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4 min read

Can Dogs Get Nose Bleeds?


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They may have 4 legs when we only have 2, they may have more hair than most of us, but are these differences enough to mean that your dog won't get the same illnesses as you? For example, can your dog suffer from nose bleeds just like most humans do? A nosebleed is a severe outflow of blood from the nostril, nasopharynx, or nasal cavity. If your dog were to suffer from nose bleeds, it would be vital you proceed with caution and get them diagnosed as quickly as possible, as nosebleeds can be indicative of more serious illnesses. But can your dog even get a nose bleed?

Can Dogs Get Nose Bleeds?


Many people may think that because dog’s noses are far more powerful than our own and are used to being stuck in a variety of dirty, unhygienic places, that they don’t suffer with mere nose bleeds. But it is, in fact, absolutely possible for your dog to suffer with a nose bleed.

Does My Dog Have A Nose Bleed?

Fortunately, spotting the signs of a nose bleed is pretty straightforward. Are there continuous drips of blood flowing from your dog’s nose? Does your dog’s nose appear swollen? Is your dog continuously pawing and trying to itch its nose? Is your dog vomiting a dark, unusual color? All of these can be signs your dog is suffering with a nose bleed.

But what causes your dog’s nose bleed? A number of things can be behind a doggie nose bleed, from high blood pressure and dental disease, to tumours and trauma. There is also the possibility of a fungal infection, issues with blood proteins, certain cancers and as a result of digesting rat poison.

So you suspect your dog is suffering with symptoms of a nose bleed, but how do you go about getting it diagnosed? Your vet will start by looking at the dog’s medical history to ascertain the cause of the nose bleed. They will ask about medication and access to poisons, and then they will examine the area around the nose and mouth, including the gums. Your vet may look for facial swelling and could then decide to take radiographs, MRI scans, and even marrow analysis. This may seem over the top, but nose bleeds can often be a sign of serious conditions.

How Do I Treat My Dog’s Nose Bleed?

The first step in treatment is clearing your dog’s airways if it can’t breathe properly and restoring blood if too much has been lost. If your dog’s nose bleed is because of an infection or trauma (most common causes), then antibiotics will likely be prescribed. Treatment really depends on the cause of the nose bleed. If an object is lodged in the nose, treatment will entail the removal of the foreign object. If your dog is suffering from a fungal infection, nasal aspiration and anti fungal medication will be used to combat the symptoms.

Fortunately, it is usually something minor like an infection or mild trauma behind the nose bleed and your dog will likely be back to full health in a few weeks or less. But it really does depend on the cause. If cancer or another sinister disease lies behind the nose bleed, then full recovery could take many months or may never be reached.

To shed more light on canine nose conditions, it is often helpful to hear first-hand accounts from other owners, plus have questions by our trained, in-house vets.

How are Nose Bleeds Similar in Dogs, Humans and Other Animals?

In many ways, the symptoms of nose bleeds appear very similar in dogs, humans and other animals. Some of those similarities are as follows:

  • In both dogs and humans, blood can drip slowly or substantially from the nose.

  • In both, nose bleeds can cause visible swelling of the nose.

  • In both, vomiting can take place and the vomit can appear a dark, unusual color (from the presence of blood).

  • The skin around the nose can look inflamed and affected in both dogs and humans.

  • In both humans and dogs, individuals may consistently try to itch/paw their nose.

How are Nose Bleeds Different in Dogs, Humans and Other Animals?

We have just seen that there are many similarities in the way nose bleeds manifest themselves in dogs, humans and other animals. But there are also certain differences:

  • Swelling and inflammation in human noses can be much easier to detect than in dogs, as the hair of dogs can often conceal irritation and inflammation.

  • In dogs, there will often be new, unusual behavior to signify that something is wrong, such as whining; this is less common in humans.

  • Nose bleeds in humans can often be caused by damage to the nose inflicted from smoking and substance abuse, it is less clear which environmental factors cause nose bleeds in dogs.

Case study

When on a camping trip, a 9 year old Shepherd/Labrador named Daisy had a bloody nose. Her owners were concerned as they didn’t think Daisy has inhaled anything unusual or suffered from any trauma. It transpired that during a sneezing episode, capillaries (small blood vessels) had ruptured under the pressure and caused the bleed. This bleed was just a one-off and served to show us that nose bleeds can be innocent one time occurrences and that you don’t need to panic or take them to the vet unless they recur or you suspect something more serious.

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