Why Does A Dogs Nose Bleed

Acute bleeding from the nose, nasal cavity, or nasopharynx is known as epistaxis (upper part of the throat that lies behind the nose, just above the soft part of the roof of the mouth and just behind the nasal passages). It is frequently called a nosebleed. Dog epistaxis can be a very disturbing condition for the owner. Most acute or unexpected nosebleeds are brought on by upper respiratory infections or simple trauma. Other, more serious causes of epistaxis in dogs may necessitate prompt medical attention.

What should I do if my dog gets a nosebleed?

You can try the following straightforward first aid measures if your dog starts bleeding from the nose:

  • Be calm around your dog. Excitation-related elevated blood pressure will make the bleeding worse.
  • Put an ice pack over your nose’s bridge (on top of the muzzle). Make sure your pet can breathe around the ice pack if they are short-faced breeds. Small blood vessels will become constricted by the cold, which will lessen bleeding.
  • If your veterinarian has not specifically instructed you to do so, avoid giving your dog any medications.

If using these actions does not stop the bleeding or if the animal is having trouble breathing, you should immediately visit your veterinarian or an emergency facility.

Always keep in mind that a dog with a bleeding nose will probably swallow a lot of blood. This could result in blood clots in the vomit or a black stool (melena) (hematemesis). These observations are typical during an incident of epistaxis and may not always denote gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding.

How is epistaxis diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will first ask you for a complete medical history. Relevant details include:

  • Has your dog consumed any medications, including by accident, in the last 30 days? Aspirin in particular, which is an NSAID, can deactivate blood-clotting factors, resulting in spontaneous bleeding. Record all prescription drugs and nutritional supplements your dog has taken.
  • Have you utilized insecticides or rat poison in your house or yard?
  • In the previous two to three weeks, did your dog consume any rats or kill any of them?
  • Has the nose suffered any injuries?
  • Has your dog acted nastily around other animals?
  • Does your dog come into contact with any foxtails, grass awns, or other seed heads that might become stuck in its nose?
  • Has your pet been touching its nose or sneezing recently?
  • Have you seen any bleeding from the gums or from the mouth?
  • Have you seen a stool made of black tar?
  • Have you seen any vomit that is black and “coffee-ground”?
  • Have you seen any strange bruises or skin darkening?
  • Have there been any recent enlargements, lumps, or masses?

After considering the medical history, your veterinarian will do a physical examination. Specifically, your veterinarian will check for the following abnormalities:

  • any imbalance or malformation in your pet’s facial features
  • any swelling on the nose’s bridge
  • the third eyelids are raised.
  • one eye protruding or bulging more than the other
  • severe tears in one or both eyes
  • eyes that are red
  • how the skin around the nose looks
  • the appearance of the gums, particularly if they appear pale

What sort of tests may be needed?

Your veterinarian might suggest one or more of the following tests based on the results of the examination:

  • Complete blood count (CBC), which measures platelets and checks for anemia (low red blood cell count indicates blood loss) (cells that are necessary for proper clotting)
  • Blood tests called serum biochemistry are used to evaluate how well organs are functioning, look for signs of toxin-induced liver or kidney damage, or check for any underlying conditions that could result in bleeding.
  • Urinalysis: checking for anomalies such as blood in the urine.
  • Clotting tests are a series of examinations that evaluate how well the blood’s various clotting processes are working.
  • The chest, skull, and oral cavity are frequently radiographed in cases of epistaxis in order to look for signs of internal bleeding or other anomalies that may result in epistaxis.
  • Blood pressure: Bleeding noses can be caused by excessive blood pressure.
  • Tests for antibiotic sensitivity and culture of nasal swabs are used to find any infectious agents.
  • microbial cultures
  • cultures to check for nasal cavity fungal infections

Depending on the preliminary results and health of your pet, more tests may be carried out. Bone marrow analysis, Ehrlichia antibody testing, tick disease tests, sinus and skull X-rays, MRIs, and rhinoscopies are a few examples of further tests (viewing the nasal cavities with a small endoscope).

What causes epistaxis?

Although there are numerous reasons why dogs develop epistaxis, trauma and nasal tumors are the most typical culprits. The following dangerous conditions can also result in epistaxis:

What should you do if your dog is bleeding from the nose?

Try to keep your dog as calm as you can if they are currently experiencing a nosebleed. Any additional vigor can raise your dog’s blood pressure and intensify bleeding. If your dog agrees, cover your dog’s nose bridge with a few paper towels or an ice pack wrapped in a dish towel. Pugs, bulldogs, boxers, and other breeds with short snouts should be especially careful not to totally block their dog’s nostrils so that they cannot breathe around the ice pack. The blood vessels in the nasal passages will contract as a result of the ice’s cold, which may help to stop the flow of blood.

