Types And Causes Of Canine Epistaxis

Epistaxis is bleeding from the nose. This common canine disorder is frequently regarded as an emergency. There are two forms of epistaxis: primary and secondary. Primary epistaxis can be caused by abnormal growths, foreign bodies, tumors (adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, fibrosarcomas, osteosarcomas, chondrosarcoms, lymphosarcomas, transmissible venereal tumors), fungal infections, polyps, nasal parasites, lymphocytic plasmatic rhinitis, and allergic rhinitis. Seconday epistaxis can result from multiple myeloma, other bleeding disorders, and hypertension. Hereditary epistaxis is a rare bleeding disorder with the characteristic features of Scott syndrome, a rare defect of platelet procoagulant activity. Affected dogs are seen bleeding within the front portion of the eye, into muscle tissues, and under the skin after surgery. Pedigree studies indicate a likely homozygous recessive inheritance pattern of the defect.

Bleeding from the nose is commonly seen in some bacterial and systemic diseases. Dogs infected with Bartonella, Leishmania, E. canis, B. vinsonii or R. rickettsii may experience episodic epistaxis which can be accompanied by varying signs, depending on other body organs being affected. After treatment of the primary infections, epistaxis resolves. Epistaxis is also commonly seen in dogs with systemic diseases, such as canine leishmaniasis, canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, estrogen toxicity, and nasal aspergillosis.


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  2. Mylonakis ME, Saridomichelakis MN, Lazaridis V, Leontides LS, Kostoulas P, Koutinas AF. A retrospective study of 61 cases of spontaneous canine epistaxis (1998 to 2001)
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  4. Lipscomb DL, Bourne C, Boudreaux MK. Two genetic defects in alphaIIb are associated with type I Glanzmann's thrombasthenia in a Great Pyrenees dog: a 14-base insertion in exon 13 and a splicing defect of intron 13.

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