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What is Sneezing Blood?

There are several reasons as to why your dog is sneezing blood. It could be an allergy, infection, or even a foreign body that was breathed into your dog's nose and has been trapped inside. Dogs noses don’t bleed easily, so it is something that needs prompt attention. If your dog is one of the long nosed variety (such as Labrador, German Shepherd and others), they are susceptible to nasal cancer and tumors. Cancer can cause bleeding from either one or both nostrils. Request that your veterinarian assess your dog to determine the cause, some of which are listed below.

  • Foreign object
  • Bacterial infection
  • Allergies 
  • Tooth and gum problems 
  • Nasal cancer such as a tumor

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Why Sneezing Blood Occurs in Dogs

Foreign Object 

Your dog is the original sticky beak; they are always poking their nose in places to see what is there, huffing and snuffling as they do. Sometimes they sniff up pointed seed grains that can lodge in their nasal area which causes them to sneeze repeatedly to try and remove it, which often causes bleeding. 

Bacterial Infections

Any buildup of bacterial matter within the nasal area can cause your dog fits of sneezing, and because sneezing is a violent action, it can often cause nose bleeds. Look for other signs of infection such as around the eye area and test to see whether it is coming from one or both nostrils. Nasal mite infestation can also cause sneezing which can produce blood in the fluids.


Allergies can also promote sneezing bouts that can, in turn, cause bleeding. The allergy is usually a seasonal occurrence, such as late spring and early summer when all the plant and grass pollen is floating around. Other allergens can be cigarette smoke or commonly used cleaning products used around the house.

Tooth and Gum Problems 

Tooth problems, including gum disease and abscesses, can drain back into the nasal cavity and cause your dog to sneeze frequently, which in turn can cause bleeding. If left unattended, these pathological organisms can travel to other parts of the body and can turn the problems into long term chronic conditions. 

Cancer and Tumors 

While it is scary to contemplate, you need to be aware that in an older dog, you may encounter bloody sneezing which can be caused by the growth of a tumor in one of the nasal passages. The tumors start slowly with your dog only sneezing occasionally to clear the growth, but as the tumor expands and takes up more room, your dog will have frequent attacks of sneezing as he tries to expel the growth. The tumor usually only affects one side and blood loss in the affected nostril will be noticeable.

What to do if your Dog is Sneezing Blood

Because dogs don’t exhibit this behavior as we do, it is a symptom that all is not right with your dog, especially when blood is a by-product of the sneeze. Some dogs are not too patient to sit still while you try to peer up their nose, or into their mouth, so a trip to the veterinarian is the most effective solution. 

For a foreign object lodged in the nasal area, your dog will be sedated while the veterinarian attempts to remove it. Afterwards, your dog will need an anti-inflammatory injection and with antibiotics will return quickly to normal health. Usually, this condition only affects one side of the nose. 

Bacterial, viral or fungal infections will be prescribed a course of medication aimed at the type of infection. Dental care will help to clear the infection spread by diseased gums and cracked teeth. Often, a course of medication over two to three weeks can clear the infection and allow your dog to return to normal. For nasal mite infestations, special medications will be administered to kill the mites.

Allergies will cause your dog some discomfort, but if it is seasonal, you can make changes to your dog’s day by keeping them indoors more, especially on very windy days. Removal of any highly potent pollen producing trees or bushes around your home may help. 

If your veterinarian cannot find any of the above causes, then he will check for tumors within the nasal area. A full examination of your dog will be carried out, checking the mouth and nasal area using x-rays of the skull and CT scans, and your specialist may take a biopsy through the nostrils. An x-ray or CT scan will look for changes or destruction to the nasal area. If the damage is noted in the nasal bones, it is usually caused by infection or cancer. These tests can also show any infection within the teeth roots. Blood tests and vigorous flushing of liquid to clear the nasal area are other processes that will help determine the diagnosis. Surgery and chemotherapy are available for treatment, but surgery in this area is very difficult with so many hidden pockets. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the right course of action to help your dog.

