Nosebleeds and Cats
Cats get nosebleeds (epistaxis) for different reasons. Sometimes the nosebleeds are the result of something very serious and other times the cause is as simple as bumping into something and bursting a blood vessel. The difficulty is that cats can’t tell us where, why or how that nosebleed came to be. Due the fact that there is such a variety of causes, nosebleeds should be considered serious by default and a call to your vet should be made when you notice them.
There is a lot of variety when it comes to how/why a nose bleeds. Is this a one time thing or is this happening frequently? Is the bleeding coming from one or both nostrils? This is a really important one to figure out as some problems will affect only one nostril while different problems will affect both. Some cats are prone to nosebleeds but most cats get nosebleeds only when there is a problem. The most common reason for nosebleeds is fighting with other cats and getting hit by a moving vehicle. It doesn’t take much trauma at all for the delicate nasal blood vessels to start bleeding as a result of a blow to the nose or face. A few common reasons a cat will get a nosebleed include;
- Trauma to the nose often as a result of fighting or accidents with cars
- A foreign body that gets lodged in the nose and irritates the nose
- Tumours that may grow in the nose
- Dental problems
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Ingestion of rat poison
- Blood clotting disorders like hemophilia
- Nasal infections
- Parasites that make their way into the nose
Anytime there is a problem that affects the nose sneezing is a common consequence and a bleeding nose is no exception. Cats with nosebleeds often start sneezing frequently, and this sneezing only exacerbates the situation. The sneezing can slow down the blood’s natural tendency to clot and if your cat is losing lots of blood then you are looking at an emergency situation.
In order to properly diagnose what the root cause of the nose bleeding is you’ll need to bring your cat to the vet. If your cat gets a nosebleed and it stops quickly it may be fine but at least call your vet and describe what happened. If the nosebleeds are regular occurrences or the bleeding won’t stop after a few minutes, call your vet and make an appointment. Your vet sees nose problems frequently and will likely be able to rule out many possible causes quite quickly. A physical exam as well as a progressive battery of tests (ruling out most common to least common reasons for the nose bleed) will need to be done to determine the cause of the bleed and then treat it.