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Arterial Blood Clots? - Update


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Has anyone had a greyhound that has suffered from arterial clots in the femural artery?

 

My good friend's 9 year old greyhound started developing odd symptoms in her right rear leg a couple weeks back but nothing was found after a visit to their vet. Last Tuesday she started showing symptoms of being off balance and some possible muscle fatigue in her right rear leg, and weakness in the hip. This turned into significant pain by Friday with obvious back end weakness, most obvious in the right rear leg again, with little motor function. She was treated at the e-vet where they thought it was a neck/nerve issue as they saw some sensitivity in the neck area as well. She was sent home with pain meds and an anti-inflamatory meds. By Saturday night she was crying out every half hour and her mom called me at 8am Sunday asking for help to get to the vet's office. It has been a long time since I have seen any dog in this much pain, coupled with such immense stress. By the time we got her to their vet, and he did a thorough exam, she was screeching in pain and completely unable to settle down. This was really hard on her mom. After all was said and done the vet (yes, experienced with greyhounds) felt this was a neuro issue, possibly damaged discs. He got an emergency consult with a neuro vet but we had a two hour drive in really bad weather ahead of us to get there.

 

After an initial exam the neuro vet also felt it may be a disc issue and the next step was the mielogram and then a CT scan. Four hours later they had found nothing with her spine, nothing in the spinal fluid and nothing in the brain. One thing both vets had observed was the lack of a pulse in the femoral arteries...in both legs, yet she was able to stand up a little and her limbs were not cold. So, we ended up having to leave her at the neuro vet as they felt she needed to obviously come out of the anesthesia but some on-site pain management and something to ease her stress level. She was also put on heparin.

 

The neuro vet said if these are blood clots in both arteries the prognosis is not good but an ultrasound would be needed. Today she is still at the neuro vet's office and still in a great deal of pain, which they are trying to manage. They didn't want her moved yet but recommended the owner set up an appointment at Tufts for an ultrasound as the next step.

 

Her owner is an absolute wreck and is a stress puppy to begin with so she isnt managing this too well. In all my years with greyhounds and dogs in general I have never encountered a blood clot issue such as this. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Edited by Houndmom

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Willow & Trace

Butch (11/94 - 7/16/08) Hayley (11/96 - 1/13/09) Merlin (11/12/95 - 5/29/09)

GPA - Central New Hampshire

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Guest specialtimmy

This is a common ocurrence in cats. I have only seen it one other time in a dog. Unfortunately for that one, the clot lodged in the artery prior to where the vessels for the kidneys branch off(ultimately diagnosed with ultrasound). The dog was in irreversible kidney failure as well as having lost the circulation to both her back legs. It was very sad. While we did not find the cause of the formation of the clot in that dog, often the clot is formed in a chamber of the heart due to abnormal flow in one of the chambers. The clot is then ejected and lodges somewhere "downstream" where the vessel diameter lessens. This is the classic model in cats anyway.

If only one of the legs is affected and it is indeed a blood clot, it may be able to be treated. Supportive care and monitoring are necessary (crucial) because eventually the clot shrinks, allowing circulation to return to the leg. However, it also allows "toxic" stuff that was created in the cells of the leg once it lost it's blood supply to return to the rest of the dog. This may happen suddenly or gradually and with varying degrees of making the whole dog (temporarily) sick.

It would be relatively important to try to find the reason the clot formed in the first place. There may be some new tests available to measure an increased tendency of the blood to clot (hypercoagulate), if heart disease/disfunction or other systemic(inflammatory) disease is ruled out. It's easy to test for HYPOcoagultion, not as easy the other way. Once one clot has formed, it is likely that others will form, unless the underlying cause can be corrected. The vet may need to treat the dog with anticoagulants such as heparin or coumadin.

Even for veterinary staff accustumed to seeing animals in pain, the acute and horrible pain in these animals is difficult to experience. I have no idea how the owner of the dog could stand it. It is very traumatic to see an animal in such pain, AND feel so helpless to relieve it. I hope your friend gets a good outcome with her hound. I send good thoughts his/her way.

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No advice unfortunately other tehn I would pursue the referral and try to get some concrete answers. : ( I've seen clots (saddle thrombus) in cats but not in dogs.

