Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."
Causes of Nosebleeds in Dogs
Nosebleeds in dogs may have various causes. Medically known as epistaxis, if your dog has nosebleeds often it may translate into a trip to the veterinarian for a thorough check-up. While a nosebleed occasionally may signify nothing more than a foxtail or blade of grass stuck in the dog's nasal passage, frequent nosebleeds may be caused by much more serious conditions.
Nosebleeds in dogs may be unilateral or bilateral, meaning that the blood may be coming from just one nostril or from both the nostrils. This detail can help your veterinarian attain a proper diagnosis. Attention must be paid also to the type of blood loss ranging from a few drops to a pretty heavy flow. A dog sneezing blood may also help determine a diagnosis as it's often suggestive of something causing irritation to the dog's nasal passages.
Owners must be able to halt a nosebleed effectively to avoid a dog from losing too much blood. Small dogs may lose blood volume much faster than other dogs. Following is a list of possible causes of nosebleeds in dogs.
Causes of Unilateral Nosebleeds in Dogs (Affecting Only One Nostril)
Unilateral (only form one nostril) nosebleeds are most likely to be caused by:
- A foreign object such as a foxtail, or blade of grass stuck in the nostril irritating the nasal passage.
- An infection such as a root tooth abscess may cause nose bleeding along with a swollen area under the eye, or in the bridge of the nose area.
- Nasal tumors or polyps in the nose.
Causes of Bilateral Nosebleeds (Affecting Both Nostrils)
Other causes of nosebleeds (often affecting both nostrils).
- Nasal mites often causing sneezing episodes along with dogs pawing at their nose.
- Ingestion of rat poison or rodents that have been poisoned, impeding the blood to properly clot.
- Medications that interfere with proper blood clotting (warfarin, aspirin).
- Bleeding disorders such as Von Willebrand's disease, thrombocytopenia.
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Tick diseases causing coagulation issues such as Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Spotted Mountain Fever.
- A fungal condition called Aspergillosis causing an infection in the dog's nose.
How to Stop Nosebleeds in Dogs
Owners of dogs affected by nosebleeds should not be alarmed if their dog will have a dark, tarry stool or if the dog vomits liquid resembling coffee grounds. In both cases, this simply denotes that the dog has swallowed digested blood.
An eye should be kept on the dog's gums. If the gums of a dog suffering from substantial blood loss appear pale and not their healthy bubble gum pink, a vet should be seen as soon as possible!
- Stay Calm: To stop a dog's nosebleed, the dog must be kept as calm and still as possible. The more the dog will move and be anxious, the less likely the nosebleed to stop due to the increased blood pressure associated with anxiety and stress.
- Ice the Nose: An ice pack or cold compress must be applied on the dog's nose bridge and kept in place in order for the nasal blood vessels to constrict and stop bleeding. However, this may not always work if the dog won't sit still or if the source of bleeding is too deep and difficult to cool down, points out veterinarian Dr. Dan.
- Aftercare: Special care is required to keep the dog calm after the nosebleed has taken place. The reason beneath this is the fact that once the nose bleeding has stopped a blood clot will have formed. If the dog moves about too much such clot may rupture causing another nosebleed. If the dog is prone to sneezing, stopping the nosebleed may be challenging.
Note: If your dog has frequent nosebleeds or if your dog's bleeding is reluctant to stop please see your vet. Your dog may require treatment that is specific to the underlying cause. Stopping a nosebleed deriving from an underlying health problem is only a temporary fix. It's important to treat the underlying cause.
For example, if your dog's nose is bleeding from ingesting rat poison, your dog will need prescription vitamin K. If your dog has a tick-born infection, he will need antibiotics, an auto-immune disorder may require steroids, etc.
When to See Your Vet
A dog should be seen immediately if the blood flow appears not to stop. The dog may require epinephrine from the vet's office to halt the blood loss.
If your dog has frequent nosebleeds or if your dog's bleeding is reluctant to stop please see your vet. If your dog has a tick-born infection, he will need antibiotics, an auto-immune disorder may require steroids, etc.
Note: If your dog has a nosebleed please see your vet. Only a vet can assess and determine the cause for nosebleeds.
You can also place 1 drop of neosynephrine drops (phenylephrine only) into the nostril of the side that's bleeding. This will lead to vasocontriction on that side and help stop the bleeding.
— Dr. Kara
Nosebleeds in Dogs
Questions & Answers
Question: If a dog stops bleeding from his nose without going to a vet, is that good?
Answer: This is difficult to say. I would be tempted to say it is fine and you can relax but only if this was a minor bleed that has stopped was triggered by something occasional such as some foreign body that was irritating the nose and now has dislodged.
