sign. If you have a vet open anywhere, I would just bring her to them, instead of waiting for them to answer the phone or call back. At home, there is not a lot you can do but keep her off of food and give Pepcid (2.5mg per 10lbs). Her signs usually require immediately veterinary attention, though. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can we give her water? We are trying to find an emergency vet close to us. Not looking so good. Everywhere we call is closed. My husband and I both feel it is probably heart worms. She eats but doesn't gain weight. That is why we just got the pill. She is very active and still is even right now. She is wagging her tail and now is back up to walking around.

If she does have heartworms and she is already at this point is there anything a vet will be able to do to save her? We don't have a lot of money to spend.

Expert:  Dr. John replied 4 years ago.
Water is okay. I would definitely do a heartworm test on her first and foremost. Her prognosis depends on what bloodwork and chest x-rays look like. It is best to check these before any treatment to see if they are a candidate for it. Treatment does have its risk, but there are medications that can be used to decrease lung inflammation and even decrease these risks. Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Finally got her to the vets. He didn't like the color of her gums. She stopped bleeding and then would just start bleeding again. He said he really thinks that it is rat poisoning. He gave her vitamin K and steroids. He is keeping her overnight and will also do blood work for heart worm. Thank you so much for helping!!!!!!
Expert:  Dr. John replied 4 years ago.
Yeah. Rat poison can definitely cause a nasty clotting problem. Probably something she ate 5-7 days ago. You are very welcome. Keep me updated. Good luck!!!
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