Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
Causes of Nosebleeds in Dogs
Nosebleeds in dogs may have various causes. Medically known as epistaxis, if it affects your dog often, it may translate into a trip to the veterinarian for a thorough check-up. While a nosebleed occasionally may signify nothing more than a foxtail or blade of grass stuck in the dog's nasal passage, frequent nosebleeds may be caused by much more serious conditions.
Nosebleeds in dogs may be unilateral or bilateral, meaning that the blood may be coming from just one nostril or from both the nostrils. This detail can help your veterinarian attain a proper diagnosis. Attention must also be paid to the type of blood loss ranging from a few drops to a pretty heavy flow. A dog sneezing blood may also help determine a diagnosis as it's often suggestive of something causing irritation to the dog's nasal passages.
Owners must be able to halt a nosebleed effectively to avoid a dog from losing too much blood. Small dogs may lose blood volume much faster than other dogs. Here is a list of possible causes of nosebleeds in dogs.
Causes of Unilateral Nosebleeds in Dogs (Affecting Only One Nostril)
Unilateral (only from one nostril) nosebleeds are most likely to be caused by:
- A foreign object such as a foxtail, or blade of grass stuck in the nostril irritating the nasal passage.
- An infection such as 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.
Causes of Bilateral Nosebleeds (Affecting Both Nostrils)
Here are some other causes of nosebleeds (often affecting both nostrils).
- Nasal mites often causing sneezing episodes along with dogs pawing at their nose.
- Ingestion of rat poison or rodents that have been poisoned, impeding the blood from properly clotting.
- Medications that interfere with proper blood clotting (warfarin, aspirin).
- Bleeding disorders such as Von Willebrand's disease and thrombocytopenia.
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Tick diseases causing coagulation issues such as Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- A fungal condition called Aspergillosis causing an infection in the dog's nose.
How to Stop Nosebleeds in Dogs
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!
- Stay Calm: To stop a dog's nosebleed, the dog must be kept as calm and still as possible. The more the dog moves and is anxious, the less likely the nosebleed will stop due to the increased blood pressure associated with anxiety and stress.
- Ice the Nose: An ice pack or cold compress must be applied on the dog's nose bridge and kept in place in order for the nasal blood vessels to constrict and stop bleeding. However, this may not always work if the dog won't sit still or if the source of bleeding is too deep and difficult to cool down, points out veterinarian Dr. Dan.
- Aftercare: Special care is required to keep the dog calm after the nosebleed has taken place. The reason behind this is the fact that once the nose bleeding has stopped a blood clot will have formed. If the dog moves about too much, the clot may rupture causing another nosebleed. If the dog is prone to sneezing, stopping the nosebleed may be challenging.
Consult Your Vet
If your dog has frequent nosebleeds or if your dog's bleeding is reluctant to stop, please see your vet. Your dog may require treatment that is specific to the underlying cause. Stopping a nosebleed deriving from an underlying health problem is only a temporary fix. It's important to treat the underlying cause.
For example, if your dog's nose is bleeding from ingesting rat poison, your dog will need prescription vitamin K. If your dog has a tick-borne infection, he will need antibiotics, an auto-immune disorder may require steroids, etc.
Read More From Pethelpful
A dog should be seen immediately if the blood flow appears not to stop. The dog may require epinephrine from the vet's office to halt the blood loss.
You can also place 1 drop of neosynephrine drops (phenylephrine only) into the nostril of the side that's bleeding. This will lead to vasocontriction on that side and help stop the bleeding.
— Dr. Kara
Nosebleeds in Dogs
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: If a dog stops bleeding from his nose without going to a vet, is that good?
Answer: This is difficult to say. I would be tempted to say it is fine and you can relax but only if this was a minor bleed that has stopped was triggered by something occasional such as some foreign body that was irritating the nose and now has dislodged.
However, because nose bleeds in dogs may be caused by several conditions that require a prompt veterinary visit, I would not say one is not entirely out of the woods until an underlying cause is found.
Therefore, I wouldn't say it is good if a dog's nose stops bleeding, but the dog is bleeding elsewhere because he has ingested rat poison. I also wouldn't say it is good if the nosebleed stops but a tooth root abscess requiring attention triggered it.
Therefore caution is needed, and the safest option would be to see the vet or monitor closely for future nosebleeds or other signs of problems.
Question: My 12-year-old Havanese went to the groomer and the vet called to say that Jake's nose was bleeding. I know this could be from stress and high blood pressure, but he has never had this before or after. Do you think the groomer could have been too rough with my dog and caused his nose to bleed? This was his regular groomer.