However, because nose bleeds in dogs may be caused by several conditions that require a prompt veterinary visit, I would not say one is not entirely out of the woods until an underlying cause is found.
Therefore, I wouldn't say it is good if a dog's nose stops bleeding, but the dog is bleeding elsewhere because he has ingested rat poison. I also wouldn't say it is good if the nosebleed stops but a tooth root abscess requiring attention triggered it.
Therefore caution is needed, and the safest option would be to see the vet or monitor closely for future nosebleeds or other signs of problems.
Question: My 12-year-old Havanese went to the groomer and the vet called to say that Jake's nose was bleeding. I know this could be from stress and high blood pressure, but he has never had this before or after. Do you think the groomer could have been too rough with my dog and caused his nose to bleed? This was his regular groomer.
Answer: Hopefully, this nosebleed is transient and has occurred because he became stressed and hypertensive resulting in capillary bleeding from the nasal cavity. If bleeding doesn't recur and your dog acts otherwise normal, it's likely a one-time event. Sure, odd that it never happened before, but perhaps he was placed in a cage with a nervous dog nearby or there were loud noises. Watch him carefully for bleeding from any orifice or bleeding under the skin, increased respiratory rate, all symptoms that could indicate internal bleeding. Causes for internal bleeding include tick-borne diseases, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, and exposure to rat poison. Of course, it can be the dog hit his nose somehow against the tub or another surface during the grooming session.
Question: Does heat cause nosebleed to dogs?
Answer: It could technically happen that dogs develop nosebleeds in very dry weather, but I wouldn't chalk it up to that without ruling out first other possible underlying causes considering how serious some can be (foreign object stuck in the nose, exposure to rat poison, fungal infections, cancer, blood clotting disorders to just name a few).
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 20, 2020:
I think your dog need to undergo further testing to find the underlying cause of these nose bleeds. Maybe thorough blood tests to make sure he is not anemia and his blood is clotting well, maybe an ultrasound/ CT scan to look for any masses or tumors.
Gaurav Sharma09 on June 15, 2020:
My dog is 8 years old and last month he had sudden bleeding from his left nostril.On his stomach there are some red marks. I have contacted the Vet and be suggested to use DoxyCycline for 15 days with pills to stop bleeding. After 3 days his bleeding was stopped. From last 2 year he has a big tonsil like ball down his neck. After completing 15 days of medicine he goes well for next 20 days but then Vomit some clothes and next day his stool was dark black and then coca cola like tan. Vet has suggested to give him Ofloxacin 500 mg and I has given it. But now after 5 days suddenly his one nostril is bleeding and I am unable to understand What is the reason behind this. His stomach also doesn't have any red marks.
Rachael Dsouza on November 06, 2019:
Hi, I would like to know if the weather is too hot and dry can it cause nosebleeds in dogs my 5 year old GSD just snezzed blood early hours of the morning the nose was a bit irritated during the day and she was scratching her ear alot. Or could it be my 4 month old lab jumped on her nose and pawed it hard it's the first time this has happened but her nose is very wet and clear.
Alvinclare on August 29, 2019:
My dog is having sneezing and breathing problem through her nose. It ia also caused bleeding on her left nose. What should i do and what is your suggestion? Will the problem may lead to a life threatening?
norma on June 22, 2019:
I need help,my dog's nose is bleeding,only one nostril,.i do not know why this happening to my dog,..is there any oral medication to give to stop the bleeding permanently..
Two Moms and Our Babies on May 20, 2019:
Hi we have rescued a 2 yr old Blue Pit male. He has had uncontrollable unilateral nose bleeds for 2 weeks. We took him the Vet, his CBC was normal and tested negative for lyme disease and tick fever. He was put on doxycycline and prednisone and his nose stopped bleeding almost immediately. Now almost 3 weeks later he's on the prednisone and he's weening off of it and his nose bleeds are starting to trickle back. If everything else he's been tested for is negative what's the next step? What else can it be? How do we check for polyps or cancer? We're so worried for our big boy, we just want him to be healthy.
Michelle on February 15, 2019:
My older dog (6 or 7 years) has been bitten by a tick. I had some how contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever in October. But today my dog started with a nose bleed. It stopped, but hes a minpin and older. A rescue dog too. Im worried.
Josie on June 18, 2018:
My chi started about a week, when we bring her outside she sneezes 1 sneeze and just little droplets of blood come and that's all. Should I worry
Michael Davis on February 20, 2018:
Yes I have a chocolate lab and everybody loves him because he is a character the problem I'm have is he's sneezing and blood comes from one nasol this goes on ones every three days does anybody have any suggestions thanks mike
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 31, 2017:
Sierra you should have your pup see the vet or emergency vet if it's after hours. Pressure on the bridge of the nose with an ice pack covered in a towel can help control the nose bleeding while you are on your way. Eye injuries can get worse if not treated.
