I’ve shared over the years about our precious Henry’s health issues – and he has fought some hard hard battles.
A few years ago, we found ourselves with him critically ill, first with newly discovered diabetes, and then, once that was under control, with autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA).
With AIHA, the odds aren’t in a puppy’s favor – and Henry already had health issues – and it was terrifying.
We spent days back and forth between our amazing vet’s office by day and urgent care by night so he could have round the clock care. Urgent care even gave Sara and I a room with a couch to spend the night with him when he was really terribly ill.
With lots of love and prayer and just phenomenal veterinary care, he came through those crisis and was stabilized on insulin and meds for the AIHA.
Since that traumatic period, we’ve had a few times where his AIHA appeared to get a bit out of whack when he had an infection and one awful round of pancreatitis – but our vet has been amazing and Henry is one tough little man.
We have prayed and he has fought and the Lord has seen us through.
Well, on Friday, I noticed what seemed to be a few drops – just a tiny bit – of fresh blood from his mouth. I called our vet and the nurse – who is also wonderful and knows Henry so well – and I discussed it and agreed it was likely something like gingivitis and that I would take him in to see our doctor the next day (Saturday).
(Of course, this happens as my husband, who, thank God never has to travel for work anymore, was still out of town and returning home from his ONE away trip every few years. Bless.)
I am SO grateful that he had arrived home – though he was so so tired and I hate that hell broke loose just about the moment he walked in the door – and was in our den when the next thing happened – because I about lost my mind.
As Henry was sitting on our – well, HIS 🙂 – couch, he sneezed and then started a MASSIVE nosebleed with clots. Oh my Lord. This is, of course, VERY abnormal in dogs.
At the time, it was 7:15 and our vet’s office closes at 7:30 so I called and asked if our sweet nurse could please please hop on with me for an emergency (of course they were super busy at the end of their day) and she did. We talked quickly and she said to take him straight to urgent care.
Despite the fact that I am a totally calm and collected nurse of humans, I have no chill when it comes to Henry Herring and I was Not. Okay. Thank goodness, my husband and daughter both got ready quickly and we all were off to urgent care.
The doctor there talked with us and ran labs, with concern, of course that his AIHA was back in full force – which is terrifying since he is already on several meds to contain it. However, that was far from the worst thing to consider with this nose bleed. . .
Oh it was just bad.
After labs – which were normal, thank the Lord – she checked his blood pressure and it was really high. She was unsure though if it was high because he was upset and scared or if he had developed hypertension.
Beyond that, a CT scan could have been indicated to rule out masses – but that requires sedation – and Henry is not a candidate for sedation unless it is an absolute life or death emergency.
As the nosebleed had long since stopped and he was stable, we decided to go home and follow up with our vet in the morning and recheck his blood pressure.
I watched him overnight and I also read the notes from urgent care where his prognosis was listed as “fair to poor depending on the underlying cause” of the nosebleed. So. . . I was again a woman on the edge by the time we rolled in to our vet’s office on Saturday.
Luckily, the vet who is there on the weekends is just a dear and he is great with Henry – and Henry’s mama when she is freaking out. 😉 He assessed Henry and we talked through everything.
Then he took Henry back and checked his blood pressure again and returned with the BEST bad news I ever heard.
Henry has high blood pressure.
Apparently in dogs, they go by a systolic blood pressure and the highest they want to see is about 150. He checked Henry’s twice and got 220 and 230.
He said that level of hypertension would absolutely cause a nosebleed.
Oh my word. Considering we had gone through talk of a return of AIHA and then gone to possible masses and other awful things, this is the best bad news ever. . . ❤
We started him on blood pressure medicine there in the office.
He had his second dose this morning.
So far, no more nosebleeds and we will recheck his pressure at the vet’s office this week.
I am so grateful.
Thank you, Lord. ❤
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
(give your fur babies an extra kiss and treat too <3)
Grace and Blessings.