Answer: Hopefully, this nosebleed is transient and has occurred because he became stressed and hypertensive resulting in capillary bleeding from the nasal cavity. If bleeding doesn't recur and your dog acts otherwise normal, it's likely a one-time event. Sure, odd that it never happened before, but perhaps he was placed in a cage with a nervous dog nearby or there were loud noises. Watch him carefully for bleeding from any orifice or bleeding under the skin, increased respiratory rate, all symptoms that could indicate internal bleeding. Causes for internal bleeding include tick-borne diseases, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, and exposure to rat poison. Of course, it can be the dog hit his nose somehow against the tub or another surface during the grooming session.
Question: Does heat cause nosebleed to dogs?
Answer: It could technically happen that dogs develop nosebleeds in very dry weather, but I wouldn't chalk it up to that without ruling out first other possible underlying causes considering how serious some can be (foreign object stuck in the nose, exposure to rat poison, fungal infections, cancer, blood clotting disorders to just name a few).
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 20, 2020:
I think your dog need to undergo further testing to find the underlying cause of these nose bleeds. Maybe thorough blood tests to make sure he is not anemia and his blood is clotting well, maybe an ultrasound/ CT scan to look for any masses or tumors.
Gaurav Sharma09 on June 15, 2020:
My dog is 8 years old and last month he had sudden bleeding from his left nostril.On his stomach there are some red marks. I have contacted the Vet and be suggested to use DoxyCycline for 15 days with pills to stop bleeding. After 3 days his bleeding was stopped. From last 2 year he has a big tonsil like ball down his neck. After completing 15 days of medicine he goes well for next 20 days but then Vomit some clothes and next day his stool was dark black and then coca cola like tan. Vet has suggested to give him Ofloxacin 500 mg and I has given it. But now after 5 days suddenly his one nostril is bleeding and I am unable to understand What is the reason behind this. His stomach also doesn't have any red marks.
Rachael Dsouza on November 06, 2019:
Hi, I would like to know if the weather is too hot and dry can it cause nosebleeds in dogs my 5 year old GSD just snezzed blood early hours of the morning the nose was a bit irritated during the day and she was scratching her ear alot. Or could it be my 4 month old lab jumped on her nose and pawed it hard it's the first time this has happened but her nose is very wet and clear.
Alvinclare on August 29, 2019:
My dog is having sneezing and breathing problem through her nose. It ia also caused bleeding on her left nose. What should i do and what is your suggestion? Will the problem may lead to a life threatening?
norma on June 22, 2019:
I need help,my dog's nose is bleeding,only one nostril,.i do not know why this happening to my dog,..is there any oral medication to give to stop the bleeding permanently..
Two Moms and Our Babies on May 20, 2019:
Hi we have rescued a 2 yr old Blue Pit male. He has had uncontrollable unilateral nose bleeds for 2 weeks. We took him the Vet, his CBC was normal and tested negative for lyme disease and tick fever. He was put on doxycycline and prednisone and his nose stopped bleeding almost immediately. Now almost 3 weeks later he's on the prednisone and he's weening off of it and his nose bleeds are starting to trickle back. If everything else he's been tested for is negative what's the next step? What else can it be? How do we check for polyps or cancer? We're so worried for our big boy, we just want him to be healthy.
Michelle on February 15, 2019:
My older dog (6 or 7 years) has been bitten by a tick. I had some how contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever in October. But today my dog started with a nose bleed. It stopped, but hes a minpin and older. A rescue dog too. Im worried.
Josie on June 18, 2018:
My chi started about a week, when we bring her outside she sneezes 1 sneeze and just little droplets of blood come and that's all. Should I worry
Michael Davis on February 20, 2018:
Yes I have a chocolate lab and everybody loves him because he is a character the problem I'm have is he's sneezing and blood comes from one nasol this goes on ones every three days does anybody have any suggestions thanks mike
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 31, 2017:
Sierra you should have your pup see the vet or emergency vet if it's after hours. Pressure on the bridge of the nose with an ice pack covered in a towel can help control the nose bleeding while you are on your way. Eye injuries can get worse if not treated.
Sierra on December 30, 2017:
My 10 week old puppy got bit by my older dog on the nose and close to her eye her eye looks a little off now kinda like a dog with cherry eyes and her nose is bleeding and i think she has a small hole by her tooth and I don't know what to do!!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 25, 2017:
Kathy, this sounds very serious, she may be anemic from all the blood loss, please see your vet.
Kathy on September 19, 2017:
My dog got into a dog fight with the other dogs or got hit by a car and had a nosebleed that lasted hour to hour and a half I put ice pack on it and it just kept bleeding was a few days ago and now she's not being able to see so what is wrong with her
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 09, 2017:
Nikhil, did your vet test your dog for bleeding disorders? Has your dog been in contact with rat poison? Sounds like more testing needs done or consult with a vet internist.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 03, 2017:
Jg, please see your vet. At this age, you need to rule out nose cancer. Don't want to scare you,it might likely be something else, but only your vet can diagnose the problem.
