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What is Bleeding Under the Skin?

Bleeding under the skin occurs when blood vessels rupture, leaking blood into nearby tissues. The condition is generally visible and can present as a single pinpoint, small blotches, or larger areas. Affected areas may appear bright red, purple ranging to black, bluish-- or in older bruises, as a yellowish or greenish discoloration. Bruising or bleeding is frequently caused by trauma, but could be a sign of several other conditions. Although bruising often heals over time without medical treatment, frequent, large, long-lasting, or numerous bruises should be checked out by a veterinary professional.

Bleeding Under the Skin Average Cost

From 432 quotes ranging from $800 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,100

Symptoms of Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats

The most obvious sign of bleeding under the skin is observable blood, bruising, or discoloration. In many cases, this is the only symptom. Additional symptoms may be present depending on the underlying cause of the condition. 

Symptoms Include:

  • Red, bluish, or purple discoloration 
  • Pinpoint hemorrhages or discolored spots
  • Larger, blotchy bruising
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Signs of pain, like vocalization
  • Anemia
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Excessive scratching or rubbing the affected area
  • Blood in other locations like eyes, sores, or urine and feces

Types

There are various types of bleeding that can occur under the skin in cats and other companion animals. Common types include:

  • Visible bruises
  • Blood spots or pinpoints
  • Hematomas or blood collecting outside the blood vessels
  • Petechiae, or spot bleeding into the skin
  • Ecchymosis, or a collection of blood under the skin
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Causes of Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats

A variety of issues can result in bleeding under the skin. Cats commonly acquire bruises from minor physical trauma, including falls, fights, and accidents. Bruising and bleeding under the skin can also be a sign of a more serious condition. Some causes of bleeding under the skin in cats include:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Mites, especially ear mites
  • Various parasites
  • Certain viral infections
  • Anemia
  • Nutrient deficiencies 
  • Platelet disorders
  • Vascular disorders
  • Clotting factor conditions
  • Some medications
  • Cancer, especially bone marrow cancer
  • Immune disorders
  • Some toxins
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Diagnosis of Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats

Medical diagnosis of bleeding under the skin may require various methodologies to identify the cause and rule out various conditions. Be prepared to discuss your pet’s medical history and any medications they are on, the onset of the bruising or bleeding, and any other symptoms you have observed. If you are aware of any recent physical trauma, be sure to let your veterinarian know. This can make diagnosis a simple task. A complete physical examination will be conducted to identify all affected locations and look for other observable symptoms like swelling or masses. Veterinary staff will draw blood and collect a urine sample. They may also take samples of any associated discharge.

Proper diagnosis is essential for successful treatment because some causes, like cancers and blood disorders, can result in serious medical concerns and even death. Your cat’s blood samples will undergo diagnostic screening for blood disorders. Analysis will include platelet count and function, active clotting time, nutrients amounts, white and red blood cell counts, and analysis for bacterial, viral, or other infections. Other diagnostic methods, like urinalysis, biochemistry profile, biopsies, smears or cultures, and imaging techniques, might be used to search for underlying causes like cancers, infections, and systemic disorders. If bone marrow cancer or other disorders are expected, a bone marrow biopsy may be conducted. Procedures like bone marrow biopsy will require hospitalization. 

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Treatment of Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats

Your veterinarian’s treatment plan will depend on their diagnosis of the underlying causes of the bruising or bleeding. Bruising from minor trauma often will not require any treatment and should heal on its own over time. Bleeding under the skin brought on by other conditions will require medical treatment. Common treatment methods for bleeding under the skin in cats include:

Limited Mobility

Even in pets with bruising from minor trauma, limited mobility may be recommended to prevent worsening of the bleeding. By minimizing the cat’s activity, the risk of complications is diminished. 

Intravenous (IV) Fluids

In animals that are weak, anemic or at risk of dehydration, IV fluids will be administered to aid in recovery. This is a routine, low-risk technique generally used only while your pet is in veterinary care. 

Blood Transfusions

If blood loss is severe, blood counts are low, or with some blood disorders, a blood transfusion may be necessary. With proper blood type matching and administration, this treatment carries a relatively low risk of side effects. 

Surgery

Surgery may be required to drain blood or implant temporary drains. This is common with hematomas. Surgery might also be necessary to remove tumors or other masses. Surgery is conducted while the cat is under anesthesia and could require hospitalization during the recovery phase. Your veterinarian will decide if your pet is healthy enough to undergo a surgical procedure. 

Cause-Specific Treatments

Other methods and procedures might be used depending on the cause of your cat’s bleeding. Cancer treatments, various types of medication, certain transplants, or therapies for other medical conditions may be required to treat your pet successfully. 

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Recovery of Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats

Your cat’s prognosis will vary depending on the cause of bleeding under the skin. In the case of bruising brought on by minor trauma, infections, or parasites, full recovery is likely with treatment. Some causes of bruising may be more serious and could require extended hospitalization and long-term treatment. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for care, including providing the full course of any medications and returning for required follow-up visits. Support your pet’s recovery by feeding them a nutritious diet, providing plenty of fluids, and limiting stressors. Your cat may experience weakness for several days, so ensure their food, water, and bedding is nearby. 

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Bleeding Under the Skin Average Cost

From 432 quotes ranging from $800 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,100

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Bleeding Under the Skin Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Cat

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Three Weeks

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bloated Stomach, Irritated Rectum, Purple Spot On Belly.