Sierra on December 30, 2017:
My 10 week old puppy got bit by my older dog on the nose and close to her eye her eye looks a little off now kinda like a dog with cherry eyes and her nose is bleeding and i think she has a small hole by her tooth and I don't know what to do!!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 25, 2017:
Kathy, this sounds very serious, she may be anemic from all the blood loss, please see your vet.
Kathy on September 19, 2017:
My dog got into a dog fight with the other dogs or got hit by a car and had a nosebleed that lasted hour to hour and a half I put ice pack on it and it just kept bleeding was a few days ago and now she's not being able to see so what is wrong with her
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 09, 2017:
Nikhil, did your vet test your dog for bleeding disorders? Has your dog been in contact with rat poison? Sounds like more testing needs done or consult with a vet internist.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 03, 2017:
Jg, please see your vet. At this age, you need to rule out nose cancer. Don't want to scare you,it might likely be something else, but only your vet can diagnose the problem.
Nikhil on June 27, 2017:
6month before my dog is bleeding seriously during her heat period and her hemoglobin level decrease to 4.5 after her treatment bleeding stopped.again after 3 month she started bleeding ,and from last three days again she started bleeding,now I gave her dicynen 500mg and antibiotics as per suggested by my pet doctor but her bleeding is not stopping.i want to know what is the cause of bleeding and it's cure.
Jg on June 26, 2017:
My 12 year old dog got a thick snotty nose on her rite nostril and now for the last 2 day there is blood coming out then that thick snot again then blood .van anyone give me any advice to what I should do please
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 27, 2017:
Jo, that sounds like a horrible ordeal and so sorry for your loss, it must have been devastating. I wonder if he had a blood clotting problem? My deepest condolences.
Jo KIERNAN on May 27, 2017:
My beautiful German Shepherd died of a nose bleed in the Cambridge University Hospital - every end of April/beginning of May the Rape appears in fields all around us and every year Harry sneezed and had terrible nose bleeds. This happened for about five years, he would stay with my vet overnight and she managed to halt it but on May 24th 2000 he went into Cambridge and died the next day, they couldn't stop it. He was six and it broke my heart.
gaylene on April 24, 2017:
at first my 2 year old dog has runny nose,i treat him and cure.one day after, he has a fever and breathing was difficult and has a nosebleed. i give him a doxycycline but i found out theres a small red rash throughout his body . i brought him to vet and the vet him give him an injection the anti-emetic.i thought it was going to be fine but i was wrong.he vomitted and suddenly he died.i failed frustrated and many questions raised in my mind why he died.what was the cause of his death?it was the second time he has attacked with nosebleed one month passed.and for the second time his dead.what kind of disease he has?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 17, 2016:
Need to see the vet to know exactly what is causing nosebleeds in your dog. Are there foxtails in your area:?
kath on June 14, 2016:
Please help.... my dog sometimes have a nose bleeding in one nostril only, it is possible that she has a tumor? please help thank you
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 06, 2016:
Chris, please see your vet, this is not normal.
Chris on June 06, 2016:
My dog had a fight with our neighbor's dog. After that day, he did not eat. The following day we bathed him and on the next morning he had runny nose. Today is nose bleeding in both nostrils. What should I do? I'm scared.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 13, 2016:
Any fox tails in your area? Chances for rat poison exposure?I am concerned about the lethargy, did he lose a lot of blood? Can be an autoimmune disorder too. I hope your vet can sort it out so he can be promptly treated. Keep us posted.
Mary on May 13, 2016:
I have a 6 month old puppy in a matter of two hours after I feel asleep he was pawing at me to wake up. He was snorting and then sneezed and blood went all over. The bleeding was light but the pink discharge didnt stop until a few hours later. Now my sweet boy is very lethargic, can barley keep his eyes open and wont eat. His entire personality changed within two hours, He went from being a wild happy pup to not wanting to get up. I have an appointment with our vet in an hour or two. I am just very concerned. Any thoughts?
