Nose bleeds....cancer? - Page 1

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by GSDfan on 20 October 2006 - 19:10

A friend asked me to post this... Regards, Melanie "At age 8, my GSD Reno began having serious nose bleeds. While eating, her nose would bleed into her kibble and would sometimes cover the bottom of the bowl. I took her to my Vet who immediately sent me to a specialist who performed a scope of her sinus cavity. The picture revealed a large tumor covering the right side of her sinus. The Vet did not perform a biopsy, but told me he was 98% positive that it was malignant and that without radiation and surgery he gave her 3 to 6 months to live and with radiation and surgery possibly up to 10 months. He told me he would have to put her under again to do a biopsy, but he was very certain of his diagnosis. I was so upset and just wanted to take her home, that I told him no. After a few days of deliberation, I decided against the radiation and surgery as I was told the radiation would burn her face and that the surgery would require they cut the roof of her mouth and that it would take her a while to recover. I made the painful decision to make her comfortable and do no further treatment. The specialist wrote a report to my vet and stated - "owner choices to do nothing, dog will be dead within 3 to 6 months". The specialist told me most people in my situation who refused radiation treatment would make the decision to put their dog to sleep. I started doubting that I had made the right decision, but did not change it. For the first year the nose bleeds continued, and she had difficulty sleeping. My vet guessed that the tumor was probably moving into the other sinus and eventually she would not be able to sleep on her side and then it would be time to put her to sleep. Reno turned 13 YEARS OLD in May of this year and she is still going strong. She suffers from very weak hind legs and has difficulty getting up and still has nose bleed several times a week - but other than that she is well. My question is has anyone else ever heard of something like this? It seems highly unlikely that the original diagnosis was correct, but what could be causing these nose bleeds? My vet and I had made the decision years ago to just make her comfortable and not to put her through batteries of test - but now I regret not finding out what it is and also am thinking that it could have been something that could have been treated years ago. My Vet calls Reno - our Miracle Dog and tells me to be grateful for this extra time I was given. I would just really like to find out once and for all what this could be."

by WiscTiger on 20 October 2006 - 20:10

Melanie, Two years ago my male had blood coming out of his nose. I took him to the Vet. Tough for the Vet to look up his nose, as it was very sore and didn't want anyone messing with it. So we discussed options, Sedate and do X-ray, if she didn't like the findings on the X-ray, she wanted permission to put him completely under and Rhino scope. From there she would opt to stop or to flush the sinus cavities. She ended up Rhino scoping and flushing, sent some of the junk out of the sinuses to be cultured. If there had been a mass it would have been biopsy. My guy ended up with a Staph infection and another type of infection, so the culture told us the best choice of drugs. The Staph infection was a PIA to get knocked out; he was on antibiotics for 60 days. My Vet also said that it was possible that it was just a weak blood vessel, before I agreed to all of the tests. I wish it would have been that simple. A friend of mine has a Malamute that got a fungus growing in his nose and sinus cavities. At the University of Wisconsin Vet School, they actually drilled holes in his skull to irrigate and to put meds in. So I am guessing that there are several different things that could cause bleeding from the nose.

by jdh on 20 October 2006 - 21:10

Yes Melanie, I had a nearly identical diagnosis and outcome surrounding a soft mass that developed on the back of a nine year old bitch. I realize that a vets best judgement still might yield an erroneous diagnosis. However, this was not the first for this vet, and I thought it best to seek future care elsewhere.

by hodie on 20 October 2006 - 21:10

There is no reason to second guess yourself. The bottom line is the first suggested diagnosis could have been correct but without special tests or biopsy one could not know for certain whether the mass was malignant or not. Most often tumors in this area are. Certainly, there are many things that could cause nose bleeds but a good cause could have been related to the tumor seen on x-ray. Radiation would not have burned the face, but whether chemo or radiation would have helped reduce the tumor is unknown. Often they only extend life a short time. It is possible that the mass there is non-malignant too. And sure, it is possible that it is there but has nothing to do with the nosebleeds. We expect vets and doctors to be so right, but unless we allow them to do the tests they really need to make a correct diagnosis, yes, sometimes they can be wrong. It could be as simple as an infection, fungus or otherwise, or a foreign body that caused the bleeding. I say you are very lucky that you have had the extra time with the dog. That is what should be most important now.

by jdh on 20 October 2006 - 22:10

Sorry, I missed the point of your question. I believe it quite possible that the tumor was benign, yet caused the bleeding and probably some dicomfort and difficulty breathing. I would suspect that there might have been a sepatation that occurred posssibly with violent nose blowing as a dog might do given the obstruction. This could well have caused such bleeding and likely took a long time to heal, but eventually did. The question of whether to have more tests seems to have been solved in the end since she recovered. Some would have sublected her to treatments and surgery that might have been a greater threat than the tumor itself. It is nice when things work out better than expected. Best wishes

by GSDfan on 21 October 2006 - 22:10

Thanks for your replies everyone:-) Regards, Melanie

by shinokami on 22 October 2006 - 05:10

My male spitz frequently nose bleeds if it's way too we take great care in the summer. I also feared cancer and had a blood test done on him. The vet confirmed he might have one of some sort, and that he was very bad off that he would die within a few months. We were devastated, especially considering we just brought the dog over from another country to retire out here in North America... Well, the vet called us again a few days later and asked for another blood test because he suspected some sort of bacterial infection. He was tested, and put on antibiotics. His blood came back normal afterwards and he's still alive now, going on 10 years old. That was 1.5 years ago. Not exactly the same as your situation but something to think about.

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