Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nose Bleeds? Bella's Nasal Cancer

Dogs don't get nose bleeds as commonly as people do.

A nose bleed in a dog is a reason for concern.

The potential reasons why your dog's nose might bleed are clotting problems, foreign bodies, severe dental disease, rare fungal infection, but most importantly (and, sadly, most commonly) a tumor.

As Roxanne of Champion of My Heart puts is, "Assume all canine nose bleeds mean nasal cancer."

Bella's problems started with severe head-shaking, which resulted in an aural hematoma. Coincidence? Perhaps, but Buddy's case started exactly the same way. Aural hematomas most commonly happen because of allergies or ear infections. But perhaps an irritation is an irritation ...?

Bella's hematoma was treated only to return. No ear infection was found.

Couple months later, Bella woke everybody up by what appeared hyperventilating and choking. It was assumed to be reverse sneezing.

However, Bella's bout of reverse sneezing ended with a bloody nose.

Reverse sneezing is caused by an irritation to the throat, pharynx, or laryngeal area. This could be a foreign body, a reaction to environmental irritants, post-nasal drip, or even things such as exercise intolerance, tight collar, pulling on the leash or just sudden change in temperature.

Normally, reverse sneezing is not a cause for concern, unless it becomes severe or chronic.

Foreign bodies, nasal mites, respiratory infections, and, yes, here it comes, nasal cancers could be behind severe reverse sneezing.

Bella was taken to a vet and they didn't find anything.

Few months passed and then Bella's mom came home to another bloody nose with blood all over the floor. And Bella was diagnosed with nasal cancer.

Always take your dog's nose bleeds seriously.

Related articles:
The Easy Answer Isn't Always The Right Answer: Buddy's Nosebleeds 
Veterinary Highlights: Cryotherapy To Treat Nasal Cancer In Dogs 

Do you have a story to share?

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What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

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  1. One of my very first patients back when I was a vet student was a dog with nose bleeds. Hers ended up not being cancer, but even so she was loosing so much blood she had to get multiple transfusions. Definitely better to take it more seriously and fix the problem than to assume it's nothing. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    1. What was causing her nose bleeds? Clotting disorder of sorts?

      Jasmine's nose bled a tiny bit once, I was so freaked out. Had it checked. Nothing was found and it never happened again.

  2. I'm so sorry about Bella's cancer.

    You and Roxanne have alerted me... If my dogs get nosebleeds, I will take it very seriously.

    1. Thank you, KB Bear.

      Nose bleeds are one of the things where it's important to stay on your toes.

  3. Yes I agree....in my case it is high BP and renal failure...pls keep dog calm and start BP medication

  4. My German mix has now had 3 nose bleed incidents took to vet twice with no diagnosis this is the third time and he has the same symptoms bloody nose, heavy breathing, sometimes walks like he's drunk I've already spent over 600 for 2 times of knowing nothing in 2 different places I'm guess 3rd opinion

    1. What diagnostics did they do? What was their hypothesis? Nose bleeds, particularly when also breathing heavily and walking as if drunk are serious. Did they run the blood? Did they check for tick-borne? Any other strange bruising anywhere on the body during those times? Yes, I guess you do need a third opinion.

  5. My dog is on episode 4 of nosebleeds, the first two chalked up to maybe cutting himself on something. After episode 3, he had a battery of tests - no foreign body, no clotting issue, no fungus. Yesterday, episode 4. He is eating and not lethargic, but seems sometimes to be uncomfortable. Guess now it's time for the really intrusive set of tests?

    1. Sorry about your dog's nosebleeds. Next thing I believe would be some imaging to have a closer look. x-rays or ultrasound, neither of those are really that invasive. Also, were there ANY discrepancies on the blood work? Other than clotting being good?