Soumia on May 09, 2016:
Hi....though the above article is helpful....I would add high bp as a reason.....pls ensure you have that tested along with an ecg, kidney and liver functioning.....medicination to control bp could help....pls suggest this to your vet as well so he can check this too.......please keep the dog very calm and ice packs....sylate 500 mg can help the bleeding till you reach a vet ( reduce dose for smaller dogs)
jamil on April 08, 2016:
My dog's nose bleed for about 12 hours now. I dont know removing the hardened blood isbad, i removed it 2x, i dont know the cause, maybe the summer heat? Or maybe because someone gave him fishbones, anyways i am worried because he is a very active dog, and he likes licking the ice pack more, we dont have access to the vet
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 20, 2016:
Did the vet offer getting x-rays of the tooth? If a tooth is the problem, it needs addressed. There are also veterinarians specializing in dentistry. You can find one on the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) website. Another possibility is something stuck in the nose such as awns and seeds (foxtails), did the vet check the nostrils?
Marvins Charles on March 18, 2016:
My dog has a nose bleed, then it stops right away, but twice in the past two weeks he has gone into little sneezing fits (4 consecutive sneezes) that cause him to have another nose bleed, I went to the vet and they did blood work & urine sample, they also checked his clotting factor and it was fine. However he had a swelling on his upper jaw which he had to take antibiotics for, they said it was in infection in the tooth, and I recalled reading on this site that can also cause the nosebleed, how do you recommend I proceed?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 11, 2016:
I hope you can see the vet, if not open, an emergency vet if there are breathing issues.
Charyani on January 09, 2016:
My dog a shi tzu has blood in his nose but it has stopped and its hard to breath in the morning we put something like frontline for ticks
So what can i do its 2.00am in our country srilanka
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 09, 2014:
Please, please, see your vet! This sounds very serious and every minute counts.
KeeKee on December 09, 2014:
I have a 8 month old Blue Rey Pit I came home from work & noticed his nose keeps bleeding heavily running like a faucet plus his left eye is blood shot red. He is not active & laying around.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 04, 2014:
So sorry to hear that your dog died from a nosebleed. My deepest condolences.
Msbound on July 02, 2014:
Our dog died a few hours ago. Sadly he lives outside and we didn't notice the nosebleed until to late.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 21, 2014:
If it's bleeding heavily and for some time, please see your vet ASAP. The article and video outlines how to stop nosebleeds. Did you try applying a wrapped ice pack on the bridge of the nose and keep it on keeping the dog as calm as possible? I would not try this though if it's been going on for a while.
Yunita on May 21, 2014:
my 2 yr old dog had a fight with a rat, she had a wound at the top of her nostril and she seems to be bleeding quite heavily from her one nostril. What should i do?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 25, 2013:
See your vet for this, it can be something serious, and he may also become anemic!
ballu on November 25, 2013:
my gerrman 8 yrs old wont stop nose bledding conyinuously from 3 days any one plz plz help from both nose
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 26, 2013:
Your dog needs to see the vet again immediately. Please take her there again!
Raji on May 26, 2013:
My 1yr old lab nose bleeding from morning, we take to her vet and given injection too, but still the nose bleeding is heavy, the flow is too high the entire house is full of her blood, given ice pack also but still it bleeding pl. help her
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 20, 2013:
This need immediate vet attention. Don't waste time o the internet!
priscilla on April 20, 2013:
My brother threw a stick and it hit my 7 month old pikapoo her nose started bleeding and it keeps bleeding... What do I do? Its been going for 10 minutes.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 28, 2013:
See your vet, he has the right tools to inspect the nose and see if there's any foreign objects stuck there. Also, may want to rule out any bleeding disorders or other generalized conditions. Best wishes!
lacalet on January 28, 2013:
my 13 year lab has had some leftl light bleeding not much we are so scared we love jacob so much. he does sneeze iam justwondering if he has something in his nose. i pray that it does not get wore. could it be a noseinfection.why cant just look in nose like they humans.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 27, 2012:
See your vet for this, there may be options to help him out, best wishes.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 27, 2012:
Rachell, I hope you read through the article, it tells you what to do, best wishes!
Kristin on November 27, 2012:
My 17 year old Brittany Spaniel has had several nose bleeds in the last 2-3 months. It doesn't always pour out but just drips out sometimes. I don't know how much longer he is going to last :( My Golden is constantly lying by his side.
Rachell on November 27, 2012:
Hello! I have a pregnant german shepherd dog... I was horrified to know that my dog has a nose bleeding. what will i do?
karenkahn on October 22, 2012:
Thanks for the reply. We'll head to the doggie doctor in the morning.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 21, 2012:
It could be a multitude of issues, have you read the possibilities of uni-lateral nose bleeds in the article above? If this issue is unexplainable, it is worth it to have checked. In some cases, it may be a paranasal carcinoma so better play it safe, best wishes!
karenkahn on October 21, 2012:
My older (+/- 12) male Borzoi has had a couple drops of blood drip from his nose on one side periodically for the past 2 days. Otherwise he seems fine : NO: sneezing, wheezing, snoring, panting, swelling, tearing, fleas, ticks, etc. What do you think this is about? Should I be worried? Anyone?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 04, 2012:
That sure sounds scary! I hope you are trying to apply pressure in the meanwhile so to compress the blood vessel for a few minutes and make it stop. Here is a guide no how to do this:
lizz on September 04, 2012:
My 13 year old golden is having his first both nostril nose bleed.i have little $ and am hoping a friend can take me to vet. Its flowing quit freely and scary as anything. I try to keep him frim licking but now hes covered in blood . Im praying its something simple. My king is my life.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 18, 2012:
You are welcome; that is really odd and scary, especially since you said she was doing fine before that. So sad..
