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What is Nose Bleed?

Nosebleeds, referred to as epistaxis, are a condition in which blood or bloody discharge occurs from the nose. Epistaxis can be a symptom of a serious medical condition like cancer or organ failure. It is also commonly caused by sinus or respiratory infections or injuries to the nose or head. Nosebleeds can affect one or both nostrils, and this distinction can aid in diagnosing the underlying cause of the condition. Epistaxis can occur in cats of any age, breed, or sex, and there are no clear risk factors that increase the chances of your pet experiencing nosebleeds. If your pet is experiencing nosebleeds on a frequent basis or a nosebleed takes more time than normal to stop, seek medical attention immediately. 

Nose Bleed Average Cost

From 366 quotes ranging from $200 - $8,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Nose Bleed in Cats

The primary symptom of nosebleeds is blood or bloody mucus from one or both nostrils. Cats experiencing nosebleeds may exhibit a variety of symptoms associated with the underlying cause of the epistaxis. It is also possible that a nosebleed is the only symptom the animal experiences. 

Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Snorting
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Facial swelling
  • Pawing at or rubbing the nose or face
  • Bad breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Bleeding gums
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Dark or black feces
  • Prolonged bleeding from wounds or injection sites
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Causes of Nose Bleed in Cats

Nosebleeds are generally a symptom of an infection, disorder, injury, or disease. It may also be caused by poisoning or toxicity. On some occasions, the cause of the nosebleed will be undeterminable, and it may be an isolated incident. Common causes of epistaxis in cats and other companion animals include:

  • Nasal trauma or injury
  • Head trauma or injury
  • Foreign body in nasal or sinus passage
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections, including feline leukemia and immunodeficiency viruses
  • Parasites
  • Fungal infections
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood clotting issues, including hemophilia
  • Blood platelet issues
  • Anemia
  • Nasal ulcerations
  • Some cancers
  • Certain cancer treatments
  • Poisons, including rat poison
  • Toxins
  • Anxiety
  • Certain medications
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Dental abscesses
  • Allergens
  • Environmental factors
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Diagnosis of Nose Bleed in Cats

Because of the large number of conditions that can cause nosebleeds, diagnosing the underlying cause of your pet’s condition may require numerous diagnostic methods. Be prepared to discuss your cat’s medical history and behavior, daily routine, and any symptoms you have observed. If your pet has recently been injured, been around toxins or poisons, or exhibited any other symptoms, be sure to advise your veterinarian. A full physical examination will be conducted with a special focus on facial, ocular, and nasal abnormalities. Veterinary staff will also take blood and urine samples and perform a nasal swab. 

Blood, urine, and nasal samples will be cultured for bacteria and fungus. Additional laboratory blood testing will include a complete blood cell count, serum biochemistry, electrolyte panel, and clotting test. A urinalysis will also be completed. If the cause is not easily diagnosed using these methods, diagnostic imaging techniques may be used. X-rays or other imaging techniques allow veterinary staff to look at the nasal passages and surrounding structures. Certain cases may require rhinoscopy, which involves examining the nasal cavities with a small tool called an endoscope. A tissue biopsy may also be required. 

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Treatment of Nose Bleed in Cats

The treatment for epistaxis will depend on the underlying cause. Treatments may range from simple measures to stop the bleeding to prescription medications or more invasive measures like surgery or blood transfusions. If your pet experiences nosebleeds at home, do not attempt to provide them with any medication unless advised to do so by a veterinarian, as this could cause serious complications. The following treatment methods are commonly used to treat nosebleeds in cats:

Icing & Pressure

 

Ice or a cold compress, applied to the nose and face, may be used to stop bleeding and treat any facial swelling. This is a common practice for nosebleeds caused by injury or inflammation. If icing does not stop the bleeding, the nasal cavity may be packed with gauze to provide pressure and decrease blood flow. 

