A bloody nose in a horse can range from something as simple as irritation and dryness (like us, humans, in the winter or on a plane!) to life-threatening conditions. Questions you should ask yourself if you have this problem include: How often has this happened? How frequently has this happened? Is the blood coming out of one or both nostrils? How much blood is present? Are there any other changes that are concerning? These questions can help your veterinarian, as to possible differential diagnoses. Nasal bleeding can originate within the nasal cavity, sinuses, lungs, or guttural pouches.
An endoscope inserted into the horse’s nose can be utilized to “trace” the source of the bleeding. Sometimes x-rays (radiographs) can also be beneficial. Recurrent bleeding, bleeding from both nostrils, and large amounts of blood lost are “red flags” for a significant, potentially serious underlying problem and should be investigated ASAP.