Dylan on April 18, 2012:
We suspect it was a tumour in her brain or something similar, she was perfectly healthy and showing no signs of this trauma the day prior to this!
Not a chance she could have come into contact with any type of rat poisons!
I guess some dogs are just unlucky :(
Many thanks again. :)
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 17, 2012:
That is so sad! I wonder what may have caused something so devastating. Perhaps an underlying bleeding disorder? Are there any chances he could have gotten into rat poison? Sending my deepest condolences.
Dylan on April 17, 2012:
I had a lurcher, and last night around midnight her right nosetrail started to bleed heavily. We started to panic and tried making her as comfortable
as possible, the nose bleed didn't stop for 2 hours and we rushed her to the vet. He claimed he has never expeirced this in his career and began to put great pressure on the bridge of her nose ( as if a human would do to stop a nose bleed). This helped and it did stop for a short while. Arrived home with her sedated and had to look after her the whole night. Few hours into the night it started again but worse and from both nosetrail.. 5 o clock this morning she died.
Very scarey and devastating experience.
This page really did help and calmed us down, but unfortunatly.. R.I.P Val.
Thanks very much for
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 25, 2012:
Sorry to hear that, did you find out what happened? Did he have a bleeding disorder? did he get into rat poison? did the bleeding ever stop?
pugs on March 25, 2012:
My dog had a nosebleed and died the next day :( we did the ice pack thing. :(
mckereos3 on December 12, 2011:
I awoke to a horrible bloody messit was on my 11 yr. old dog's bedding, the floor,It took a few minutes to find the source of the blood since his paws were a mess too. It is dripping from his nose.I need help and this is the sight I came to first(thank God). I putan ice pack wrapped in a wash rag on the bridge of nose on & off for 20 minutes or more it seemed to stop.He has been sneezing for a few days & he hits his nose on the wood floor,I put more padding around him. I hope what was in his nose is gone. He feels better now.He lost quite a bit of blood, big clots,I can't give him orange juice so should I be giving him anything besides water?A vet is 35 miles away & I have little $$. I'm glad I found this sight it calmed me down which calmed my 4 big dogs too. I'm lucky my dogs will let me fix them up,living in desert Ihave to b vet a lot.Thank you for the help. It was right on the NOSE.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 11, 2011:
You have to try to keep your dog calm to make it stop.Moving about will only make it restart. An ice pack or cold compress applied on the dog's nose bridge may help the nasal blood vessels constrict and stop bleeding. See a vet if it does not stop or resumes despite your efforts.
alex on November 11, 2011:
my dog is bleeding out of her left nostril. Even if its drops or very small puddles, she bleeds like very few minutes. Is this bad.
White on October 29, 2011:
Thank you so much for the help! We were freaking out
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 19, 2011:
Kanchan, my article covers pretty much a variety of causes, I cannot pinpoint the possible cause as I am not a vet and only with diagnostics you can really know what may be the real problem, any chances you can travel to a vet?
Kanchan Gurung on October 18, 2011:
My dog she is 12 yrs old...since 2,3 days she is having nose bleeding broblem..i am from nepal and we don't have vet service here...can you please tell me the reason why it's happening to her?
pat on October 07, 2011:
imy daughthers dog snores really bad over the weekend he now sneezes and had a nose bleed what should she do ???
jarnail singh on October 04, 2011:
He i need your imddiate help.. actually i gave 4 tablets of dworming to my saint bernard Dog who is one year and now i am finding he suffring from heavy nose bleeding.. at arround midnight is going on in my country so unable to contact my docter please help me....
brcnv on September 12, 2011:
Although it hurts it was the right decision. As a former RN and pet owner I have seen the waste and suffering caused by cancer especially when it involves the respiratory tract.
cjlewi on August 17, 2011:
my dog. a 13yr old border collie mix. had a unilateral sudden onset of nosebleed this past Sun. took to emerg vet. after bld work and cxr determined it was a ruptured tumor and suggested euthanasia which we allowed to occur. unfortunately.. and sadly. now i am wondering if that was the right decision.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 25, 2011:
I would just keep him quiet as much as you can if he is acting otherwise normally. Inspecting the nose too much may cause the nose to bleed again. Best to leave it to the pros since they have the right tools to inspect and possibly identify what is going on. Should the nose bleed again an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) applied to the nose bridge may help stop it. Best wishes!
