It's true: just like humans, dogs and cats can get nosebleeds - but it's never a good thing.
Apart from a physical trauma that can cause a bloody nose, dogs and cats can have nosebleeds for other, more sinister, reasons.
Infection is one common cause of bloody noses in dogs and cats. Rhinitis (a nasal cavity infection) and sinusitis (a sinus infection typically secondary to rhinitis) can result in bloody noses. Fungal infections, specifically Aspergillus, can also result in nosebleeds. Occasionally, the infection has an underlying cause, such as a tooth abscess, that will need to be treated as well.
Here is a list of possible causes of nosebleeds in pets, provided by Dr. Callum Turner on Wag:
- Mild or severe trauma to the snout
- High blood pressure
- Dental disease
- Presence of a tumor
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts)
- Coagulation/ blood clotting problem
- The presence of a foreign body lodged in the nose
- Certain cancers
- Ingestion of rat poison
- Fungal infection
- Certain tick-borne diseases
- Issues with blood proteins
Sometimes an obstruction of the nasal passages can cause nosebleeds (epistaxis). If you notice your pet sneezing a lot, he or she may have a foreign object caught up their nose.
One time, a cat came into our vet clinic with nasal issues. Turns out, a long blade of grass had been sucked up her nose!
Your pet can also experience a fierce nosebleed during a sneezing episode if the capillaries (small blood vessels) break. To halt the nose bleeding, you can put a cold ice pack on the bridge of your dog's nose.
Pets can also develop nasal tumors that lead to bloody noses. These tumors can be cancerous. If a tumor is the reason for the blockage, nosebleeds will often be frequent and alarmingly torrential.
If you notice your pet experiencing consistent nosebleeds, be sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. There, they can do a physical examination, take blood tests and do some blood work in order to check the levels of your pet's red blood cells. X-rays may be in order to ultimately find out why your pet is experiencing bloody noses.
Has your pet ever had a nosebleed? Tell us the cause in the comments below.
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