Jump to section

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. 

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image

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
arrow-up-icon

Top

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
arrow-up-icon

Top

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. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Nose Bleed Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800

arrow-up-icon

Top

Nose Bleed Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

domestic cat

dog-age-icon

Eleven Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

cat has been sneezing for awhile, started bleeding from left nostril, took to the vet, got antibiotics, took all the medications but the bloody nose came back again - what do I do ?

May 5, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hi there and thank you for your question. At this stage, I would advise we run some tests. We need to check for e.g. a foreign body (like a grass seed), a polyp (benign growth), tooth root abscess, fungal infection or tumour. This usually means tests such as an xray or rhinoscopy (small camera up the nose). Hopefully we get to the bottom of this soon.

May 5, 2021

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic Shorthair Cat

dog-age-icon

Ten Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Thick Mucus Coming Out Of Nose, And Sneezing Frequently

Just wondering if this could be allergies? He still eats & purrs!

Jan. 12, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Maureen M. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hi, This could be an environmental allergy caused by inhaling either dust or pollen or it could also be a respiratory infection. Either way, I would advise a visit to the vet for a more tentative diagnosis and treatment.

Jan. 12, 2021

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

N/A

dog-age-icon

Eighteen Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Bloody Nose, Swelling Face And Eye

Her nose is bleeding and she has a swollen eye with pus coming out.

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry that your pet is having problems. With the signs that you are describing and her age, I would be very concerned about a tumor of some kind in her eye or nasal passages. The best thing to do for her would be to have her seen by a veterinarian right away, as they can see her, examined her, and see what treatment they might be able to give for her. I hope that she is okay.

Oct. 2, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic Cat

dog-age-icon

One year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

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

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

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic cat

dog-age-icon

Six Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

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

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Bean

dog-breed-icon

Calico

dog-age-icon

12 Weeks

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

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

dog-name-icon

Meena

dog-breed-icon

European shorthaired

dog-age-icon

21 Weeks

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

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?

dog-name-icon

Caramel

dog-breed-icon

stray

dog-age-icon

3 Months

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

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.

dog-name-icon

Norman

dog-breed-icon

mixed

dog-age-icon

16 Weeks

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

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.

dog-name-icon

Ginger and Alex

dog-breed-icon

Both calico

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

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

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

advertisement image
ask a vet placeholder
Need pet insurance?