CD on July 25, 2011:
My dog had a nose bleed this morning after playing and running. He did retrieve balls out of a bushes Nothing showed up, however, for another hour. I then fed him after he had cooled down and that is when the heavy blood flow from his nose started. It stopped after a few minutes and I have tried to keep the two year old shepherd fairly quiet and, so far, no more blood. I have an appt with a substitute vet (ours is out of town) in another four hours. He is hungry. He is staying relatively quiet. Should I do more?
Nose Bleeds in Dogs Treatment
Once the dog starts bleeding, the most immediate concern would be how to stop a dog nosebleed. To begin with, you should strive to stop the bleeding. To do this:
- Start by making the dog remain calm and still. This is a very important step because if the dog is anxious and keeps moving, the blood pressure remains up and thus stopping it may be hard.
Keep the dog calm after a nosebleed to avoid recurrence
Where the nasal bleeding won’t stop despite administering appropriate first aid care, a veterinarian should be seen immediately. Also see a vet where the nose bleeding is recurrent and occurs without any trauma, where there is heavy bleeding and snorting as well as when there are unilateral nose bleeds which only happen from one nostril. These could result from tumors and foreign objects which are serious.
Once at the veterinarian’s office, they will scrutinize your pet for the symptoms it is exhibiting. They can recommend various tests be carried out on it. These include clotting tests, blood tests, and urinalysis. The treatment for the bleeds will depend on the underlying cause.
In some cases, you may be taught how to keep the dog calm. This is in such cases where the dog is found to be suffering from a hemorrhage. With this condition, it is very important for the dog to stay calm. You will also receive necessary instructions on what to do when the dog exhibits serious hemorrhage symptoms such as lethargy, excessive bleeding and collapsing.
Where necessary, especially where the cause is as a result of reactions to allergies, a nasal spray will be issued for use when the dog is exposed to allergens. Ensure that you follow what they recommend to alleviate the symptoms and keep the dog healthy.
Causes of Nosebleeds in Dogs - pets
EPISTAXIS: THE BLOODY NOSE
EPISTAXIS: THE BLOODY NOSE
Some blood-tinged droplets sneezed on the floor might be the only sign or there might be a steady inexorable bloody drip from one or both nostrils. These findings are alarming as well as messy in the home and we want to identify the cause and take care of it promptly if it is possible to do so. The problem is that there are many causes and not all of them are localized to the nose and many are very serious diseases. The following is a review of tests typically necessary to get to the bottom of the bloody nose as well as the conditions that might be responsible.
(original graphic by marvistavet.com)
So, you are at home with your pet and a bloody nose starts and does not seem to be stopping. Here are some tips to get the bleeding controlled in the time prior to your vet appointment:
- Keep yourself calm. If your pet sees you getting frantic, your pet will get frantic, too. Excitement = higher blood pressure = more bleeding.
- Get an ice pack and apply it to the bridge of the nose (obviously, be sure your pet can breathe around the ice pack). The cold will constrict small blood vessels which and as they constrict the bleeding will slow.
- Do not attempt to insert absorbent material or Q-tips in the pet's nose as this will generate sneezing, which will make the bleeding worse. A dose of an oxymetazoline nasal spray such as Afrin may help constrict blood vessels and lead to relief.
- If the pet has a condition that involves recurring nose bleeds, consider the oral use of the Chinese herb Yunnan Baiyo which promotes blood clotting tendency. Ask your veterinarian for details.
If these steps do not stop the bleeding or the pet is having difficulty breathing, go to your vet’s office or local emergency clinic at once.
Don't forget that a pet with a bloody nose will likely swallow a great deal of the draining blood.
This may lead to an especially black stool or even vomit with blood clots in it.
After a bloody nose, such findings are usually just a reflection of the bloody nose
and do not necessarily indicate bleeding in the GI tract.
INFORMATION YOUR VETERINARIAN WILL NEED
You can help your veterinarian tremendously by taking some time to think about the following information and bringing up anything pertinent.
WHERE TO START
After your veterinarian performs a general examination of your pet some more specific tests are needed with the idea of prioritizing the most likely conditions and least invasive forms of testing.
