August 11, 2021 6 min read
In 2023, one of the most common causes of internal bleeding in dogs is cancer. It can come on suddenly and if the observant owner does not recognise the signs it can be fatal for our best friends.
This article will try to highlight the common symptoms and signs of when a dog is sick with internal bleeding, but it’s up to you to stay vigilant (especially with older dogs) and ensure that you monitor them regularly and that they are healthy.
As an owner, you should be most accustomed to what your ‘normal’ dog’s behaviour is, how it acts and what it feels. You will be the first to notice if something is wrong and by having the below knowledge, can quickly remedy the situation.
85% of the time internal bleeding in dogs is caused by cancer, specifically, hemangiosarcoma. This complicated word essentially describes a tumour condition in which blood cell tumours are created around organs and press into the dog’s bloodstream. This can cause internal bleeding in dogs. It is most commonly found to be surface of the liver, spleen and stomach, but can, unfortunately, are created anywhere, including the underside of the skin.
These tumours can grow very large and may not be noticeable until they start to cause internal bleeding in dogs. Once they rupture nearby blood vessels, then that’s when it will start to manifest in signs of internal bleeding.
If not a tumour, internal bleeding can also be caused by an injury (just as an impact injury such as a car accident) and symptoms might not become apparent for up to two weeks!
There are multiple signs, and this is by no means a complete list, but this will give you an indication and a good place to start.
In a normal healthy dog, the colour of their gums should be a healthy pink (Lighter than humans, but still very clearly full of blood). As internal bleeding causes the dogs ‘reservoir’ of blood in the body to lower, areas that have visible blood flow will become paler. In humans, we, fortunately, are not covered in fur and our entire skin will go rather white when we suffer blood loss.
As dogs have a beautiful coat, the only place to look is either their belly or better yet their gums. A great way to test is to slightly press the gum. In a healthy dog, the gums will go lighter when pressed, then flood back to a healthy pink. In unhealthy dogs, there will be little change.
If you are a bit cautious, you can offer your pup a treat and as they chew you should get a good look at their gums.
Dogs love to pant heavily. They pant when they exercise, they pant when they see a rival dog out the window and they pant when they are excited. They also pant when they are too hot, as the dog lacks sweat glands and it’s the only way to cool down.
However, if your dog is panting with no noticeable reason (Perhaps they are sitting down and not moving, and it’s not an extreme temperature day) then there could be something wrong.
Note that smaller dogs or selectively bred dogs actually have some difficulties breathing and may just be breathing normally. They may also cough occasionally and not a cause for concern.
Now we start to enter some of the more obvious signs that something is wrong. If you are at home and your dog starts to discharge blood, from either the skin or the nose then that is a serious cause for concern.
As some of these tumours can be close to the skin, it’s possible that they will create open wounds under the fur and blood will seep out.
Just like in humans, if you get a nosebleed out of the blue then that is a rush to the hospital. If you notice the same with your dog, and they have not recently been in a scrap or hit their face, then its best to better safe than sorry.
Lethargy is when your dog does not seem to have the energy to do things that they normally love to run and do. This could be not being excited by meal time, not barking at visitors when they come to the door or even simply sleeping for far too long in the day.
This change in energy level will come across rapidly and without warning. If your puppy is reluctant to go on their usual walk (normally they would be scratching at the door first thing) then consider looking for the other warning signs.
This sign is a little trickier to discover, as you generally need to have a good idea on how hot or cold your dog normally is. As with all mammals, the body strictly controls the internal temperature of the body to a tolerance of one or two degrees. As a dog is covered in fur, their surface temperature is normally much lower than internally, thus a rectal thermometer needs to be used.
A normal temperature for a dog is around 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37.8-38.9 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is either higher or lower than that, then there is something wrong.
If your dog walks up to you and vomits blood repeatedly, then they have internal bleeding and must go to a vet.
It’s a bit trickier if they are coughing. Coughing fits are associated with fluid in the lungs in mammals. If the lungs have fluid in it, such as caused by a cold, flu or internal bleeding then your dog will cough. The key is if they enter coughing fits repeatedly as that might mean that there is increasing fluid entering their lungs.
Have a look at where they are coughing for signs of blood micro particles. They might be hard to see on a dark floor so consider putting down a white sheet where your dog rests to see if any appear. If not, look for other signs to see if it’s a different illness, allergy or just dust.
A dark red smear in the stool of a dog might indicate internal bleeding in your dog or it could be caused by a foreign object or their diet (Such as eating some beetroot). This method takes time, as you must notice a pattern in their stools over a few hours. Look for other signs throughout the day to see if there is a pattern.
There are a variety of other signs that might imply that your dog has internal bleeding. These can be anxiety, pain, excessive thirst or hunger, lack of appetite, change in personality or more. As we mentioned, as the dog owner you are best suited to seeing these changes and taking action.
The first step to take is to confirm that this is truly the case. This can be done by visiting a vet or giving a professional a quick phone call. Whilst with other illnesses we recommend a wait and see approach, with internal bleeding if not treated can be incredibly serious.
Your dog will require at least two things. The first is surgery to ensure that any foreign material or tumors are removed and that palliative care (given drugs) to slow down the rate of bleeding.
The second step is to use Yunnan Baiyao to manage the bleeding condition holistically without the use of invasive medication.
It is a formulation created to treat all types of bleeding problems in Dogs. The medication constitutes herbal supplements and a secret ingredient recipe to show effective therapeutic health benefits.
It not only recovers your pet Dog from acute bleeding from the mouth but is a source of relief during swelling and pain inside the mouth.
It removes and fights back any foreign body present inside the dogs gums bleeding. It supports blood circulation and has an effective healing power for Bleeding Gums caused by injury or trauma.
Yunnan Baiyao also proves to be the best medication for the treatment of cancerous tumors. However, ensure to take the required amount of Dosage of Yunnan Baiyao by consulting the Veterinarian and as per your dog's health condition and weight.
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