If you have insurance for him (or a decent budget) I'd recommend a CT scan. I generally run 2-5 per week for dogs with epistaxis (nose bleeds).
To date, the strangest thing we have found was a fish in the nose of a 11 year old Shep cross. yep...a fish. It can really be anything. We have diagnosed very strange things with nose bleeds as a symptom. Brain tumor, neoplasia in the nasal cavity, tooth root abscesses, foreign bodies, broken blood vessel, dry nose, aneurysms, fungus such as aspergillus (sp) and "nothing".
Unfortunatley if you want to go this route...Bob may have to leave the house for one visit
There are various types of cancers that can invade the nasal cavity, some have a far better prognosis than others. Some can be injected, some can be debrided and some are responsive to drugs while others are not. Its common, and specialty practices see 500+ in a year. Hopefully this is not the case with Bob, but if it is, a biopsy will be needed to tell what type you are dealing with. Some that are not highly metastatic can live for many years.
Good luck with him, crossing fingers for some good news!
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Years ago I had a Doberman that started sneezing blood. I assumed it was something he snuffled up while tracking. Turns out he had ehrlichiosis. The vet noticed some fore limb favoring and suggested a tick panal. Since I had never seen a tick on him, I almost didn't do it, and am so glad I did.
I since found out why he didn't have ticks - I caught Onyx (dobe) lying down in the back yard while the pet chicken wandered all over him picking off ticks. Should have known it'd be something weird like that. My animals have always been a little off.
A few weeks of Doxycycline and Onyx was back at work.
Best wishes to Bob!
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Thanks to all of you for your advice, kind thoughts and prayers.
Over the past day or two, it seems like the amount of blood (or any secretion from his nose) is decreasing and I am no longer seeing any of the bright red that I saw earlier. But he still sneezes occasionally.
My vet just left. He took blood and urine for testing and did a full physical exam. No problems that were visible except that Bob sneezed once and we put some tissue on his nose and there was a tiny amount of mucus that had a bit of a reddish brown tinge to it. The vet gave me some antibiotics.
Assuming that the bleeding continues and that the lab results don't suggest some other direction, the next step would be going to a specialist for a CT scan. One of the things that I like about my vet is that he gives me the pros and the cons of any proposed tests or treatment and then respects my right to make the final decision. He and I are pretty much on the same page philosophically. We are both generally hesitant to proceed with invasive procedures unless there is a clear benefit. I'm pretty procedure-phobic for myself as well as for my dogs. That said, I think I will go ahead with the CT scan. It is not cheap (that's for sure!), but it sounds like it might be worth it. But for now, I'm waiting to hear about the lab results and seeing if the antibiotics make any difference.
As he was leaving, I asked my vet if his gut feeling was cancer. He said we shouldn't go there yet. So I guess that was reassuring sort of. But I'm still worried needless to say. Bob is a very good dog. I love that boy.
Samba: Thank you very much for sharing your experience with CT scans. It was helpful to hear of all the non-cancer things you find. I asked my vet about aspergillis--I read about it on the Internet and was hoping that might be a possiblity. He said it is rare in this part of the country. So very unlikely.
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I hope you're feeling more encouraged following the vet's examination of Bob. You sound like you're doing everything right. I am still believing in the best outcome here! Thanks for keeping us posted. It's amazing how I carry the concern of members' poodles around with me. I'm breathing a bit easier now--wish the same for you and Bob!
Cabryn Chagall CGC
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Thanks everybody! I really appreciate your support. I'm feeling a little better, but still quite worried. There seems to be less blood, really none of the bright red blood that I saw earlier. But the sneezing continues. Sometimes it is so violent that Cammie gets up from her chair and stares at Bob trying to understand what in the world he could be doing.
At one point, the vet said that sometimes these things just resolve themselves. Hope that's what happens for us!
A big thank you from Bob and me (and Cammie).
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