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.
The area between the folds of the pleura; airtight
A cell that aids in clotting
Pertaining to the chest
A gland found near the midline of the chest cavity; found mostly in young animals
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
Extreme loss of blood
A passage in the body with walls
The fluid created by the liver that helps food in the stomach to be digested.
A large blood vessel that transports blood out of the heart.
An animal’s sternum
The muscle in the abdomen that aids in breathing
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.
The protein that moves oxygen in the blood