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My Bloody Valentine – And Now Nosebleeds

Lilly had a rough, rough Friday in her recovery from meningoencephalo- myelitis (inflammation of the brain and lining of the brain and spinal cord) after having an adverse rabies vaccine reaction. The diarrhea continues, and her originally minor nosebleeds hit the big time. I spent hours and hours and hours trying to stem the tide each time her nose broke loose.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, valentine graphicOur clothes, the dog beds, our floors, and (alas) part of the loveseat look like a crime scene.

Long story short … we ended up in the ER (again).

I’m too exhausted from another late night of veterinary worries to tell a proper story.

Suffice it to say that after talking to our family veterinarian, our favorite ER veterinarian, and our neurologist in the last 12 hours that we’re making some changes in Lilly’s meds and even adding a new one.

It seems in addition to neurological inflammation that Lilly also has blood vessel inflammation, and that’s likely what’s behind the increasingly bad nosebleeds. Last night, she had copious blood pouring out of both nostrils.

When we got to the ER, her blood pressure was sky high. I mean potentially cause-a-stroke high. We did our best to calm her down, and we got it down quite a bit, but it was still higher than it should be.

So, we’re adding a blood pressure medicine too.


The good news, though, is that she only has to take her steroids every OTHER day now … because tests done Thursday show that her levels of cyclosporine (the drug often used to prevent rejection for people who’ve had organ transplants) are good. That means she needs less steroids now.

Eventually, we’ll wean her completely off the steroids (we hope).

That change, along with the two new tummy medicines from Thursday, should also help the rampant diarrhea resolve. We haven’t seen anything resembling a real turd since last Monday (2/6).

To help with the nosebleed situation, we’re making some additional changes:

  • Keeping the house as calm and quiet as we can
  • No neck collar
  • Raised food and water bowls
  • Not messing with Lilly’s nose AT ALL (no cleaning it, no trying to stop the bleeding when it happens)
  • Dropping the Vitamin E for now because it can thin the blood

New Plan: Hospitalized at Home

Our hospital discharge instructions essentially said to treat Lilly as normal, but we’ve decided that this week proved that’s not such a great idea … since Lilly will try to do too much, if left to her own devices (even with close supervision).

So, Lilly will spend much of the coming days — until some of these symptoms improve — in her crate.

Until just a few minutes ago, Lilly didn’t seem to mind being in her crate while I try (desperately) to catch up on work stuff. BUT, now she is being a total whiny pants.

So, I’d best wrap it up and let her have some “loose” time with me on the sofa. Maybe we can find a movie to watch.

Hope you are having a nice (and blood-free) weekend.


If you missed the earlier announcement, we’ve set up a chip-in for people who want to help defray Lilly’s rampant veterinary bills. No pressure. People asked if they could help, so we created a way for those who want to. Many thanks!

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Bill - February 13, 2012

Been following along through your troubles here. Good news on less required roids…any good news is great! Keep at it, we’re thinking of you and hope you see the other side of this sooner rather than later!

Linda Messina - February 12, 2012

Roxanne – I don’t understand how you can keep us updated like you are with taking care of Lily and your family. If Reba had blood running out of her nose as you describe Lily’s, I would have panicked, completely panicked. I too admire your fortitude during this difficult time. I hope that all of our prayers group together and fly to the heavens in tandem to God’s ears for Lily.

Saoirse - February 12, 2012

Oh my goodness. The sweetest dog in the world with the sweetest couple in the world — so many challenges in this latest chapter. I have nothing but admiration for the manner in which you are moving through all of this. I find it inspiring, honestly. Though I would wish for less inspiration and more rest and relief for all of you. I light a little candle for all of you every day.

Hawk aka BrownDog - February 12, 2012

Hi Y’all,

My Humans are still keeping y’all in their prayers. I’m sending paw power!

Poor Lilly. You didn’t say why they don’t want you to try to stop the nose bleed.

May y’all have a quiet, restful weekend and coming week.

Hawk aka BrownDog

    Roxanne Hawn - February 13, 2012

    Hey, Hawk! They feel like when I try to clean up or stop the nose bleeds that I actually make it worse. So, they just want me to leave Lilly’s nose alone, which is very hard. I’ll be posting a picture later this week of how crusty her poor nose is.

Bassetmomma - February 12, 2012

Oh, poor Lilly and poor you! I hope this week goes somewhat better for you both!

Ingrid King - February 12, 2012

Thinking of you and Lilly and sending healing thoughts. I’d say you’re all entitled to whine and then some!

Caron - February 11, 2012

Poor girl. I hope the nose bleeds go away soon. That’s great that she only has to take steroids every other day. Hopefully that will help her rest too.

Merr - February 11, 2012

Dear sweet Lilly (and Rox). Thinking of you!

Amy @ True Dog - February 11, 2012

We are hoping for a better week at home for Miss Lilly and the rest of the crew.

LeeAnne McAdam - February 11, 2012

You all have really been roughing it. Sounds like everyone is entitled to be a whiny pants at this point! We so hope that things calm down and everyone can rest and heal. Crossed paws and prayers to make it so.

Samantha - February 11, 2012

I hope you have a nice and blood-free Sunday after your crazy last couple of days. Poor Lilly and poor you (and Tom). Hope you guys can all curl up on the couch and relax some.

How is Ginko doing with all of this stuff going on?

(I will chip in ASAP, BTW. I have been thinking about that and what to do or buy to help you and Lilly.)

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