Prevention of Sneezing Blood

It’s hard to prevent your dog getting his nose into ‘stuff’ because that’s what dogs do. Keeping your dog on a lead when out walking will let you see what your dog is exploring, and you can guide him away from harmful things. Ensuring you have a good management program for your dog will help keep them healthy. Needed are regular home checkups for health and teeth, a  healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and grooming. When grooming and when your dog is relaxed, it is a great opportunity to check your dog's ears, nose, eyes and belly for any changes. As an owner, through careful observation, you will notice subtle changes to your dog's behavior or personality which you can then take steps to remedy. Schedule a regular visit for your dog to go to the veterinary clinic. Like so many health issues, the sooner they are treated, the easier to solve.

Cost of Sneezing Blood

Treatment may only cost the price of a clinic visit if it is a minor condition, but costs can vary depending on what condition your dog has. The treatment for mite infection within the nasal area could cost approximately $500 while the costs for treating a malignant tumor could set you back up to $12,000. The tooth abstraction and treatment of an abscess can cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500 depending on the severity. These costs are just an approximate price as it depends on the extent of treatment that your dog requires.

Sneezing Blood Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Labrador Mix
16 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Sneezing sometimes bloody

Medication Used


My 16 year old Labrador mix has been sneezing blood, sometimes pink but other times quite red for the past 2 months. We took him to the Vet and she prescribed an antibiotic and Benadryl. After the antibiotic finished he began to sneeze blood again and the Vet put him on a second round of antibiotics. We live in Florida and the pollen count here has been extremely high. I looked up which allergy medications were recommended for dogs and switched him to Claritin. The sneezing seemed to be easing but this could be a result of a change in the weather. Yesterday, he had a violent sneezing attack with quite a lot of blood. I'm concerned that we may be assuming that the sneezing is caused by allergies, but the other possibilities mentioned on your article don't seem to be the case with him because the Vet says his teeth are good and he isn't pawing at his snout as was mentioned if he had something blocking his nasal passage. The cost of ruling out other possibilities is daunting to us as we are on a fixed income. My question is are we possibly hurting him by continuing to treat him for allergies?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
I'm not sure that you are causing harm if you continue to treat for allergies, as you have treated for infection as well. The possibility exists that Buddy has a mass in his nasal passages that would require endoscopy to diagnose, but treatment for that may not be an option, and if you are keeping him comfortable with the anti-histamines, you may be doing the right thing for him. I hope that he continues to do well.

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hound mix
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

sneezing blood

My recently adopted dog had a violent sneezing fit in the night and when I got up this morning, there was blood sprayed all over the blanket in her crate. We’ve had her for less than a week at this point and she came from a foster home where she’d been for a few months. Before that, she was a stray in the Bahamas. Could this be some kind of infection? A blockage? She hasn’t had any issues since, but should I take her to the vet?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
I would take her to a veterinarian, yes, if she is sneezing so violently that she is bleeding. She may have a viral or bacterial infection, a growth of some kind, or a parasite that is causing this. I hope that she is okay.

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Brussels griffon
8 years 11 months
Moderate condition
2 found helpful
Moderate condition

Our 8 year old female Brussels Griffon has been sneezing and reverse sneezing for a few days. We took her to the emergency clinic on Sunday and they thought it might be allergies. We took her to her regular vet on Monday and she was prescribed an antibiotic, which we have been giving to her. He said it was nothing serious. Today, on her morning walk she sneezed blood. A few moments ago she also sneezed blood. The vet is not open today. Should we wait until tomorrow, or take her back to the emergency Vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Sneezing a little blood (which doesn’t run) is a concern but keep an eye on it but if the nose is running with blood return to the Emergency Veterinarian. Possible causes may be infections, dental issues, foreign objects, tumours among other issues; further investigation will be required to come to a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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