Causes of Nose Bleeds in Dogs

Causes of Nose Bleeds in Dogs

Nose bleeds in dogs may have various causes. Medically known as epistaxis, if your dog has nose bleeds often it may translate into a trip to the veterinarian for a thorough check up. While a nose bleed occasionally may signify nothing more than a foxtail or blade of grass stuck in the nasal passage, frequent nosebleeds may be caused by much more serious conditions.

Nose bleeds in dogs may be uni- lateral or bi-lateral, meaning the the blood may be coming from just one nostril or from both the nostrils. Attention must be paid also to the type of blood loss ranging from a few drops to a pretty heavy flow. Owners must be able to halt a nose bleed effectively to avoid a dog from losing too much blood. Following is a list of possible cause of nosebleeds in dogs.

Uni-lateral (only form one nostril) nose bleeds are most likely be caused by:

  • A foreign object such as a foxtail, blade of grass stuck in the nostril irritating the nasal passage
  • A root tooth abscess may cause nose bleeding along with a swollen area under the eye or in the bridge of the nose area
  • Nasal tumors or polyps in the nose

Other causes of nose bleeds (often affecting both nostrils)

  • Nasal mites often causing sneezing episodes along with dogs pawing at their nose
  • Trauma, often related to being hit by car or by bumping the nose against a hard object
  • Ingestion of rat poison or rodents that have been poisoned, impeding the blood to properly clot.
  • Medications that interfere with proper blood clotting (warfarin, aspirin)
  • Bleeding disorders such as Van Willebrand's disease or Thrombocytopenia
  • Tick diseases causing coagulation issues such as Erlichiosis and Rocky Spotted Mountain Fever
  • Fungal condition called Aspergillosis causing an infection in the dog's nose

Owners of dogs affected by nosebleeds should not be alarmed if their dog will have a dark, tarry stool or if the dog vomits liquid resembling coffee grounds. In both cases, this simply denotes that the dog has swallowed digested blood. An eye should be kept on the dog's gums. If the gums of a dog suffering from substantial blood loss appear pale and not their healthy bubble gum pink, a vet should be seen as soon as possible.

How to Stop a Dog's Nose Bleed

A dog must be kept as calm and still as possible. The more the dog will move and be anxious, the less likely the nose bleed to stop due to the increased blood pressure associated with anxiety and stress. An ice pack or cold compress must be then applied on the dog's nose bridge and kept in place in order for the nasal blood vessels to constrict and stop bleeding.

Special care is required to keep the dog calm after the nose bleed has taken place. The reason beneath this is the fact that once the nose bleeding has stopped a blood clot will have formed. If the dog moves about too much such clot may rupture causing another nose bleed. If the dog is prone to sneezing, stopping the nose bleed may be challenging. A dog should be seen immediately if the blood flow appears not to stop. The dog may require Epinephrine to halt the blood loss.

Disclaimer: if your dog has a nose bleed please see your vet. Only a vet can assess and determine the cause for nose bleeds.

Nose Bleeds in Dogs

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Comments 53 comments

CD 5 years ago

My dog had a nose bleed this morning after playing and running. He did retrieve balls out of a bushes Nothing showed up, however, for another hour. I then fed him after he had cooled down and that is when the heavy blood flow from his nose started. It stopped after a few minutes and I have tried to keep the two year old shepherd fairly quiet and, so far, no more blood. I have an appt with a substitute vet (ours is out of town) in another four hours. He is hungry. He is staying relatively quiet. Should I do more?

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I would just keep him quiet as much as you can if he is acting otherwise normally. Inspecting the nose too much may cause the nose to bleed again. Best to leave it to the pros since they have the right tools to inspect and possibly identify what is going on. Should the nose bleed again an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) applied to the nose bridge may help stop it. Best wishes!

cjlewi 5 years ago

my dog. a 13yr old border collie mix. had a unilateral sudden onset of nosebleed this past Sun. took to emerg vet. after bld work and cxr determined it was a ruptured tumor and suggested euthanasia which we allowed to occur. unfortunately.. and sadly. now i am wondering if that was the right decision.

brcnv 5 years ago

Although it hurts it was the right decision. As a former RN and pet owner I have seen the waste and suffering caused by cancer especially when it involves the respiratory tract.

jarnail singh 5 years ago

He i need your imddiate help.. actually i gave 4 tablets of dworming to my saint bernard Dog who is one year and now i am finding he suffring from heavy nose bleeding.. at arround midnight is going on in my country so unable to contact my docter please help me....

pat 5 years ago

imy daughthers dog snores really bad over the weekend he now sneezes and had a nose bleed what should she do ???

Kanchan Gurung 5 years ago

My dog she is 12 yrs old...since 2,3 days she is having nose bleeding broblem..i am from nepal and we don't have vet service here...can you please tell me the reason why it's happening to her?

