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My Maine Coon Occasionally Sneezes Blood

My Maine Coon Occasionally Sneezes Blood

by William Morrison
(Ringgold, Georgia)

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.

William


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:

– allergies
– 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.

Cat health sneezing

Feline Sneezing (new window)

Note:

1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Guide by Drs Carlson and Giffin.

Good luck with your cat.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • I have a 12 yr old maine coon. He has had bloody snot for almost a year. We have exhausted all options. Now we face a rhinoscopy and cat scan... For $2200. With no real promise of a cure. That's just to find out what it is. He gurhlrs when he breathes but is ok otherwise. Any thoughts?

    • Thank you for commenting and asking and I am sorry to hear your story.

      I am going to walk through a very comprehensive and respected book on cat health looking for an answer to your question. I am not a qualified veterinarian and am simply passing on information to you. I am sure that you have researched this on the internet where you'll find some more potential causes such as dental issues and allergies.

      Nasal Tumors

      Benign and malignant growth may arise in the nasal cavity and sinuses usually on one side. Early signs are sneezing and sniffling followed by obstructed breathing. Bleeding can occur through the effective nostril.

      This may be a cause. Do you see any slight distortions in your cat's face such as a bulge?

      Nasal Infections

      The deep involvement of a bacterial infection in the nasal cavity can cause ulceration of the nasal membrane leading to a bloody discharge.

      Foreign Body in the Nose

      I think this is less likely. Foreign objects in a nose for a long time can lead to bacterial infection and a purulent discharge. Bearing in mind the above comment it may also lead to a bloody discharge in my view.

      I think that these are the most likely reasons and your veterinarian may well have discussed them already. In fact he may well have discussed these and many more options over the year that you have been dealing with this.

      My gut feeling as a layperson and being unqualified is that it is most likely to be caused by some sort of tumor and if I am correct I am sorry.

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