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REFERRING PRACTICE: PATIENT RECORDS

Hemoabdomen

Compassionate Emergency Care for Internal Bleeding

Hemoabdomen is a life-threatening condition where blood accumulates in the abdominal cavity. Often referred to as internal bleeding, it can cause low blood count and death. Ensure this grave condition is treated properly by coming to Animal ER Care in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for emergency care. Caused by a traumatic injury or the rupturing of a malignant tumor, hemoabdomen requires immediate attention so your pet can continue to live a long life. We also treat another serious health concern called pericardial effusion.


Medical Condition

Blood isn't normally present in the abdominal cavity where the bladder, intestines, spleen, and liver are located. There are two types of hemoabdomen: traumatic and spontaneous. Traumatic hemoabdomen occurs after an animal suffers a traumatic injury like being struck by a car. Spontaneous hemoabdomen occurs due to a ruptured tumor. The most common cause of spontaneous internal bleeding is malignant neoplasia. Other bleeding tumors are hepatic metastasis, mesothelioma, and pheochromocytoma. The treatment for spontaneous hemoabdomen requires a quick decision. If the non-malignant cause is a ruptured splenic hematoma, a splenectomy can fix the problem. For pets with malignant tumors, adjunctive chemotherapy is necessary.

Dogs with Medical Condition

Signs and Diagnosis

More common in dogs than cats, especially older, large breed dogs such as German Shepherds and Labradors, the clinical signs of this condition are lethargy, lack of appetite, weakness, and abdominal distention. X-rays and an ultrasound are used to diagnose hemoabdomen. Other ancillary diagnostics like a cardiac ultrasound, EKG, and blood work should also be performed to identify and support the determination.

Treatment

The first step in the treatment process is to stabilize the situation to stop further hemorrhaging. This is done through fluid therapy and a blood transfusion. A compressive bandage is then placed around the abdomen to slow blood loss. Once the condition is stabilized, the bandage can be removed. If your pet has lost a large volume of blood, oxygen therapy will be necessary. Pain medications are administered to keep your pet comfortable and calm. Vitamin K is administered for anticoagulant intoxication. Exploratory surgery may be necessary to stop the bleeding if there is an abdominal mass.

Emergency Care

Emergency Care

If your pet exhibits signs of spontaneous hemoabdomen or has suffered a traumatic injury, quick emergency care is essential for a positive outcome. We work quickly to stabilize your pet and perform diagnostic tests to confirm the condition. If surgery is required, we do more blood tests to determine which anesthesia to use. We carefully monitor your pet's heart rate, oxygen level, respiration, and body temperature during surgery. It is important that your pet's physical activity be restricted during recovery. After-care instructions will be provided, but it may be necessary to crate your pet or keep them confined to a small space.