I'm wanting to know about this purple spot on her belly

July 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, it is hard to say what the purple spot might be without seeing it. It may be a parasite, it may be a bruise from trauma, it may be a bleeding disorder, or it may be an infection. From the sounds of it, it would be best if this tiny kitten was seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine the kitten, see what might be going on, treat for parasites, and do what they can to keep that kitten healthy. I hope that all goes well for the kitten.

July 16, 2020

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Unknown

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Two Weeks

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

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Not Eating, Not Moving, Can’T Meow

I just want to know if there is anything I can do the poor kitten was attacked by a dog and it’s struggling so much. The bruse is yellow and black and it’s right underneath it’s mouth on its neck

July 16, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that happened to that kitten, that sounds awful. There may be nothing that you can do at home for that kitten, and the best thing is probably to have him seen by a veterinarian. They might be able to assess what is going on and give treatment. If the kitten has fractures, it may not be able to eat properly, and it will need to be bottle fed regardless. I hope that the kitten is okay.

July 16, 2020

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Persian

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Pain

I was walking in the dark and accidentally stepped on her midsection. She seems to be angry and bites when people try to pet her in the area.

July 15, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. You may have bruised her when you stepped on her. If she is eating and drinking normally, she may need time to heal, and petting her in that area is probably something she doesn't want you to do. If she stops eating or becomes lethargic, it would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 15, 2020

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Spitz

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European cat

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9 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

2 Small Bruises On Ear Lobe,

Good afternoon.I have seen last night that my cat has 2 small bruises on his left ear.Did not see any swelling, discharge,scratching or signs of discomfort/pain when touched.Did not see him play yesterday to think he might of hurt the ear in some way.Should I get him to a vet?thank you

Sept. 12, 2018

Spitz's Owner

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Rachet

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Cat

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7 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Exessive Bleeding From End Of His Ear
Exessive Bleeding From End Of His H

My cat has a hematoma on his ear that when popped it and he beld out like a stuck pig.. He had ear mites in witch he treated him for and got antibiotics for.. He been in a cone for over 2 months now.. I taken him to the vet 4 times for the same hematoma cuz he bleeds out they tried tieing veins up to stop gave us a cartazing powder with is temp fix but it won't heal.. He shakes his head and poof he bleeds again and it frustrating how do we get it to stop and heal.. He still in the cone he mite free he on revolution.. How do I tell the vet to fix it!? He seems miserable he hates the cone.. And I just need help to get rid of it.

Aug. 20, 2018

Rachet's Owner

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This can be difficult as a cat can be persistent in shaking their head or pawing at the war (regardless of whether there is a cone); there is no one perfect solution to stop the recurrence apart from controlling the bleeding and doing what has been done already. In cases like this, I’ve heard of some Veterinarians using the Chinese herbal medication yunnan baiyao to control bleeding and you should discuss with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 21, 2018

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PJ

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Norweigian Forest Cat

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Purple Leg

My cat came home with a really hurt leg 2 nights ago and is still limping just on one leg and he has 2 gashes on it too and I don't know if we should take him to the vet and it is turning purple and his paw folds over when he walks. I just want to know if he is ok.

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Scratchy

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Bombay black cat

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Fatigue
Tired
Tongue Out
Swelling Around Eye
Loss In Apatite

My cat Scratchy has a bad habit of sitting right next to the door and one day my boyfriend came home and swung the door open not knowing she was there. She seemed a little disoriented for a little bit but then went back to normal and now about a week later she isn’t eating and her tongue is always out of her mouth and she has a little swelling around her eye. Is there a home treatment or is this something emergent?

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Davy Jones (pirate not the singer)

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Pursian

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1 Year

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

My 1 year and 3 year old cats were running around like crazy. The 1 year missed his mark and slammed into his condo. He stopped and shook his head and continued to chase after his brother. The next day he had a huge lump on his neck 2cmX3cm.I didn't remember what had happened the night before. He had not showed any signs of distress he ate and drank well. I took him to the vet they did an ultrasound and expressed the fluid(blood) the doctor said it was a hematoma and to put a warm compress on the lump for 20 minutes twice a day in a week I take him back. If it doesn't shrink he may need surgery.

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Toes

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Unknown

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15 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen R Front Leg, Sleeping More

Took cat to vet because Right front leg was very swollen for about 10 days, no external wounds, cat does not favor swollen leg, she still jumps up on furniture and over child safety gate showing no signs of pain when doing these things, she does show signs of generally not feeling well and sleeps more and is eating far less. Vet inserted needle into leg and pulled out what she said was blood, said there was another small pocket in the lower led that she was able to get a little blood out of but could not get the rest out, sent home not knowing the cause of the bleeding, just told hopefully it would not fill up again, less than 24 hrs later the leg is swollen back to the same size as was when taken to vet, it seems clear she is bleeding internally but don’t know why, reluctant to go back to same vet as they did not seem to concerned, but going to vet every 24 hrs to aspirate leg doesn’t make sense to me???

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Turner

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

17 Years

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Mild severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

My 17 year old short haired, gray & white,male cat,Turner, was in to see the vet today. They took blood from the right side of his neck, & drew urine. His potassium was very low, but otherwise everything looked pretty good. We saw the shaved hair after the blood draw, with his white skin/fur visible. Now, 4 hours later, we noticed a fairly large (approx 1-1.25 inch) dark area. I pressed on it for a minute,or so, but I'd like a 2nd opinion on whether to assume it's just normal bruising from a possibly harder stick, or if I should be more concerned. Thank you in advance!! (I do expect a call from the vet in the morn, but didn't know how concerned to be)

Bleeding Under the Skin Average Cost

From 432 quotes ranging from $800 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,100

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