Once the bleeding has stopped, give your vet a call to schedule an appointment to examine your dog. Take your dog to the vet right away if you suspect they may have ingested any pharmaceuticals, including human NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve), or if you think they may have ingested rat poison. Your dog will still be at risk for toxicity from the poison if they came into contact with an animal that has died after ingesting rat poison, even if you don’t believe they could have directly ingested it.

What could cause a dog’s nose to bleed?

Sometimes the reason for a dog’s nosebleed can be extremely evident, other times it may not be. You can probably put two and two together if your dog suffers a nose bleed after careening across the room in excitement and running face-first into a wall or doorframe. There are other circumstances, though, where the explanation might not be as obvious. At that point, it will be up to your veterinarian to assist you in your search. The following are a few causes of nosebleeds in dogs:

#1: Trauma

We might as well start with trauma as it and nasal tumors are the two most common causes of nosebleeds in dogs, according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).

Trauma can occasionally be caused by anything as simple as your excited dog performing zoomies inside the home and not being able to “hit the brakes fast enough,” or slamming his or her head against the closed clear sliding glass door. Examples of more severe trauma include getting struck by a car or falling from considerable heights. A nose bleed is almost certain to happen if the nose was traumatized in these instances.

#2: Nasal tumors or cancer

Nasal tumors were the second most common cause of epistaxis in the 2007 JAVMA article. The most typical type of nasal tumor is a locally aggressive form of cancer called adenocarcinoma. One or both sides of the nose may be affected.

This indicates that, as opposed to other body-wide causes of nosebleeds that would affect both sides, a dog’s nosebleed on one side may be more suggestive of a local tumor (or other local concern).

Additionally, a variety of non-nasal malignancies can raise the risk of epistaxis. These consist of:

Are canine nosebleeds typical?

Epistaxis, the medical term for nosebleeds, is never typical in dogs or cats. When they do, they may be immediately followed by secondary shock symptoms and serious bleeding.

Can stress cause nosebleeds in dogs?

My 8-year-old Westie terrier is mine. Last night, she suffered a horrible nosebleed, but it eventually stopped. What could be the cause of the blood that was on her bed this morning and that was still oozing from her nose?

If there is blood, it is important to look into it right away. I don’t want to seem alarmist, but it’s always necessary to identify the reason for unexpected bleeding.

Epistaxis, or bleeding from the nose, can be a one-time, transient occurrence, but persistent bleeding may be an indication of a more serious or even fatal illness.

Due to the high vascularity of the tissue of the nose, when it is harmed by disease or trauma, it bleeds readily and profusely. Dogs who have epistaxis may feel anxious; this anxious state might raise their blood pressure and make the bleeding worse. Maintain the animal’s composure while applying pressure and ice to the nose, and make sure the pet is breathing easily by checking the airways. Be mindful that ingesting blood can result in nausea and a black stool.

The main causes of epistaxis in dogs are trauma, nasal tumors, and bleeding diseases. Other factors include nasal foreign bodies, autoimmune conditions, toxins, infectious disorders, liver disease, medication responses, an abscessed tooth, hypertension, and persistent inflammation.

In small animal practice, it is common to find cases of rat poison exposure caused by consuming the poison or a dead rodent. The poison prevents the blood from clotting normally, which causes a gradual, progressive bleeding to spread throughout the body. Epistaxis may be a symptom of a condition that causes internal bleeding.

A thorough history and physical examination are the first steps in the medical process for determining the etiology of epistaxis. Using a penlight or an otoscope to see inside the nose, the diagnosis can occasionally be made with ease. Veterinarians look for edema or facial asymmetry that could point to trauma or malignancy. Gums’ color and texture reveal important details; spotted or bruised gums indicate bleeding issues.

To determine the quantity and state of the red blood cells and platelets, blood tests are required. The cells known as platelets aid in the formation of clots and regulate bleeding. Coagulation profiles eliminate other potential causes of irregular clotting while blood chemistry tests complete the comprehensive picture of the internal organs. A urinalysis will be performed to assess kidney function and check for the presence of blood or blood products in the urine.

The interior of the nose can be seen on X-rays of the face. The natural bone architecture of the nose is destroyed by nasal malignancies and invasive fungus; these changes are clearly seen on radiographs.

Endoscopy may be required in some circumstances since the nose is a small, dark cavity that is challenging to access. The light-filled, narrow endoscope gives a close-up view of the nose’s tissue and the problematic location. These scopes can be used to diagnose illness, obtain biopsy samples, and perform surgical removal of foreign objects that have been trapped in the nose.

A nosebleed—is it serious?

Most nosebleeds are not serious. However, frequent or severe nosebleeds may be a sign of more significant health issues and should be investigated, including high blood pressure or a disease of blood coagulation.

Anemia, for instance, might develop as a result of excessive bleeding that lasts for a long time.

Your doctor may suggest additional testing with an ENT expert if they believe your nosebleeds are the result of a more serious condition.