Bill

Lady

Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France

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An ultrasound in needed asap! I'm not sure if they treat clots in animals as they would in humans, but when there is a DVT (aka blood clot) humans are treated with herparin (?sp) to thin the blood. Ultrasound is one of the best diagnostic tests for this. A blood clot in the femoral artery is very serious and needs treatment asap! A blood clot can either be in the upper vessel (above the knee) or lower vessel (below the knee). I have never heard of this happening in dogs but I guess there is a first for anything.

 

Sending prayers to your friend and her beloved grey. Please let us know how things go.

Edited by Lilysmom

Praying for all the missing greys!

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Guest jurishound

Unfortunately, we did experience this with our beloved Cricket. She came limping in one day after being outside, and we thought she had injured herself. We waited a day or so and when it didn't improve, brought her to the vet. They xrayed the leg, and there was no sign of osteo. Soon thereafter, she developed pitting edema in the affected leg and we brought her to an internist at our local teaching veterinary hospital. They did an ultrasound, and found a clot in her femoral artery. We were never certain, but the vet thought she had developed an autoimmune vascular disease of some kind. She was treated with methylprednisolone and a number of other drugs, but for some reason, was not put on heparin. She did succumb to this illness, but was also much older than this hound - nearly 12.5 years at DX.

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She is being given heparin but they are still having difficulty managing her pain without overloading her with drugs, which they do not want to do. My friend was not able to get an appointment at Tufts yesterday die to it being Patriots Day in Mass and they were closed. They wouldn't even make an appointment for today for her. Told her to call back the next day. I am impressed...NOT. Anyway, due to the storms power went out at the neuro clinic so they had to move all their patients to the e-vet clinic in the area so that was another added stress they did not want for her but they had no choice. As of last night she was ok but not much has changed other than they can manage her pain a little better. Hopefully my friend can get her over to Tufts today for the ultrasound. We knew this was the next step but have no idea where it goes from there.

 

Thanks :) Keep your fingers crossed for her.

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Willow & Trace

Butch (11/94 - 7/16/08) Hayley (11/96 - 1/13/09) Merlin (11/12/95 - 5/29/09)

GPA - Central New Hampshire

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My friend called me today to let me know that Derby crossed the Bridge this afternoon. She was able to get Derby to Tuft's Vet clinic but it was a very tough trip and Derby wasn't doing so well. The vets there did what they could ,and did diagnose her with blood clots in the femural arteries. Unfortunately her condition did not afford them many options and even if they had tried the prognosis would not have been good for a quality life or a long term one. My friend decided that instead of having Derby suffer through more tests, pain and stress for no real future that the best thing she could do for her was to let her find her peace.

 

Derby was a sassy, grouchy pain in the butt when around other dogs outside of her house but she was great with people and I will miss her. Please keep my friend in your thoughts. This has been a very tough weekend for her, and Derby was her first greyhound.

 

Thanks for the help :cry1:angelwings

Marina

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Willow & Trace

Butch (11/94 - 7/16/08) Hayley (11/96 - 1/13/09) Merlin (11/12/95 - 5/29/09)

GPA - Central New Hampshire

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I'm very sorry to hear your sad news about Derby's passing. So very difficult to see a beloved hound in such pain and not be able to stop it. :( Sending my deepest condolences to your friend, and Godspeed energy to Derby... :grouphug

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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How sad. I am so sorry for your friend. Derby is at peace, pain free and running once again with the wind.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
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Guest vahoundlover

Please give your friend my condolences :cry1 ...it is never an easy decision, and one that was made from love... :grouphug:grouphug

 

Godspeed Derby :f_pink

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Guest luluaz

So sorry to hear of this, especially as this was your friends first grey.

I could not stand when Dyce was screaming in pain, it was very difficult to transport him, too.

Prayers of peace go out to your friend-

Run free, sassy baby! :gh_runner

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I'm so sorry to hear about Derby.

 

FWIW, my vet is always asking me how my dogs' femorals are when there is a pain/lameness problem in the hind end. Her main professional interest is emergency medicine and over the years she has seen an inordinate number of greyhounds compared to other breeds who have femoral clots and vascular issues. She taught me to check them regularly and be sure they match on both sides. I believe they should be the same as the heartbeat, but I'm not positive on that.

 

Marcia in CT (currently in SC)

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I am so sorry!

 

Farewell Derby!

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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Guest jade1046

My deepest sympathies. I can SO relate after having lost my sweet Felicia last week. Be comforted knowing that Derby is now free from pain. :f_white

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