Bleeding from the nose in rabbits can be a sign of a serious underlying health condition, and if left untreated, it can cause anaemia and respiratory problems. Rabbits tend to be more prone to experiencing bleeding from the nose if their living environment is not kept clean or if they have a weakened immune system. However, there are a number of possible causes including blood clotting disorders, bacterial or fungal infections, a tumour in the nasal cavity and a tooth abscess. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for bleeding from the nose in rabbits:
Rabbits with bleeding from the nose can experience loss of appetite, increased sneezing and increased secretion of saliva. They may also pass black stools if blood is being digested as a result of it dripping down the back of their throat from their nasal passages. Additionally, you'll notice your rabbit's front paws have blood stains on them, and your rabbit may be lethargic due to developing anaemia.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
Your vet will take details of your rabbit's symptoms and health history and will seek to identify the underlying cause of the bleeding. Blood testing will be carried out to determine if your rabbit has a blood clotting disorder, as insufficient clotting factors in their blood can cause spontaneous haemorrhaging from the nose. Additionally, a blood cell count can determine if your rabbit has anaemia. Diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray or MRI, can be used to establish whether your rabbit has a tumour or dental abscess, and a swab of your rabbit's nose can be analysed for bacterial and fungal infections.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the bleeding, but your rabbit will be given an iron infusion if they have anaemia. Antibiotics or antifungals will be prescribed for bacterial and fungal infections, and your rabbit may be prescribed anti-inflammatories if their nasal passages have become swollen and irritated. Dental abscesses require root canal treatment, and tooth extraction may be required. If your rabbit has a tumour, it will be surgically removed, and a tissue sample will be analysed to determine if it's benign. After treatment, your vet will schedule a follow-up consultation to check treatment has been successful, and this may involve repeat blood testing.
If your rabbit experiences bleeding from the nose, even if it's only occasionally, have them examined by your vet as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary discomfort.