Antibiotics or Other Medications 

If an infection is the cause of the nosebleeds, medication may be prescribed to clear up the infection. Antibiotics, antifungals, or parasite eliminating medications will be used depending on the source of the infection. Proper dosing is needed to reduce the risk of side effects. 

Intravenous (IV) Fluids 

Fluid therapy is often used for animals experiencing weakness or lethargy. They help maintain proper hydration and can aid in restoring electrolyte balance. This common treatment is considered low-risk. 

Blood Pressure or Anxiety Medications 

Drugs may be used to reduce blood pressure and lower stress levels as these conditions can increase nosebleed risk. This medication may be prescribed for use on a long-term basis if blood pressure or anxiety is determined to be the cause. 

Surgical Intervention

Surgery to remove an object or tumor, to repair damage, or to surgically cauterize blood vessels may be needed. Any surgical procedure carries some risk. Your pet will likely be hospitalized during recovery. 

Blood Transfusion 

If blood disorders are present or anemia is severe, a blood or plasma transfusion may be required. Proper blood typing and adherence to transfusion protocol will help reduce the risks associated with this form of treatment.

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Recovery of Nose Bleed in Cats

Your cat’s prognosis will depend on the underlying condition causing their nosebleeds. In many cases the prognosis is good, and your pet will require minimal treatment and downtime. More severe cases, including cancers, organ failure, and blood disorders, have a guarded to fair prognosis and may require hospitalization or long-term treatment. Be sure to follow all of your veterinarian’s treatments, including proper dosing of any medication and returning for any requested follow-up visits. Seek medical attention if your cat’s symptoms return or worsen. While your pet is recovering, reduce stress and avoid any changes to your cat’s living environment. 

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Nose Bleed Average Cost

From 366 quotes ranging from $200 - $8,000

Average Cost

$800

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Nose Bleed Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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dog-breed-icon

Domestic Cat

dog-age-icon

One year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed

My cat recently started to have nose bleeds. The blood only comes out of his left nostril. The nose bleed starts with a sneeze, blood comes out of the nostril when he sneezes, and then continues to bleed for a half our to am hour. It eventually stops. Vet did preliminary blood work which was normal and is now doing more extensive bloodwork. Vet thinks it may be a polyp in his nasal cavity. He has no other symptoms and is eating, drinking, and acting normally otherwise.

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. A polyp is likely, given his young age, as is a nasal foreign body. If your veterinarian has the equipment to scope your cats nose, that would probably be the next step. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Domestic cat

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Dried Blood In Nose, Wheezing Sounds, Lethargic,

My cat that is outdoors during the day was out for probably 24 hours came home and was missing his collar, his nose has dried blood in it and almost a bruise looking patch on his chin, he is making wheezing sounds, and his back claws are all broken and dirty. He ate but is now hiding and won’t let me touch and the other cat won’t stop hissing at him. Do you think I need to take him to a vet right away or see how he is doing after a day?

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question . It sounds like he may have been hit by a car or had a terrible trauma, and I do think that he needs to be seen right away by a veterinarian. I hope that he is okay.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Mixed indian breed

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed

My brother threw the cat twice, a few days back and today. But today his nose started bleeding very badly. He's barely moving. What should I do

July 15, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello If your cat was thrown twice and has a nose bleed, it is recommended that you take him to a veterinarian right away. He could some type of head trauma. They will want to give pain medication and possibly do some x-rays of his skull and whole body. Good luck.

July 15, 2020

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Pebbles

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Calico

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2 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed
Runny Eye

My kitty Pebbles developed a nose bleed one day ago. The cause is unknown, perhaps trauma/rough play from my 4 month old puppy. I brought her to the emergency pet hospital. There was no sign of muscus and they doubted it was an upper respiratory infection. They sent me home with pain killers to try to help her sleep. She has shown no signs of pain. Has an appetite and drinks normal amounts. Next day, more blood. Brought her to her own vet. They said it is possible it is an upper respiratory infection, but to wait until Friday (4 days from now) to see if she continues to bleed. Sent her home with more pain medication to help her rest, and an steroid (ophthalmic) drop to be placed in her affected nostril. Just noticed her eye is really runny. Is this cause for concern? The nose bleed has certainly slowed (if not, stopped) down. She's soon due for her nasal drop. I'm worried I'll disturb her sleep. Please advise: *How long is nose bleeds okay for? Can a cat "bleed out"? *Is her eye any reason for concern? (It's the eye on the same side as her affected nostril)