Blood tests first:
A basic blood panel and urinalysis will probably be needed as a database for the animal’s health as well as to assess the degree of blood loss. This information also serves as a pre-anesthetic evaluation should rhinoscopy or nasal imaging become necessary. A platelet (a blood cell involved in blood clotting) count will be needed as will coagulation tests (common tests are the “PT” or prothrombin time, the “PTT” or partial thromboplastin time, the “ACT” or activated clotting time, and/or the buccal bleeding or “symplate” time.) These tests evaluate a very complicated biochemical cascade responsible for clotting blood. The pattern of abnormalities found in these tests will sort out blood clotting disorders.
Other blood tests that may be helpful involve titers for fungal infections, a classic cause of the nosebleed. Fungi are inhaled and if the patient is immune-compromised or excessively exposed, the fungus can take root and begin to grow in the nasal cavity.
In cats, the most common nasal fungal infection is caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. The good news here is that a blood test for fungal antigen is very accurate. Any positive number is significant and warrants treatment.
In dogs, fungal infections are not so simple. The most common organisms are Aspergillus fumigatus and Penicillium species. Blood tests are not as accurate especially since there are other species of Aspergillus besides fumigatus and each requires its own blood test. Complicating matters is the fact that nasal tumors predispose a dog to fungal infections so a dog can easily have both problems in the same nose. Blood tests for fungal infections may be included in the initial battery of tests. A negative Aspergillus test does not rule out Aspergillus infection.
Blastomyces dermatitidis is another fungus that can get into a dog's nose. Urine antigen testing is accurate for diagnosis and blood testing is also available if results are ambiguous. As with other fungi, treatment is long term and challenging.
Another condition worth mentioning is hyperviscosity syndrome. In this situation, an extremely high blood protein level makes the blood so thick that blood vessels break from the pressure. Certain types of cancer (multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and certain types of leukemia) as well as infection with Ehrlichia canis, a blood parasite can cause this syndrome. A routine blood panel should show the unusual globulin levels that typify hyperviscosity syndrome
Another relatively simple parameter to measure is blood pressure. High blood pressure can occur as a complication of numerous diseases. When blood pressure rises, small blood vessels begin to burst and bleed, not just in the nose but often in the eyes or nervous system as well. Do not be surprised if your veterinarian checks for retinal hemorrhage.
Tick-borne infections (Ehrlichia, Babesia, and others) commonly involve low platelet counts. Platelets are blood cells involved in clotting and when they become infected with blood parasites, they do not work properly in the clotting cascade. "Tick panels" are blood panels that screen for infection with numerous tick-borne parasites, most of which can be managed or eradicated with antibiotics.
The bottom line is that there are many causes of nose bleeds but many can be ruled out
with non-invasive testing and it is the non-invasive tests that we want to perform first.
Cruising Towards Anesthesia:
If the basic blood tests and clotting parameters are normal then the chances are that the problem is localized to the nose but there are a few more tests that are required before the patient is anesthetized for a nasal examination.
- Radiographs of the chest should be performed to rule out obvious cancer spread or obvious disseminated fungal disease.
- An oral examination should be performed as best as possible. Dental disease can be bad enough to create nasal bleeding given that the roots of larger teeth connect with the nasal cavity when disease is present. Oral tumors that have eroded into the nasal cavity may be evident if one can get a good look in the mouth. Many patients will not allow much oral exam and certainly probing the gums and getting a thorough inspection will require anesthesia but it is absolutely worth looking for obvious lesions if it is possible to do so.
Diagnostics Requiring General Anesthesia:
If nothing has been revealed by the preceding tests, it is now time for radiographs of the nose, superficial rhinoscopy, and a dental inspection all of which require general anesthesia. Radiographs generally start the procedure as the other procedures might alter the radiographic appearance of tissues. The radiographs help evaluate the tooth roots and sinuses. Nasal tumors are common causes of nosebleeds in elderly dogs and the bone destruction they cause is evident on radiographs. Referral for more advanced imaging such as CT scanning or MRI, may be needed to determine the extent of bone destruction or to clarify radiography findings.
Radiograph from a dog with a nasal tumor. The left side of the nasal cavity
appears darker because the tumor has destroyed much of the fine bone quality.
The right side of the nasal cavity still has its delicate bone structure
which appears as an almost lacy texture.
(original graphic by marvistavet.com)
An otoscope (the same gadget used to look in your pet’s ears) can be used to look inside the nasal cavity superficially to remove foreign bodies lodged there. Deeper peeking requires an actual endoscope which may not be readily available in general practice.
The teeth can be cleaned under anesthesia with specific attention to the tooth roots (remember, an abscessed upper tooth root penetrates into the nasal sinus above.
If it seems appropriate to do so, some nasal discharge can be flushed through the nose and into a gauze sponge packing the throat. This may be helpful in identifying infectious organisms but may initiate more bleeding so some judgment is required on whether the benefit is worth the risk.
