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Hard, dried-blood mucous forming in nose

May 12th, 2006, 03:18 PM

I'm glad I found this forum. I hope someone here can help.

We have beatiful lab-mix named Biscuit. She is 8 years old. We got her about a year ago from a neighbor who could no longer keep her because of a divorce. She is a very sweet, well-behaved & loving dog.

Below is a re-cap of what has been going on with Biscuit over the past month in case it can give some insight. But our main problem right now is that several times a day Biscuit's nose fills up with a hard, black, crusty mucous. It looks like it has dried blood in it. We clean it out and it always comes back. Her nose is not running blood - it is very dry. It is definitely affecting her breathing. The vet doesn't know what it is.

Here's the recap. . .

Up until about 1 month ago she was as healthy and happy as could be. I took her to the vet for her rabies vaccine. A couple of days before I took her we noticed her "leaking" a bit of urine at night so I mentioned that to the vet as well.

She explained that leaking was common in older, spade females and put her on an antibiotic and a low dose of hormone. They then gave her the rabies shot AND said they would go ahead and give her her booster shot (Dhlppc) as well. (My husband had just given her Revolution heartworm medicine the week before too.)

I hated that she had ALL of these chemicals in her at one time. (Rabies, Booster-Dhlppc, Antibiotics and Hormones). I really think it was an overload because since then it has been one thing after another going wrong.

We were supposed to take her back in one week for a follow up to see if the leaking had improved. Biscuit didn't feel good all that week, a huge lump appeared on her back and then the night before her appointment she lost control of her back legs. I completely lost it because I just knew she was dying. I was afraid she was having kidney failure or something (thinking that the leaking may have been a sign of something more serious.)

Oh yes, two more things that happened the week after she got all those shots . . . One of her eyes has been crusty with mucous since then. We clean it and it comes right back. It is just in one eye. AND her nose has been plugged up with hard stuff that looks like dried blood and makes it hard for her to breath through her nose. We clean her nose out every day and it comes back.

My husband had to take her for her appointment because I was too emotional with everything that was going wrong so fast. Well, the vet said her kidneys are ok, but did an x-ray and saw that her colon was packed. She was very constipated. (We never see her go to the bathroom - she always runs off and hides to do her business - so we had no way of knowing she wasn't going.)

The vet kept her for 2 days to do an enema and put her on ANOTHER anitibiotic. She thought perhaps the packed colon was pinching a nerve that caused her to lose control of her leg.

She said the eye discharge was probably allergies and the plugged nose didn't look normal and was possibly a sign of high blood pressure.

The lump on her back she said was a reaction to the vaccines and it did go away. She wanted to see her in another week to do another x-ray to see if her colon was clear.

I took her for that follow-up. Her colon looked good. She needed a heartworm test so they performed that too. Then the vet came in with the bad news that Biscuit tested positive for heartworms. She did a chest x-ray and noticed that her heart is enlarged and is rounded instead of the normal "tear drop" shape. She pointed to one spot that she said was where the heart was hardening. There were also some areas showing up in her lungs that didn't look good.

She said all of these problems are completely unrelated to all the colon and bladder problems. (I is still strange to me how all of these things happened to her so fast.)

Biscuit is not a candidate for the expensive and risky "poison" treatment. The doctor put her on Prednisone (20 mg) and Enacard (10mg).

We have done tons of research on holistic approaches and currently are trying to boost her immune system. She is on Vitamin C, Ecanacea/Goldenseal, Garlic and Hawthorne.

She seems to be feeling some better, although still a lack of energy, but her nose has to be driving her crazy.

I read on another thread here about trying Oil of Oregano????

The vet just says she's old and these things happen. However, I still think it is odd how she went from a vibrant happy dog to suddenly barely wanting to walk around. I think all of the medicines destroyed her immune system.

ANYWAY, if anyone can offer ANY suggestions as to what could be going on with her nose.

Oh yea, I just remembered this. . . I don't know if it is related, but a couple of days after her shots she was at my in-laws house. She was sneezing very hard several times. We realized they had just put fertilizer on their lawn. We have even considered that perhaps that burned the inside of her nose and is contributing to these problems????? We really are just grasping at straws, though.

Thanks again for any advice.

AKA Biscuit's "mom"

May 13th, 2006, 07:44 AM
Did you start restricting water(not allowing her drink at night) when you noticed she was leaking overnight? Not enough fluilds is the likely cause of the constipation.

She seems to be feeling some better, although still a lack of energy

She was heartworms they are boring and eating holes through her heart which causes blood clots to form and travel through her body including her lungs they alone will impact her energy level, but your vet can run blood tests to see if something else like thyroid function may be causing the lethargy.

For her nose further testing may be needed to find the cause, you may need to ask for a referral to a specialist, there is a possiblity of a tumor that is causing the problem.

Does your vet know you have been treating her with herbals have you taken her to a holistic vet to see if the herbals you are giving are correct for her needs, are you aware that herbals can have side effects and can be harmful if not used correctly and that they can cause problems, for example Vitamin C can alter urinary ph which can allow infections and stones to form if the urine become too acidic. Self medicating even with herbals can be dangerous or have negative side effects, and some may have bases or ingredients that a person or animal is allergic to. Any treatment even with herbals should be done under the guidance of a holistic health care professional and with your vets knowledge, because some can cause unusual blood lab results.

It is not uncommon as we age to become sensitive and have allergic reaction to things, even those thing we have been exposed to in the past, the same is true with animals. and this includes vaccinations the lump you mentioned is a common type of sensitivity reaction but not severe, splitting the vaccines may help in the future and may help to isolate which is causing the reaction.

What reasons has your vet given for saying she is not a good candidate for heartworm treatment? Is her liver function impaired? You said she was recieving revolution was she tested the prior year? (it would mean the heartworm would not be too advanced and chances are only one treatment would be needed) Are you the one who feels because of her current problems and age that she can't handle it?
I am not saying you should go ahead with treatment but make sure you understand it fully, yes it is risky, without treatment her quality of life will be poor and the end result is death at a young age, treatment may give her several years of a still active lifestyle once treatment is completed. so make sure you discuss the pros and cons fully, the reason I say this is because nothing you mentioned in your post suggests that she is a poor candidate, so there is possibly info not included

Here is a 10 year old dog that was found as a stray half starved, the adoption group worked to get his weight back on and get him healthy enough to start treatment he has now had his third round of treatment to kill the heartworm and should be ready for adoption likely in another month if the the next round of testing shows he is clear THere have been older dogs than Bernie that have been taken in by this same group that have underwent treatment for heartworm who have survived and went on to be adopted and enjoyed an active happy retirement. Greyhounds as a breed have a much harder time handling poisons/chemicals than say a labrador and most other breeds because the have much smaller livers and kidneys and have a lot less fat cells in which to store the poisons after being processed by the liver, yet even they can survive heartworm treatment.