Why Does My Dog Get a Bloody Nose?

If you notice that your dog gets a nosebleed, don't waste any time in taking it to the vet. It's probably not serious, but there are some uncommon health problems that cause this, so it's best to rule them out.
Why Does My Dog Get a Bloody Nose?

Last update: 08 December, 2018

You may never have seen it before, but a dog can get a bloody nose (also known as epistaxis). In general, it’s nothing too serious, and it’s something that should be easy to take care of.

Why does my dog get a bloody nose?

There is no need to panic if this is happening to your dog. Below, you can find some of the causes of a dog getting a bloody nose, and you’ll see it’s nothing too serious that can’t be taken care of. So, just play it safe and take your dog to the vet and move on with your lives sooner as if it never happened.

how a dog gets a bloody nose
  • Coagulopathy (bleeding disorder). This is an uncommon condition that consists of your dog’s blood no being able to coagulate properly,  which causes a bloody nose.
  • An injury. A hit to the nose, an accident, or an internal wound could cause a nosebleed in a dog.
  • Disease. Even though it’s uncommon, it could also be a hidden disease like cancer that’s in your dog’s nasal cavities.

Again, take your dog to the vet so they can run all the necessary tests and get your dog back to normal.

Diagnosing nosebleeds in a dog

The first thing a vet will do is a red blood cell analysis to see if your dog has a low blood count, and figure out a way to solve the problem from there. They’ll also run an anemia test to see if there has been any damage from your dog’s bloody nose.

They’ll run a blood test to check their platelet count, a urine test, and some other specialized tests to see if your dog has a bone-related disease. 

If necessary, they may also run other tests to see if the nosebleeds are happening because of something that’s not getting picked up on the tests.

Treating a dog’s bloody nose

The only scenario where your dog would have to be hospitalized would be coagulopathy. Your vet will need the time to find the right treatment for it.

In all the other scenarios, it’s a question of treatment and letting your dog get better. However, in cases of anemia or other related problems, your dog might need a blood transfusion. In general, you can take them home with you after the transfusion is over.

If the nosebleeds are happening because of tumors in the nasal cavities, your dog will more likely need a more intense treatment.

Your vet could opt for surgery, or simply use radiation to try to get rid of the tumors. Either way, your dog will have to stay in a special center for a few days while they do the treatment.

We didn’t mention it earlier because it’s very uncommon, but another potential cause are fungi. If these somehow make their way into your dog’s nasal cavities, they might need surgery or a medication to be put into their nose.

What do you do if your dog is having a bloody nose?

dogs and nosebleeds

It’s important, no vital, that you don’t give your dog any medications the vet hasn’t prescribed. Doing so could cause major harm to your beloved pet.

Be careful about taking advice from other people whose dogs had the same problem. Every case is different, and this is an emergency, so don’t waste your time asking other people. Grab a napkin or a rag, put it over your dog’s nose, and rush them to the vet. You could also try putting a distilled water-soaked cotton ball over its nose.

Remember: this is something that’s best not to waste any time. Go to your vet as soon as possible to keep the potential problem from getting worse.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.