by William Morrison
I have a male Maine Coon about 1 1/2 years of age and is strictly an indoor cat, and although he is not at all distressed, he occasionally sneezes blood from his nostrils.
I won’t show my ignorance by asking if this is normal, but my question is, is this a symptom of Feline leukemia?
I pray it isn’t, but we do have other cats, and I don’t want any of them sick.
Hi William….thanks for visiting and asking. I don’t think it is feline leukemia.
Some possible causes are as follows:
– a foreign body that has been there for while. Nasal foreign bodies are uncommon because the nasal passages are small. It may be possible to see it. Drs Carlson and Giffin say that if that is the case it can be removed by the cat owner with tweezers (with great care of course). There may be a secondary bacteria infection requiring antibiotics.
– a benign or malignant tumor in one or both nasal cavity (usually one side). Bleeding can occur through the affected nostril. If there is bleeding the blood would be discharged when sneezing. Treatment is generally not possible1. This is the only reference to bleeding from the nose other than a nosebleed that I can find in Drs Carlson and Giffin’s book1.
As it seems that your cat has not got a cold it would seem reasonable to rule out a viral infection as a possible cause.
Other possibilities are:
– acute dental problems (e.g. abscess under a tooth). An abscessed tooth can lead to an abscessed frontal sinus1. This seems unlikely.
This may be a slow nosebleed. Nosebleeds are caused by trauma to the nose or erosion of the nasal membrane due to foreign body, infection, tumor or parasite. Sometimes nosebleeds can be due to a blood clotting disorder produced by liver disease or poison.
He is not showing signs of an underlying illness it seems to me so I favor a local problem such as foreign object or tumor.
Sneezing caused by the usual things is transient. As the sneezing seems to be persistent it is probably something that needs veterinary investigation.
Feline Sneezing (new window)
1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Guide by Drs Carlson and Giffin.
Good luck with your cat.
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