When a simple nosebleed isn’t a simple nosebleed...

Posted August 30, 2016 in Articles

A case study from MVER's Medical Director, Ashley Dunn, DVM

A canine patient named “Shiloh” first came to visit me at the Meredith Place Veterinary Emergency Hospital (MVER) in late 2015 when he was suffering from a nosebleed that simply would not stop. Honestly, it was the worst nosebleed I’ve ever seen in a dog. Other than the mess he was making, he was acting pretty normally.

Once Shiloh was at MVER, a solution of epinephrine was applied to the inside of his nose in an attempt to stop the bleeding. It slowed for a few minutes but started again after a particularly forceful sneeze.

After running bloodwork, it was discovered that there were more problems to tackle than a bloody nose. As expected, Shiloh had a low red blood cell count from the bleeding. However, Shiloh’s white blood cell count was very high with an abnormally high percentage of lymphocytes – more than 5 times higher than “normal”. In addition, Shiloh had very low amounts of platelets, which are important in clotting blood and stopping bleeding.

Unfortunately, the suspected diagnosis was advanced cancer in the bone marrow, also known as leukemia. Despite it being the middle of the night, Shiloh was sent to an Oncologist to begin chemotherapy immediately. Even with chemotherapy, the long-term prognosis was only weeks to months.

Shiloh continued chemotherapy every week for 19 weeks, and at the end of his chemotherapy protocol, Shiloh’s leukemia was in complete remission. Shiloh is the oncologist’s first patient of this type to survive his cancer long enough to complete his chemotherapy protocol.

Since completing chemotherapy, Shiloh has done well. He is active and thriving despite his cancer. He’ll continue receiving chemotherapy injections every two to three weeks and be closely monitored for the return of his cancer. He has already exceeded all expectations and been given an extension of life and happiness.

All of us at Meredith Place Veterinary Emergency hospital are so happy to celebrate Shiloh’s success.

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