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Blood in the Chest in Dogs




Patients suffering from hemothorax should be treated on an inpatient basis. Your dog must receive fluid therapy to correct its blood loss into the chest cavity. If your dog also has air free (outside the lungs) in the chest cavity, this must be immediately corrected. If the lungs are bruised, ventilator support may be necessary. These patients often also need oxygen therapy, and will need to be kept warm to prevent shock. If your dog’s blood sample has a delayed clotting time, then a plasma or blood transfusion may be needed to restore clotting factors or to provide red blood cells for oxygen transport. Severe or recurrent thoracic hemorrhage may require surgical exploration.


Living and Management


While your dog is recovering from hemothorax, it is probably best to avoid giving it any aspirin or other over the counter medications that can lead to decreased blood clotting. Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments as necessary to treat your dog’s underlying condition. If your dog shows signs of a recurrence of hemothorax, notify your veterinarian immediately; surgery may be necessary to correct recurring cases.



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