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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22459
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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my cat is sneezing and just started producing blood from his

Customer Question

my cat is sneezing and just started producing blood from his nose. He is 15 yrs old
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
& welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long has Archie been sneezing?
Did you see the blood from one or both nostrils?
Was it just a bit of blood mixed in snot or clear discharge?
Has he had any nasal discharge?
If so, what color and was this from one or both nostrils as well?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
I have not heard back from you and you now appear offline. Therefore, I will leave my thoughts return.
Based on your history of Archie's sneezing, we do have a few concerns. Most commonly we will see these signs related to flare up of cat flu (aka an upper respiratory tract infection). And if he has been doing a lot of sneezing, this can cause erosion of the delicate nasal mucosa to lead to some bleeding as you have seen.
That said, as he is an older lad, we do also have to be concerned about more serious issues. Specifically, we can see fungal infections of the nose, infected tooth roots causing erosions into the nose, ulcerated polyps and tumors within the nostrils induce signs of this nature. Therefore, if the blood is profuse or if we provide supportive care and he isn't settling, then these would become worries and we'd want to speak to his vet about possible diagnostic tests to pinpoint which is present and thus be able to target treatment.
Now as long as the discharges are from both nostrils (since one sided discharge is more suggestive of something being up the affected nostril -foreign material but also those above worries I noted) and they are clear in color (which suggests a virus); there is some supportive care that you can consider to help reduce his signs. Of course, if those discharges become snotty (yellow, green, etc), then that would be a sign that bacterial agents are starting to creep in and antibiotics would be indicated.
Otherwise at the moment, if he is sneezing and congested, you can consider steam treating him. To do so, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. Or if you have a humidifier on hand, you can make him a steam tent by putting him into his carrier, the humidifier placed next to it, and cover both with a thin bed sheet.
Further to this, if he is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, you can use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. As well, do consider also using saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist but not anything medicated) to help gently open his nasal passages. To do so, tilt the head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.
Furthermore, it is important to monitor his eating/drinking at this stage; since congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat or drink as well as they should. Therefore, if he has any lapse in his normal of appetite, then do tempt him with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help him be able to smell it.
Finally, if he has any history or flu or has been exposed to herpes, then we can also put him on L-lysine. This is an OTC nutritional supplement that can be helpful if feline herpes is the cause signs. It is available at vets, pet stores, and even health food stores. It comes as gels, powders, and crushable tablets. All can be mixed into food. Typically, we will give 500mg daily.
Overall, we do have a few concerns signs at his age.
Therefore, at this stage, we'd want to use the above supportive care and monitor closely. If you do so and the discharge turns snotty, he only has one sided discharge/blood from his nose, or isn't settling; then those would be cues that we'd want him to be checked by his vet to rule out any other potential though less common causes signs.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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