If the simple tools of general practice do not reveal adequate information, referral for endoscopy may be needed. Deeper visualization of the nasal tissues is possible with this equipment plus biopsy specimens can be taken (though bleeding is the chief risk in this situation). Biopsy is particularly difficult in the nose, not just because of the hemorrhage but because nasal tumors are surrounded by so much inflammation it is difficult to get a representative sample. Often it is not possible to see the area being biopsied directly, especially if prior sampling has led to bleeding.
If radiographs are diagnostic for cancer and aggressive therapy is contemplated, prognosis is highly dependent on the type of tumor present so biopsy becomes especially important in this situation.
And Then What?
At the very end of all these procedures, sometimes the area of bleeding is simply not accessible without surgery. This would be the final and most invasive procedure in retrieving a difficult foreign body or tissue sample. Extensive bleeding is expected and this is generally the last resort after a long road of diagnostics.
In a study by Bissett et al published in the December 15, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 176 cases of dogs with bloody noses were reviewed to determine which underlying causes were most common. Of these 176 dogs, a definite underlying cause was found in 115 cases.
- 30% had nasal tumors
- 29% had trauma
- 17% had nasal inflammation of unknown cause (idiopathic rhinitis)
- 10% had low platelets
- 3% had some other blood clotting abnormality
- 2% had high blood pressure
- 2% had tooth abscess
Conspicuously absent is the nasal fungal infection but since these are frequently regional in nature in dogs, the population studied may not have been in an area where fungi are common pathogens.
Other Relevant Studies
Evaluation of factors associated with survival in dogs with untreated nasal carcinoma: 139 cases (1993-2003) by Rassnick et al published in the Journal of the AVMA 229:401-406, 2006.
This study reviewed the outcomes of 139 dogs diagnosed with nasal carcinoma. Since many dogs are euthanized at the time of this diagnosis, this study included only dogs that were alive 7 days after the initial diagnosis was made. Dogs studied received only pain medication, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics (no surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy). The following statistical findings came out:
- 80% of dogs were purebred. The median age was 11 years and the median body weight was 48 lbs.
- 77% had epistaxis (nose bleeds). Median survival time for dogs with nosebleeds was 88 days vs. 224 days for dogs with carcinomas that did not have nose bleeds.
- Approximately half of the patients studied were felt to have improvement with the supportive care described above.
What to Do If Your Dog Gets a Nosebleed
The first thing to do if your dog has a nosebleed is to get her to a quiet area and do your best to keep her calm. Try to get your dog to lie down and speak to her calmly.
Make a mental note of whether the blood is coming from one or both nostrils. If it's only one, note which one (the dog's right or left, not yours as you look at the dog). That way, you can report to the vet later.
Cover an ice pack with a clean cloth and apply it to the bridge and side of the muzzle. That constricts blood vessels and will hopefully help slow or stop the bleeding.
If the bleeding is profuse or you can't get it to stop in five minutes, head to the closest veterinary clinic.
If you get the bleeding to stop, continue to keep your dog calm and quiet and call your vet for the first available appointment.
Canine Nose Bleeding
Table of Contents
"Canine Nose bleeding is usually a sign of another disorder. In most cases a bleeding dog nose is caused by a fungal infection or or cancer such as a canine nose tumor. It can also be caused by excessive sneezing, which will result in a temporary condition. It can also be caused by your dog's environment including pollution from smoking or poor air quality, an object in your dog's nose, a blood clot or bacterial infection."
Causes of Nose Bleed
It is important to detect the cause of the nose bleed, to be able to determine if the dog needs treatment. Notice if the dog bleeds from one or both nostrils.
The nose bleed may be caused by an injury (due to a fight or trauma) or if the dog has a foreign object in his nasal cavity. If there is a foreign object, the dog may also sneeze the foreign object may be a grass seed, an insect, a paper clip, a bead, or whatever may have got stuck in your pet’s nose. The dog will only bleed from one nostril.
Other possible causes of a nose bleed include:
- Poisoning if the dog ingests rat poison, this is an anti coagulant the condition must be treated with blood and fluid therapy if left untreated, the condition is fatal
- Ruptured tumors or cysts in the nasal cavity may also cause nose bleeding the dog may also sneeze and make a snoring noise the tumors and cysts should be removed with surgery
- Haemophilia is a blood clotting disorder in addition to the nose bleed, the dog will also have bleeding gums
- Injuries/ accidents may also be the cause of nose bleeds in your pet you need to get to the vet meanwhile, you should get ice packs and gauze to press against the bleeding nostril.