If you see your dog bleeding from its nose, you may not know what to do or how to stop it. This article will help you become informed on what’s causing it, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
It’s hard to see our dogs suffer. Watching them experience pain can make us worry because animals can’t tell us what’s hurting and what’s causing it. A dog’s nose bleeding is usually caused by epistaxis. This is a condition in which blood flows from the nasal cavity or the upper soft part of the throat that is behind the nose. While it can be mild, the bleeding may also be profuse and worthy of our attention.
When a dog is bleeding from its nose, the effects can be fatal. Too much blood loss is harmful. However, there are times when you may be able to contain the bleeding at home. Other times, surgery or medication may be required.
Let’s start by becoming acquainted with the accompanying symptoms and behaviors of epistaxis.
When a dog’s nose is bleeding, you may notice other behaviors and symptoms from your dog such as:
- Unusual whining
- Change of appearance around the nose
- Your dog continuously pawing at its nose
- Nasal discharge comprised of pus and mucus
The causes of a bleeding nose vary from minor reasons to more life-threatening causes.
Nasal trauma or fracture happens when your dog has a broken nose. This can be caused by a strong blow on your dog’s snout and is a common cause of nosebleeds for dogs. Nasal trauma is common in older dogs.
Respiratory Tract Infection
Your dog’s nose could be bleeding due to an infection of the respiratory tract. A respiratory tract infection affects your dog’s windpipe and air passages. These types of infections can be minor or severe and are very contagious. Humans can unwittingly carry them and transmit them between dogs.
Has your dog been involved in an accident? If your dog enjoys roughhousing, the bleeding could be the result of an accidental injury.
A dog bleeding from its nose might be caused by a foreign object lodged inside your dog’s nasal cavity. It doesn’t happen very often but it is still possible.
Older dogs are more likely to develop tumors than younger ones. A vet can determine if your dog’s bleeding is the result of a tumor. Nasal tumors are a type of cancer that happens when cancer cells spread across a dog’s nasal passages.
Ingestion of Rat Poison
Have you been keeping rat poison around the house? Is it likely that your dog might have had access to a poisoned rat? Rat poison is a common cause of nosebleeds.
Treatment varies based on the seriousness of your dog’s situation and what you decide to do about it. Some nosebleeds are treatable at home and do not require the attention of your vet. However, it’s important to determine what’s causing it and to rule out any major health issues before deciding to skip a visit to the vet.
You may also use the following procedure as first aid for your dog before bringing it in for a medical consultation
Keep your dog as calm as possible and try to keep it from moving around. Reducing movement and activity can lessen the bleeding. Place the ice cubes on top of your pet’s nose or an area close to its nose so it doesn’t interfere with breathing. The ice will constrict the blood vessels and control the bleeding.
If the bleeding continues, bring your dog to the vet. Do not administer any drugs that have not been prescribed for your dog by a veterinarian.
Monitoring Your Dog After Home Treatment
As long as you can safely control the bleeding and have eliminated any life-threatening reasons for it, you can keep your dog at home and allow it to recover. During recovery, monitor your pet closely in the days that follow. For instance, you may want to take note of the color of your dog’s stool. Unusually dark excrement indicates that your dog swallowed a lot of blood. If your dog continues to have a dark stool for the next few days, your pet may still be bleeding internally. If this happens, bring it to the vet.
While recovering you should also discourage your dog from being too active. This will allow the clot that has formed to remain in place and prevent further bleeding. Too much activity from your dog can dislodge it and start the bleeding all over again.
The following treatments are reserved for more serious cases which require medical intervention. Knowing about them can help manage your expectations if you decide to bring your dog in for medical help.
At the Vet
The treatment for nosebleeds will depend on the underlying cause. If you’ve decided to bring your dog to the vet, expect your vet to conduct a physical inspection of your dog to identify underlying causes for the bleeding. This includes examining your pet’s face and gums, looking for swelling along the nose as well as inspecting the eyes for symmetry, tearing, and redness.
Depending on your vet’s assessment, tests may be required. Some routine tests which your dog may undergo are a CBC (complete blood cell count), urinalysis, clotting tests, and serum biochemistry.
Treatment for Blood Loss
When a dog has lost too much blood, a blood transfusion may be necessary. Your vet can administer a blood transfusion to supplement the blood loss. After bringing your dog home, you may also need to feed your dog certain nutrient-rich foods to help its body to produce more blood.
Treatment for Obstructions Inside Your Dog’s Nasal Cavities
If there is an obstruction inside your dog’s nose, your veterinarian can help you remove it safely by sedating your dog first.
Treatment for Infections
As with humans, infections in dogs are treated with a course of antibiotics. If your dog has a respiratory infection, you may notice mucus coming from your dog’s nose mixed in with blood. You may also notice a “cough” coming from your dog which is a result of the discharge.
If you can’t stop the bleeding or your dog is bleeding profusely, get your dog immediate medical attention.
How To Prevent It
Because the causes of nosebleeds are many and varied, it can be difficult to prevent them. The best way to prevent nosebleeds is to look at the most probable reason your dog had a nosebleed and go about addressing it.
If the nosebleed was caused by a respiratory infection, keep your house and your dog’s food and water bowl clean. If you interact with other dogs outside your home, wash your hands with soap and water after entering the house and before touching your dog.
Unfortunately, we can’t protect our dogs from everything that may harm them. However, by providing them with a safe and nurturing environment, we can give them the best chances of having a long and happy life with us. You can also take a look at why your dog may bleed from its pee, its causes, and treatments.
If your dog suffers from nosebleeds, reading about them in articles like this is a step in the right direction. The next time it happens you’ll be ready.