Bruising and Bleeding in Dogs
Should never be ignored as it may be the first signs of something sinister

Bruising and bleeding in dogs is not common and when it does occur, it should be treated very seriously.

If the cause is known and it is the result of some type of an accident or trauma that has injured your dog, their natural immune system will normally take care of the problem.

However, an abnormal bruising or bleeding situation in your dog should never be ignored.


In most of the cases the signs that you see may be just a very mild or subtle bleeding that has caused the bruising.

However, if the symptoms are severe, it could be a life threatening situation that has suddenly developed in your dog.

Bruising and bleeding in dogs may be caused by clotting disorders, however, contrary to a lot of misconception; it may be only one of the factors.

In fact, the single largest and much more dangerous cause may not be from clotting at all, but instead it may be the result of platelet disorders in your pet.

There are several causes for your dog to suddenly start to bleed which in turn causes bruising.

In fact, it is not uncommon at all for your dog to have occasional blood in their stools.

German ShephardsBruising and bleeding in dogs may be a real warning sign

But it is very abnormal for this bleeding to be widespread, severe, last for any length of time at all, or to reoccur.

If it does, you need to treat the symptoms that you see very seriously and document exactly what has transpired.

This will assist your veterinarian in determining the actual cause of the bleeding or bruising.


Bruising and bleeding in dogs will produce a myriad of symptoms that you can easily identify.

When you do identify them, it will be extremely important to take notes of the order in which they appeared and where they first appeared.

The first set of symptoms of bruising and bleeding in dogs that generally appear is blood somewhere in their body, and blood in your dog’s urine or their stools usually surfaces first.

However, they may also develop a very sudden bleeding from the nose, which is referred to as Epistaxis.

In other cases, your dog may be just slightly injured and the symptoms you will notice is that it simply will not stop bleeding.

You may also notice bleeding in your dog’s front chamber of one or both of their eyes. All of these signs are warning signals that something is wrong with your pet.

But perhaps the most dangerous symptoms will show absolutely no signs of bleeding on the surface, but what it does show on the surface is a very sudden bruising.

The first set of bruising to surface is generally in the form of bruises or swelling either on or under the skin.

If you do notice a swelling, examine it very close for indications of bruising.

The next set of symptoms of bruising and bleeding in dogs come in the form of pinpoint type signs to watch for.

The first may be a pinpoint or blotchy hemorrhage on the gums of your dog’s mouth, or it could be on the whites of their eyes or inside of their eyelids.

But the symptoms do not end there, as you may also notice a very sudden discomfort that is affecting your dog.

Although this may be from other factors, one of the largest factors is from internal bleeding.

The symptoms with internal bleeding will be very labored and difficult time breathing, an abdominal distension caused by abdomen bleeding, or a sudden swelling and pain in their joints.

is also one common sign that will surface with all of these symptoms; pale gums that are caused by the loss of blood as anemia is setting in.


The first potential cause of this sudden bleeding and bruising in dogs is from clotting disorders, also referred to as coagulopathies.

This is a condition where your dog’s blood no longer clots or coagulates properly.

This produces the symptoms to show up in their skin, mucous membranes, as well as internal organs and tissues, especially the eyes, nose and external genitalia.

The actual cause may be from hemophilia which is an inherited deficiency, or from a liver disease that is preventing the manufacturing of clotting factors.

It can also be the result of a Vitamin K deficiency, or by a toxic reaction to warfarin, found in rat poison.

Rat poison is extremely effective and does exactly what it is made to do; it stops the bloods ability to clot properly.

The bruising and bleeding in dogs may also be the result of a vascular disorder that has weaken your dog’s walls of their blood vessels.

It may also have caused your pets blood pressure to increase, which is aggravating any type of bleeding deficiency.


However, the single largest cause of bruising and bleeding in dogs is from platelet disorders.

Platelets, also called blood platelets, are small disk like irregular blood cells that are absolutely critical in the function of clotting blood.

They are produced in your dog’s bone marrow and stored in their spleen, and they accumulate to block a cut in a blood vessel and provide a surface for fibrin strands to adhere to.

By this function, they take a critical role in the conversion sequence in coagulation factors.

If Thrombocytopenia is present, which is a decrease in numbers of these blood platelets, your dog may actually start to bleed spontaneously and this is a life threatening situation.

There are several potential causes of a decrease in these counts.

The first cause is from an immune mediated disease where your dog’s own system actually attacks itself.

Bone marrow cancer as well several other forms of cancer may also be the cause, as well as viral or bacterial infections.

But perhaps the most serious and potentially life threatening form is from a parasite that is very well known; Heart worms.


Bruising and bleeding in dogs is not a common situation and can be life threatening, especially if the platelet counts in your dog drops to below 25,000.

There are several very successful treatments that can help with this condition, but the key is watching and learning the symptoms, as they will tell you all you need to know.

If it is a result is from heart worms, and you have not taken the proper steps in prevention, it may be too late.

Only one or two heart worms can take your dogs life and the bruising that you see is the start of the process.

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