Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Bleeding Under the Skin in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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 of discolouration. 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 is common in humans, this is not the case due to an animal's thick skin and fur. Any bruise, including bruises that are frequent, large, long-lasting, or numerous bruises should be checked out by a veterinary professional.

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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
  • Pale gums
  • Fast breathing

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. 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:

  • Severe Injury or trauma
  • 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, 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.  Bleeding under the skin brought on by medical 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, limiting 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 such as steroids, certain transplants, or therapies for other medical conditions may be required to treat your pet successfully. 

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Worried about the cost of Bleeding Under Skin treatment?

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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 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

dog-name-icon

Keekee

dog-breed-icon

DOMESTIC

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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3 found helpful

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Blue Bruising

My cat was neutered today, he's black and white and around his bum area, it looks like a blueish color. Could this be from his hair being shaved or should I be concerned

July 26, 2018

Keekee's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

The blueish color may be from the wash that was used, or the shaving. If he seems comfortable, you may be okay to monitor the area. If he seems to be painful, or isn't eating, or the blue area is growing larger, it would be a good idea to have him rechecked with your veterinarian.

July 26, 2018

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Garfield

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orange tabby cat

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2 Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Red Spot On Right Ear
Red Bruised Tip On Top Left Ear

My cat fell from his cat tree it fell on him and as a result his ears have a little bruising. Should I bring him to the vet or is it something that will heal on it's own and isnt a big deal?

July 24, 2018

Garfield's Owner

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0 Recommendations

If there is any bruising to the head it would be best to visit your Veterinarian for an examination to ensure that there are no signs of brain injury, without examining Garfield I cannot give you any assurances that he is alright; some brain injuries may have a delayed onset which is why it is important to get him checked out. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 25, 2018

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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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