Blood Clots in Dogs

The dog can develop a blood clot (also called a thrombus) anywhere in the body. These clots may stay in the location they form, or they may embolize, which means a clot breaks loose and lodges somewhere else.

A blood clot or thrombus may develop anywhere in the dog’s body. Clots may develop due to a partially blocked artery. In some cases, dogs may have an underlying condition that causes excessive coagulation. This may include pancreatitis, cancer, parasite infection, or hypothyroidism.

Clots may break and become elsewhere in the body. The specific symptoms of a blood clot vary depending on the location of the blood clot. Blood clots may be fatal in dogs. If your dog shows any signs or symptoms of a blood clot, seek immediate veterinary care.

Clots in the lungs dogs
If a blood clot settles in the artery of the dog’s lungs, it prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the lungs. This condition is called pulmonary thrombosis. Symptoms include sudden difficulty breathing, increased breathing, pale or blue gums, fatigue, and an inability to sleep. Dogs may also cough and spit blood.

Pulmonary thromboembolism is usually fatal. In some cases, the pet can recover with rest and oxygen therapy to allow the veterinarian to treat the underlying cause of the blood clot. Common causes include cancer, heart disease, Cushing’s disease, and bacterial infections in the blood. Clots often recur if the underlying cause is not completely resolved.

Clots in the heart
Symptoms of a blood clot in the heart, or aortic blood clots, include vomiting, paralysis, leg pain, abnormal walking, difficulty breathing, anxiety, paleness, blue towels, or nail bed. These clots, without treatment, can lead to complete heart failure.

Clots in the brain
Blood clots in the brain cause an accident or stroke. Symptoms vary depending on where the brain is clotting in the brain.

Strokes in the brain or cerebral cortex cause loss of eye reactions, loss of feeling of nose, weakness, and seizures. You may also see a behavior called squeezing the head when his dog squeezes his head against a wall or something else without an explainable reason.

Crossed eyes, back and forth eye movements, loss of eye reflections, and head tilt are symptoms of thrombosis in the thalamus. Strokes in the cerebellum cause drunk gait, tremors, stiffness in the neck and body, twisting the head up or back, and loss of involuntary reflexes to the eye. Symptoms of a blood clot in the brainstem include weakness in the legs, head and neck pain, change in consciousness, and loss of facial reactions.

Dogs with underlying causes such as Cushing’s disease or chronic kidney failure have less chance of survival.

Other blood clots
If a clot blocks blood flow to the genital or urinary organs, the dog may have blood in the urine. Vomiting and the inability to control bowel movement or urination are signs of a blood clot affecting the abdomen.

What are signs of internal bleeding in dogs?
Common signs of internal bleeding include weakness, trouble breathing, pale gums, a distended abdomen, and collapse. Less common signs are vomiting, not eating, and general malaise. And on one cold January night that is how Rice, a 12-year-old terrier mix, was acting, alerting his owners that something was wrong.

How long does it take to recover from internal bleeding?
Usually, the bleeding results from obvious injuries that require rapid medical attention. Internal bleeding may also occur after less severe trauma or be delayed by hours or days. Some internal bleeding due to trauma stops on its own. If the bleeding continues or is severe, surgery is required to correct it.