Nosebleeds in Dogs – Pet tip 109
A nosebleed in humans is a condition that happens from time to time often as a result of dryness. Normally it’s not that serious and stops on its own or we go see a doctor who helps solve the problem. Nosebleeds in dogs (called epistaxis) are a different story. Due to the fact that dogs can’t tell us anything verbally, a whole battery of tests may need to be done if the problem is not easily visible. An easily visible and thankfully easily diagnosable problem would be some foreign body lodged in the nasal canal or trauma to the nose itself through an accident or rough play. This happens pretty frequently in younger dogs as a result of mischief. Nosebleeds also happen frequently in all dogs as a result of sniffing. Dogs frequently sniff vegetation and it can get lodged deep into their nasal cavities and cause bleeding. Usually these types of foreign nasal blockages cause involuntary sneezing to try dislodge the object. This sneezing itself can cause further bleeding and exacerbate the problem. In cases such as these, you quickly bring your dog to the veterinarian. The vet takes a look through a scope, removes the foreign body and the problem is normally solved with very minor consequences.
If the problem is not a foreign body lodged in the nasal canal, sometimes a vet can still take a look with a scope and easily see a problem that is quickly diagnosable. The veterinarian may notice a polyp or tumour, or signs of an infection caused by bacteria, a fungus or a virus. Unfortunately though, when the problem is not apparent a battery of tests might need to be done to determine what is going on. Based on the dog’s breed and medical history, your veterinarian will determine which test to start with. Common tests that may need to be performed by a veterinarian when the causes of nosebleeds are not clear include; blood tests, urine tests, X-Rays, coagulation blood tests, fungal blood tests, rhinoscopy and possible biopsy.
Aside from the problems already mentioned, there are many possible problems that can lead to nose bleeds in dogs. Some of these problems include; sinus problems, bleeding disorders, liver disease, low platelets, platelet dysfunction, rodenticide poisoning and other coagulation diseases.
If your dog starts to bleed from its nose, of course the best and safest thing to do is bring it straight to a vet. Until you can get your pet to the vet, try to keep it still and relaxed. If your pet will allow you to place a cold compress on its nose with its head held upright, you can try that as well. Make sure that you don’t apply too much pressure on the compress since you probably don’t know what the problem is and pressure on an already sensitive bleeding nose is painful for your dog.