Sept. 18, 2018

Pebbles' Owner

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Momo

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Tammy

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4 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Drooling
Constipation
Bloody Nose

My husband & I adopted 4 year old female. We notice she didn't eat much just treats. She stopped eating drools a lot seems like she's always clearing her throat occasionally bloody nose. When we got her she use to sneeze A lot. Now we force feed her cat sure. She got blood work done but nothing wrong according to vet.

Aug. 5, 2018

Momo's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Momo I cannot say for certain what the specific underlying cause is, however you should think about having further examination of the nose done with rhinoscopy to determine whether there is a mass or any other cause for the sneezing and nosebleeds. Dental issues may cause drooling and issues with the nasal cavity, but I cannot say for certain if that is the case here. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 6, 2018

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Bean

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Calico

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12 Weeks

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed
Lethargy
Aggression
Not Eating
Blood Vessel In Eye

My kitten was fine and playing the night before but seemed to not want to cuddle with me which is out of character. So we took her to her sisters for a kitty playdate to try and cheer her up. She was aggressive towards her so we went to put her in the car for a cool down when she but my boyfriend hard so he tossed her in the car. I later went and got her and noticed blood on her assuming it was his I started cleaning her up that's when I realized her nose was bleeding and has been for the past 8 hours . She wont wake up for long and when I try to move her she growls at me. She hasn't eaten in 12+ hours so I tried to give her food she wouldn't eat, tried water wont drink. I'm going to try and take her to the vet in 6 hours when they open but I'm panicking.i also noticed she has a burst blood vessel on her eye

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Meena

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European shorthaired

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21 Weeks

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Not Eating
Bleeding From Mouth
Bleeding From Nose

We found her laying in the street. We don't know if she was run over or something but shes acting completely different. She won't eat. And wants to do nothing but sleep. She had blood coming out of her eyes, mouth and nose all at once. What do we do?

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Caramel

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stray

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3 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting
Lump Under Skin
Bloody Nose

Caramel used to be a very energetic and healthy kitten when I first found him (at about 1 month old). We lost him at the end of last month only to find him being taken care of at a vet clinic. When they found him he seemed to have had a runny nose and some eye problems. We took him home just a week ago and have been continuing his medication. He'd been doing much better ever since we took him home. His eye cleared up in just a few days and his nose had been getting much better but he's been very lethargic ever since we got him back. Yesterday he ate only a little in the morning and threw up at afternoon and then again in the evening. I tried to give him something to eat but he didn't eat anything else that day. Today morning my mother said he ate lots which I was very happy about and when I came back from school he ate again without complaint. But just a bit later I noticed a lump on his head, under the skin. I tried gently examining the lump with my hand and it looks like it's soft, almost as if it's filled with fluid or air. Then just a bit later I noticed there was blood on his nose. He's not bleeding a lot but I'm still very worried.

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Norman

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mixed

dog-age-icon

16 Weeks

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Breathing Difficulty
Nosebleed
Rubbing Face
Rubbing N
Rubbing Fac

I adopted a cat from a foster home acouple of weeks ago. I’ve taken him to the vet and his on Medication right now. But this morning i found that he had a nosebleed. I’m just worried it might be something worse.

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Ginger and Alex

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Both calico

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed

I have two cats that had nose bleeds this morning they have never had it one is a year old and the other one is 10 they never had this I'm wondering if it's something serious. They have no other symptoms except for the nose bleed

Nose Bleed Average Cost

From 366 quotes ranging from $200 - $8,000

Average Cost

$800