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Kanchan, my article covers pretty much a variety of causes, I cannot pinpoint the possible cause as I am not a vet and only with diagnostics you can really know what may be the real problem, any chances you can travel to a vet?

White 5 years ago

Thank you so much for the help! We were freaking out

alex 4 years ago

my dog is bleeding out of her left nostril. Even if its drops or very small puddles, she bleeds like very few minutes. Is this bad.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

You have to try to keep your dog calm to make it stop.Moving about will only make it restart. An ice pack or cold compress applied on the dog's nose bridge may help the nasal blood vessels constrict and stop bleeding. See a vet if it does not stop or resumes despite your efforts.

mckereos3 4 years ago

I awoke to a horrible bloody messit was on my 11 yr. old dog's bedding, the floor,It took a few minutes to find the source of the blood since his paws were a mess too. It is dripping from his nose.I need help and this is the sight I came to first(thank God). I putan ice pack wrapped in a wash rag on the bridge of nose on & off for 20 minutes or more it seemed to stop.He has been sneezing for a few days & he hits his nose on the wood floor,I put more padding around him. I hope what was in his nose is gone. He feels better now.He lost quite a bit of blood, big clots,I can't give him orange juice so should I be giving him anything besides water?A vet is 35 miles away & I have little $$. I'm glad I found this sight it calmed me down which calmed my 4 big dogs too. I'm lucky my dogs will let me fix them up,living in desert Ihave to b vet a lot.Thank you for the help. It was right on the NOSE.

pugs 4 years ago

My dog had a nosebleed and died the next day :( we did the ice pack thing. :(

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Sorry to hear that, did you find out what happened? Did he have a bleeding disorder? did he get into rat poison? did the bleeding ever stop?

Dylan 4 years ago

I had a lurcher, and last night around midnight her right nosetrail started to bleed heavily. We started to panic and tried making her as comfortable

as possible, the nose bleed didn't stop for 2 hours and we rushed her to the vet. He claimed he has never expeirced this in his career and began to put great pressure on the bridge of her nose ( as if a human would do to stop a nose bleed). This helped and it did stop for a short while. Arrived home with her sedated and had to look after her the whole night. Few hours into the night it started again but worse and from both nosetrail.. 5 o clock this morning she died.

Very scarey and devastating experience.

This page really did help and calmed us down, but unfortunatly.. R.I.P Val.

Thanks very much for

this information.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

That is so sad! I wonder what may have caused something so devastating. Perhaps an underlying bleeding disorder? Are there any chances he could have gotten into rat poison? Sending my deepest condolences.

Dylan 4 years ago

We suspect it was a tumour in her brain or something similar, she was perfectly healthy and showing no signs of this trauma the day prior to this!

Not a chance she could have come into contact with any type of rat poisons!

I guess some dogs are just unlucky :(

Many thanks again. :)

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

You are welcome; that is really odd and scary, especially since you said she was doing fine before that. So sad..

lizz 4 years ago

My 13 year old golden is having his first both nostril nose bleed.i have little $ and am hoping a friend can take me to vet. Its flowing quit freely and scary as anything. I try to keep him frim licking but now hes covered in blood . Im praying its something simple. My king is my life.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

That sure sounds scary! I hope you are trying to apply pressure in the meanwhile so to compress the blood vessel for a few minutes and make it stop. Here is a guide no how to do this:

karenkahn 4 years ago

My older (+/- 12) male Borzoi has had a couple drops of blood drip from his nose on one side periodically for the past 2 days. Otherwise he seems fine : NO: sneezing, wheezing, snoring, panting, swelling, tearing, fleas, ticks, etc. What do you think this is about? Should I be worried? Anyone?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

It could be a multitude of issues, have you read the possibilities of uni-lateral nose bleeds in the article above? If this issue is unexplainable, it is worth it to have checked. In some cases, it may be a paranasal carcinoma so better play it safe, best wishes!

karenkahn 4 years ago

Thanks for the reply. We'll head to the doggie doctor in the morning.

Rachell 3 years ago

Hello! I have a pregnant german shepherd dog... I was horrified to know that my dog has a nose bleeding. what will i do?

Kristin 3 years ago

My 17 year old Brittany Spaniel has had several nose bleeds in the last 2-3 months. It doesn't always pour out but just drips out sometimes. I don't know how much longer he is going to last :( My Golden is constantly lying by his side.

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Rachell, I hope you read through the article, it tells you what to do, best wishes!

alexadry profile image

alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

See your vet for this, there may be options to help him out, best wishes.

lacalet 3 years ago

my 13 year lab has had some leftl light bleeding not much we are so scared we love jacob so much. he does sneeze iam justwondering if he has something in his nose. i pray that it does not get wore. could it be a noseinfection.why cant just look in nose like they humans.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

See your vet, he has the right tools to inspect the nose and see if there's any foreign objects stuck there. Also, may want to rule out any bleeding disorders or other generalized conditions. Best wishes!

priscilla 3 years ago

My brother threw a stick and it hit my 7 month old pikapoo her nose started bleeding and it keeps bleeding... What do I do? Its been going for 10 minutes.

