Why Is Your Dog Sneezing Blood?

Discharge with dog sneezing can have many causes. However, blood in the discharge is almost always serious, so consult your veterinarian.

Common Causes of Sneezing Blood

When dogs sniff, they can sometimes suck foreign objects into their nose such as grass or pointed grass seeds. If these get lodged wrong, it can cause your dog to sneeze blood as he tries to clear his nose of the object. This will often cause blood coming from only one nostril and will be accompanied by excessive sneezing, possibly to the point of exhaustion.

A severe bout of sneezing can also cause bloody sneezing. This could be cause by an allergy or foreign substance such as pepper that may affect your dog. If the bleeding begins during a severe sneezing bout and doesn't persist long after, it probably isn't serious.

Many types of infections are accompanied by sneezing bloody discharge. Buildup of fungus or bacteria can cause your dog to sneeze blood, even if the infection has cleared up. If the infection has not cleared, it is usually relatively easy to cure with antibiotics or anti-fungal medication. The nasal canal may need to be cleaned to remove buildup.

Serious Causes of Sneezing Blood

However, many causes of bloody discharge are quite serious, often caused by some type of cancer. Tooth abscesses can also cause nasal bleeding, but this will usually be just from one nostril.

Dogs with long noses are particularly susceptible to nasal cancer, which can cause bloody nasal discharge and sneezing. Bloody tumors in other internal organs can also cause dogs to sneeze blood. Bloody sneezing resulting from nasal tumors may start infrequently and gradually become more frequent during a period of weeks or may. Nasal discharge may come from one or both sides. Nasal tumors are almost always malignant. 


Simple blood and urine tests are usually not sufficient to diagnose the cause of bloody sneezing. Since there are a variety of possible causes, diagnosis might require a wide variety of tests such as X-rays or CT scans of the skull or face, biopsies or rhinoscopes, which require a camera through the nasal passages.

Veterinarians may opt for a nasal flush and physical examination of eyes, nose and throat to eliminate simple illnesses before undertaking more expensive and complicated testing. Nasal tumors may hide in small passages of bones, so they can be difficult to detect. This also makes them more difficult to treat since nasal tumors don't respond well to chemotherapy and usually must be completely removed to have a successful prognosis.

Though humans can experience bloody noses without concern, this is not true for dogs. If your dog has recurring or persisting blood in nasal discharge, consult your veterinarian. There are many different causes, not all of them serious, but most require some type of treatment, even if it's just dislodging a piece of grass.