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Nosebleeds in Dogs

Learn the causes and treatments of nosebleeds in dogs.

Nosebleeds in dogs are also called epistaxis. If your dog gets a nosebleed, it will need to be stopped, but figuring out what caused it is the next step.

What Causes Epistaxis or Nosebleeds in Dogs?

Dogs can get nosebleeds for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common ones include:

  • A blood clotting disorder such as thrombocytopenia
  • Exposure to mouse poisoning
  • Foreign body in the nose (foxtails especially)
  • Polyps in the nasal cavity or sinuses
  • Cancer in the nose or sinuses
  • Infection of the nose or sinuses

Nosebleeds can indicate a severe condition and should always prompt a trip to the vet.

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.

Diagnosis of Nosebleeds in Dogs

Your vet will do a thorough examination of your dog, including looking in the nose and mouth. If there are signs of a systemic condition or bleeding disorder, like pale gums or bruising on the skin or gums, blood work will be performed to check platelets and other values.

Your dog may need x-rays of the skull or a CT scan if other causes of nosebleed are ruled out.

Treatment of nosebleed in the long term depends on the diagnosis.

You May Also Like These Articles:

CT Scans for Dogs: What Are They and What Information Do They Provide?

Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia in Dogs

Rat Poison Toxicity in Dogs

Foxtails: A Summertime Hazard for Dogs

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