Digestive System

Depending how much blood your pet has lost (your vet can tell exactly by checking her blood pressure), she may need an emergency blood transfusion as soon as you bring her in. Once she is out of danger, your vet will run a variety of tests to see what is causing the bleeding. He will probably do blood tests to see if the blood is clotting properly and will take a stomach x-ray. In addition, he may need to do a procedure called endoscopy, in which a tube is inserted into your pet's stomach to see what's causing the bleeding. Endoscopy is uncomfortable, and your pet will need to be sedated first.

If your pet has gotten into the type of rodent poison that causes bleeding, she will probably be given an injection of vitamin K1, says Dr. Jordan. This should eventually reverse the effects.

Pets with ulcers are usually treated with the same types of medications that people take. These drugs work in different ways. Some reduce the amount of acid that is present in the stomach, while others lay down a protective layer to coat the stomach lining. Of course, your vet will also want to know why your pet is getting ulcers in the first place. When they are caused by harsh medications, he will try to find another drug that will provide the same benefits without the side effects.

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Copyright 1999 Rodale Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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