Cats can experience nose bleeds, which can be caused by various conditions. One such condition is coagulopathy, where the blood does not coagulate as it should. Other possible causes include hidden wounds or injuries, diseases like cancer or leukemia, and other underlying health issues. It’s important to take your cat to the veterinarian promptly if you notice any signs of a nose bleed.
Getting a Diagnosis
To determine the cause of the nose bleed, your veterinarian will conduct several tests. They will check for anemia and assess its severity. A complete blood profile, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis, will be done. Other tests will be performed to evaluate the platelet count, rule out bone-marrow disease, and assess the blood’s clotting ability. Your vet may also conduct a thyroid test to look for evidence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Providing a detailed history of your cat’s health and recent activities will be important. In some cases, x-rays or a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan may be necessary.
If your cat is diagnosed with coagulopathy, it will require hospitalization for further treatment. If the bleeding is caused by an underlying condition like liver disease, the primary issue will be addressed. It’s crucial not to administer any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other medications without consulting your veterinarian first. In the case of a clotting abnormality like hemophilia, a blood transfusion may be necessary. If your cat is anemic and the bleeding is unrelated to a clotting problem, a blood transfusion might still be recommended. If a platelet disorder is the cause, your vet may prescribe the anti-inflammatory drug prednisone. For infectious diseases, a course of antibiotics or doxycycline may be prescribed for three to six weeks. Bone-marrow tumor growth (neoplasia) might require chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.
In certain cases, the nose bleed may be related to conditions in the nasal passages. Treatment options will depend on the specific diagnosis. Radiotherapy may be used for nasal tumors, whereas surgery may be necessary for nasal passages blocked by a foreign object. If there is fungus present, surgery might be required to remove it before further treatment can be administered. For fungal infections, medication specific to the fungus will need to be applied through the nasal cavity.
Living and Management
In severe cases of hemorrhage, it is important to provide cage rest to your cat in order to lower blood pressure and promote clotting. Your veterinarian may also recommend nasal sprays with diluted epinephrine to help control the bleeding. Once your cat returns home, it should be kept calm and stress-free to prevent further episodes of hemorrhaging. Your veterinarian will educate you on what signs to watch for in case of a serious hemorrhage, such as weakness, collapse, pallor, or excessive blood loss.
If you notice any nose bleeds or unusual symptoms in your cat, it’s essential to seek veterinary care promptly. Remember, your cat’s health and well-being should always be a top priority.