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

This need immediate vet attention. Don't waste time o the internet!

Raji 3 years ago

My 1yr old lab nose bleeding from morning, we take to her vet and given injection too, but still the nose bleeding is heavy, the flow is too high the entire house is full of her blood, given ice pack also but still it bleeding pl. help her

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Your dog needs to see the vet again immediately. Please take her there again!

ballu 2 years ago

my gerrman 8 yrs old wont stop nose bledding conyinuously from 3 days any one plz plz help from both nose

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

See your vet for this, it can be something serious, and he may also become anemic!

Yunita 2 years ago

my 2 yr old dog had a fight with a rat, she had a wound at the top of her nostril and she seems to be bleeding quite heavily from her one nostril. What should i do?

alexadry profile image

alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

If it's bleeding heavily and for some time, please see your vet ASAP. The article and video outlines how to stop nosebleeds. Did you try applying a wrapped ice pack on the bridge of the nose and keep it on keeping the dog as calm as possible? I would not try this though if it's been going on for a while.

Msbound 2 years ago

Our dog died a few hours ago. Sadly he lives outside and we didn't notice the nosebleed until to late.

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

So sorry to hear that your dog died from a nosebleed. My deepest condolences.

KeeKee 22 months ago

I have a 8 month old Blue Rey Pit I came home from work & noticed his nose keeps bleeding heavily running like a faucet plus his left eye is blood shot red. He is not active & laying around.

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alexadry 22 months ago from USA Author

Please, please, see your vet! This sounds very serious and every minute counts.

Charyani 9 months ago

My dog a shi tzu has blood in his nose but it has stopped and its hard to breath in the morning we put something like frontline for ticks

So what can i do its 2.00am in our country srilanka

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alexadry 9 months ago from USA Author

I hope you can see the vet, if not open, an emergency vet if there are breathing issues.

Marvins Charles 7 months ago

My dog has a nose bleed, then it stops right away, but twice in the past two weeks he has gone into little sneezing fits (4 consecutive sneezes) that cause him to have another nose bleed, I went to the vet and they did blood work & urine sample, they also checked his clotting factor and it was fine. However he had a swelling on his upper jaw which he had to take antibiotics for, they said it was in infection in the tooth, and I recalled reading on this site that can also cause the nosebleed, how do you recommend I proceed?

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alexadry 7 months ago from USA Author

Did the vet offer getting x-rays of the tooth? If a tooth is the problem, it needs addressed. There are also veterinarians specializing in dentistry. You can find one on the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) website. Another possibility is something stuck in the nose such as awns and seeds (foxtails), did the vet check the nostrils?

jamil 6 months ago

My dog's nose bleed for about 12 hours now. I dont know removing the hardened blood isbad, i removed it 2x, i dont know the cause, maybe the summer heat? Or maybe because someone gave him fishbones, anyways i am worried because he is a very active dog, and he likes licking the ice pack more, we dont have access to the vet

Soumia 5 months ago

Hi....though the above article is helpful....I would add high bp as a reason.....pls ensure you have that tested along with an ecg, kidney and liver functioning.....medicination to control bp could help....pls suggest this to your vet as well so he can check this too.......please keep the dog very calm and ice packs....sylate 500 mg can help the bleeding till you reach a vet ( reduce dose for smaller dogs)

Mary 5 months ago

I have a 6 month old puppy in a matter of two hours after I feel asleep he was pawing at me to wake up. He was snorting and then sneezed and blood went all over. The bleeding was light but the pink discharge didnt stop until a few hours later. Now my sweet boy is very lethargic, can barley keep his eyes open and wont eat. His entire personality changed within two hours, He went from being a wild happy pup to not wanting to get up. I have an appointment with our vet in an hour or two. I am just very concerned. Any thoughts?

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alexadry 5 months ago from USA Author

Any fox tails in your area? Chances for rat poison exposure?I am concerned about the lethargy, did he lose a lot of blood? Can be an autoimmune disorder too. I hope your vet can sort it out so he can be promptly treated. Keep us posted.

Chris 4 months ago

My dog had a fight with our neighbor's dog. After that day, he did not eat. The following day we bathed him and on the next morning he had runny nose. Today is nose bleeding in both nostrils. What should I do? I'm scared.

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alexadry 4 months ago from USA Author

Chris, please see your vet, this is not normal.

kath 4 months ago

Please help.... my dog sometimes have a nose bleeding in one nostril only, it is possible that she has a tumor? please help thank you

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alexadry 4 months ago from USA Author

Need to see the vet to know exactly what is causing nosebleeds in your dog. Are there foxtails in your area:?

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