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Dr. Margo
Dr. Margo, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 504
Experience:  12yrs mixed animal veterinarian
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Why is cow bleeding from nose? Its condition is going bad

Resolved Question:

We have cow that is bleeding from the nose and losing condition fast. What could be the main cause?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 8 years ago.


How old is this cow?

Have you noticed any deformation of the outside of her nose or skull?

Are you seeing any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

There is no sign of deformation of her nose nor skull and she is about 4 years old and there is no diarrhea and the blood from her nose is quite clotty.

Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 8 years ago.


Is it one nostril or both?

Has she been given any oral tubes lately? Like a calcium gel?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Both nostrils.

No she hasn't been given any oral tubes and she's losing condition fast i.e not much energy and getting thin.

Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 8 years ago.


Does she fight with other cattle?

How long has this being going on (the bleeding)?

Have you noticed any coughing?

Do you have any history of more recent respiratory disease in your herd?

What breed is she?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I haven't seen her fighting with any other cows. She's a fresian in our milking herd. The bleeding started about 3 days ago. When we first noticed there was no sign of coughing and we have no history of disease in our herd.

Expert:  Dr. Margo replied 8 years ago.

Unfortunately you seemed to have ruled out the easy, good reasons.

Trauma is the primary reason for bleeding from both nostrils. With the loss in condition as well as the bleeding, you must think of some disease process.

The most common reason then are lung abscesses. These usually start in the liver and spread to the lungs. The liver is also responsible for making some of the blood clotting factors. So once abscesses in the lungs rupture they will continue to bleed and not clot very well.

Since she has been losing condition and you are not seeing symptoms in any other animals, then toxic plants (that interfere with blood clotting would be much less likely).

For now you can try an antibiotic that penetrates lung tissue well. Penicillin, Naxcel or a sulfa antibiotic. Most of the time these animals continue to decline and do not recover. Liver abscesses can come from blood borne bacteria or parasite migration.

If I can answer anything else please let me know.

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