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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27370
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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What would cause a dog to have a bloody nose?

Customer Question

What would cause a dog to have a bloody nose?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
How old is Nikita, please? There are quite a few causes of epistaxis (bloody nose) but neoplasia (cancer) is the most common cause in our older dogs. The differential diagnosis list includes neoplasia, trauma, a foreign body (such as a plant awn/foxtail), fungal infection, bleeding disorders such as platelet or coagulation factor defects, and systemic diseases causing hyperviscosity ("thick blood") such as multiple myeloma, the tick-borne infections ehrlichiosis and babesiosis, erythrocytosis (increased numbers of red blood cells), and leishmaniasis (rare in the United States). If Nikita has been bleeding for more than 24 hours, initial testing should include a complete blood count including a platelet count and testing for the tick-borne infections in your area. If nothing untoward is found in such testing, scoping of her nose is indicated. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wow looked up information on neoplasia and she has all those symptoms. She is 12 years old. Had surgery in March to remove a baseball sized cyst on your ovary. It was cancerous. In the last three- four weeks she has stopped eating. Which is strange this dog LOVES food. Three days ago she starting dragging her left back foot. And is running into things.... This morning she had a bloody nose and still does this evening. I have a bet appointment in Monday. What tests do you think they should run??
Thank you,
Vanessa
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Oh my. Such profound anorexia in any dog is worrisome much less with one demonstrating epistaxis. Dragging her foot in association with running into things suggests encephalopathy (brain disorder). Putting this all together suggests metastasis of that ovarian cancer to her head - brain and nose, at least. Initial testing should be a senior/geriatric diagnostic panel of blood and urine tests. Findings in that panel and her physical exam will dictate whether it makes sense to proceed to imaging in the form of X-rays. I can't see subjecting her to expensive and stressful diagnostics such as CT or MRI. You're welcome, Vanessa. I wish I could be more encouraging. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Vanessa,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Nikita. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin