Nose bleed

April 12, 2012

Bleeding from the nose is known as Epistaxis. In human nose bleeding is not really serious and non-life threatening as although it would seem that a lot of blood is lost, nose bleeding would stop on its own after a while. However, nose bleeding in dogs is different as a battery of test may be needed given that the dog can not verbally state what is wrong with him. Any breed of dog could suffer from nose bleeding but the dolichocephalic breed (dogs with long noses) is more prone to nasal tumors, one of the causes of nose bleeding. Nose bleeding can be acute or chronic, unilateral (bleeding is one sided) or bilateral (both nostrils are bleeding). Dog nose bleeding needs further evaluation as in most cases it is a sign of a medical condition.

Symptoms

Canine nose bleeding symptoms usually occur before blood can actually be seen. The dog may continuously sneeze and would have nasal discharges. At times the discharge would be tinged with blood. Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures that would investigate and sniff anything. The dog would constantly paw at its nose, have difficulties in breathing (noisy breathing) and snoring if a foreign body get lodge on the nose. The nose may be irritated, swollen or inflamed. The foreign body may puncture a blood vessel and result to nose bleeding. Fractured teeth, offensive odor from the mouth or nose of the dog, tarry or blackish stool are other symptoms of epistaxis.

A traumatic episode like dog fights that cause lacerations or fracture in the nasal cavity could cause nose bleeding. Dental disease is another cause. Abscessed tooth root in the upper jaw could get infected and break into the dog’s nasal cavity. Canine nasal tumor may be the cause of the nosebleed if bleeding is one sided or if the blood is only coming from one nostril. The dog would have breathing difficulties, a swollen face as well as watery eyes. Parasitic, bacterial and fungal infection is another cause of canine nosebleed. A blood clotting factor deficiency known as Von Willebrand’s disease can cause nose bleeding.

Treatment

Of course the best thing to do if your dog is bleeding from the nose is to bring your pet at once to the vet. Until the pet is brought to the vet, you can do some first aid. The first thing to do is to calm the dog. It would be better if the dog will be encouraged to lie down. Apply cold compress. Bleeding will be lessened as cold constricts the blood vessels. Direct pressure on the nasal cavity will decrease the bleeding. However, be sure not to put too much pressure since you do not know what causes the bleeding. Too much pressure can aggravate the condition not to mention that it can also hurt your pet. In applying the cold compress take care not to cover the nostrils of the dog. Moreover, do not put gauze of cotton balls on the dog’s nose to absorb the blood as this will cause the dog to sneeze. Sneezing will remove the blood clots and the dog would again bleed. If the dog is bleeding profusely, the dog must be brought to the vet immediately.

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