Epistaxis in Cats

in Cat

Epistaxis in cats is either a very sudden development or it can be a chronic condition and is defined as an acute hemorrhage from your cat's nostrils, nasal cavities, or nasopharynx which is the area of the upper throat that lies behind the nose. In layman's terms, your cat has bleeding from the nose.

Nose bleeds in cats can be a very frightening situation and although it will appear that your cat has lost a tremendous amount of blood, the actual blood loss is usually minimal and the entire episode does not do a lot of harm to your pet.

Epistaxis in cats can be caused by a very sudden event referred to as acute, or it can be caused by an underlying condition and is starting to happen frequently and is referred to as chronic. If it becomes chronic, it is a very strong warning sign that something much more sinister has already developed in your cat.

Nose bleeding usually is the result of some form of damage to your cat's nasal vessels and it can affect any breed, any age group, and both genders equally. Once your cat's nose does start to bleed it will be extremely important for you to determine if the bleeding is unilateral or bilateral. There are several potential causes for nose bleeds, but trying to determine the actual cause will depend exactly how it is bleeding.

Unilateral bleeding implies that your cat is bleeding from just one nostril and bilateral will imply that the bleeding is coming from both nostrils. There are some other important facts that will help in determining what exactly is happening to your cat.

Many owners will assume that if this is the first time it has happened that there has been some type of a traumatic event in your cat. They may have ran into something or accidentally been hit by something that has made their nose bleed. However, that may not be the cause at all, as it may be that sudden erosion of nasal blood vessels.

Epistaxis in cats can also be caused by what is referred to as metabolic conditions that are syndrome like in that it is a group or cluster of conditions that has suddenly caused the bleeding. It may be very easy to overlook if it is as a one time event, but the chances are that it is not.

Unilateral causes:

Epistaxis in cats is usually the result of some type of damage in the vessels located in the nasal mucosa but it could also be the result of weakening or fragile capillaries. It could also be some type of dental problem that has developed. Or it could be something much more sinister, but unilateral causes are less serious threats to your cat.

The first and most obvious cause to look for is something that has happened to your cat that has caused the event. If you are unaware of any such event, look for some type of a twig or small foreign body that may have worked its way into your pet's nasal area.
Foreign invasions in your cat's nose are not uncommon and may have existed for quite some time, and they have just now started to irritate the nasal areas.

If neither of these are the cause, examine your cats mouth to see if there is any type of a dental issue and look for blood around any of the teeth that may signify a abscess root as this can easily cause the nose to bleed.

If none of these conditions are present, there is a very good chance that your cat has a tumor in their nose if only one side is bleeding. Although 80 percent of nasal tumors are malignant, they account for less than one percent of cancer in cats and are very successfully removed by surgery.

Bilateral Causes:

Bilateral Epistaxis in cats is a much more serious threat to your pet; and thus the reason why it will be so important to determine the type of bleeding. Bacterial, fungal, and parasite infections that have attacked your cat will cause bleeding but it will be much more severe and as a result affect both nostrils.

Tick borne diseases and blood disorders that may now be starting to surface could include abnormal blood clotting or viscous blood and are considered metabolic conditions.

Viscous blood is an extremely dangerous situation for your cat as your cats blood has thickened. When blood thickens it will start to coagulate and form very dangerous blood clots that could block the flow of blood to your pet's brain. The result could be a heart attack or a stroke in your cat.

Inflammatory bi-products caused by infections in the blood can also cause this metabolic condition.

Symptoms:

There are several symptoms that you can watch for in your cat that will tell you that there is something more sinister happening than just a nose bleed. Unilateral symptoms may include nasal swelling caused by the weakened vessels as well as several types of dental problems such as loose teeth or infected teeth.

Bilateral symptoms will include a sudden and than chronic sneezing by your cat that may also be accompanied by sprays of blood. Sudden foul odors from either the nose or the mouth may also be present, as well as sudden loss of appetite. Labored breathing is something else you will need to watch for as all of the symptoms indicate some type of a serious underlying infection has erupted.

Treatments:

To help determine the treatments your veterinarian will have to perform a complete physical and run several tests to determine the actual cause of the bleeding.

The first form of treatment will be to stop the bleeding. The fastest and most effective way is to use cold compresses and put direct pressure on your cat's nose to stop the bleeding. Adrenaline may also be applied to control the bleeding. In severe cases, your cat may have to be subjected to anesthesia to allow for the packing of the nasal cavity. However, be very careful as cats are very susceptible to allergic reactions from anesthesia.

Vitamin K is extremely effective in supplement forms as its best known role is helping blood clot properly and in preventing excessive bleeding. Many features of chronic connective tissues and membranes disorders are symptoms of a Vitamin K deficiency.

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin but there has been no known recordings of any toxicity from this vitamin in cats and is extremely safe if taken as directed and will help your cat with this condition.

Summary:

Epistaxis in cats may be a one time event, it may be something very serious, or it could be a vitamin K deficiency. But there is one certainty with nose bleeds in cats; they are not normal and should be treated very seriously.

Author Box
Frank Will has 1 articles online

I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a "mutt" that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.

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Epistaxis in Cats

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This article was published on 2010/03/29