Nikhil on June 27, 2017:
6month before my dog is bleeding seriously during her heat period and her hemoglobin level decrease to 4.5 after her treatment bleeding stopped.again after 3 month she started bleeding ,and from last three days again she started bleeding,now I gave her dicynen 500mg and antibiotics as per suggested by my pet doctor but her bleeding is not stopping.i want to know what is the cause of bleeding and it's cure.
Jg on June 26, 2017:
My 12 year old dog got a thick snotty nose on her rite nostril and now for the last 2 day there is blood coming out then that thick snot again then blood .van anyone give me any advice to what I should do please
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 27, 2017:
Jo, that sounds like a horrible ordeal and so sorry for your loss, it must have been devastating. I wonder if he had a blood clotting problem? My deepest condolences.
Jo KIERNAN on May 27, 2017:
My beautiful German Shepherd died of a nose bleed in the Cambridge University Hospital - every end of April/beginning of May the Rape appears in fields all around us and every year Harry sneezed and had terrible nose bleeds. This happened for about five years, he would stay with my vet overnight and she managed to halt it but on May 24th 2000 he went into Cambridge and died the next day, they couldn't stop it. He was six and it broke my heart.
gaylene on April 24, 2017:
at first my 2 year old dog has runny nose,i treat him and cure.one day after, he has a fever and breathing was difficult and has a nosebleed. i give him a doxycycline but i found out theres a small red rash throughout his body . i brought him to vet and the vet him give him an injection the anti-emetic.i thought it was going to be fine but i was wrong.he vomitted and suddenly he died.i failed frustrated and many questions raised in my mind why he died.what was the cause of his death?it was the second time he has attacked with nosebleed one month passed.and for the second time his dead.what kind of disease he has?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 17, 2016:
Need to see the vet to know exactly what is causing nosebleeds in your dog. Are there foxtails in your area:?
kath on June 14, 2016:
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
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 06, 2016:
Chris, please see your vet, this is not normal.
Chris on June 06, 2016:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 13, 2016:
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.
Mary on May 13, 2016:
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?
Soumia on May 09, 2016:
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)
jamil on April 08, 2016:
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
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 20, 2016:
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?
Marvins Charles on March 18, 2016:
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?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 11, 2016:
I hope you can see the vet, if not open, an emergency vet if there are breathing issues.
Charyani on January 09, 2016:
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
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 09, 2014:
Please, please, see your vet! This sounds very serious and every minute counts.
KeeKee on December 09, 2014:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 04, 2014:
So sorry to hear that your dog died from a nosebleed. My deepest condolences.
Msbound on July 02, 2014:
Our dog died a few hours ago. Sadly he lives outside and we didn't notice the nosebleed until to late.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 21, 2014:
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.
Yunita on May 21, 2014:
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?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 25, 2013:
See your vet for this, it can be something serious, and he may also become anemic!
ballu on November 25, 2013:
my gerrman 8 yrs old wont stop nose bledding conyinuously from 3 days any one plz plz help from both nose
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 26, 2013:
Your dog needs to see the vet again immediately. Please take her there again!
Raji on May 26, 2013:
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
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 20, 2013:
This need immediate vet attention. Don't waste time o the internet!
priscilla on April 20, 2013:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 28, 2013:
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!
lacalet on January 28, 2013:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 27, 2012:
See your vet for this, there may be options to help him out, best wishes.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 27, 2012:
Rachell, I hope you read through the article, it tells you what to do, best wishes!
Kristin on November 27, 2012:
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.
Rachell on November 27, 2012:
Hello! I have a pregnant german shepherd dog... I was horrified to know that my dog has a nose bleeding. what will i do?
karenkahn on October 22, 2012:
Thanks for the reply. We'll head to the doggie doctor in the morning.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 21, 2012:
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 on October 21, 2012:
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?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 04, 2012:
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:
lizz on September 04, 2012:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 18, 2012:
You are welcome; that is really odd and scary, especially since you said she was doing fine before that. So sad..
Dylan on April 18, 2012:
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. :)
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 17, 2012:
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 on April 17, 2012:
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
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 25, 2012:
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?
pugs on March 25, 2012:
My dog had a nosebleed and died the next day :( we did the ice pack thing. :(
mckereos3 on December 12, 2011:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 11, 2011:
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.
alex on November 11, 2011:
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.
White on October 29, 2011:
Thank you so much for the help! We were freaking out
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 19, 2011:
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?
Kanchan Gurung on October 18, 2011:
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?
pat on October 07, 2011:
imy daughthers dog snores really bad over the weekend he now sneezes and had a nose bleed what should she do ???
jarnail singh on October 04, 2011:
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....
brcnv on September 12, 2011:
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.
cjlewi on August 17, 2011:
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.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 25, 2011:
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!
CD on July 25, 2011:
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?