Nose bleed after lesson - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Nose bleed after lesson

When do you worry about a bloody nose if it's not a lot of blood?

Yesterday, we hauled Harley to a lesson at my daughter's coach's place. It was all flat work - they're preparing for a dressage test. Almost all trot work with a bit of cantering 20 M circles. The entire lesson lasted about an hour. For those who don't know, Harley is 75% Arab, 21 yrs, and he's pretty fit, showed no signs of slowing down or extreme exertion. He's ridden pretty much daily by my daughter. Still had tons of energy by the end of the lesson even though he does find collection to be hard work. Afterwards, we sponged him off, loaded him in the trailer, drove home (it's an hour away with the trailer), and turned him out. When we did so, we noticed a little blood coming out of one nostril. I had a look, and it didn't look serious so I let him out in the pasture - he ran off at a canter happily. About an hour later, I checked on him and there was still a tiny bit of blood. Went out again a little while later (probably half a hour, at that point, I was going to call the vet if it was still bleeding), and there was nothing. No blood to be seen at all.

I'm thinking this is either from exercise (but of all the workouts he's had, I would find it weird that this one would cause so much exertion) or he bumped his nose in the trailer (even though I drive like a 90 year old lady when I'm hauling).

Here's a photo to show his fitness level - taken towards the end of the lesson. He isn't even sweaty except under the saddle pad - and he usually sweats a lot. Nostrils are flared, but he's clearly not over-extending himself. At no point did he seem out of breath. Thoughts? Do you think this could have been caused by exertion? Should I tell my daughter's coach to give him more walk breaks during lessons?
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 08:22 AM
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I personally wouldn't worry - if it was warm and he was working, a blood vessel in the nostril could have easily popped and let a little blood out.

My gelding had a bloody nose at a HOT August horse show many years ago, and was very conditioned and fit. My friend and I were both competing him, so some classes were back to back, and when she came out of her class there was a little stream of blood in one of his nostrils. We untacked, hosed him down, and monitored him. I believe a vet or other professional saw our worry, and let us know that it happens sometimes, and only to worry if its a lot of blood or the blood isn't stopping.

If it happened that long after, I wouldn't be surprised if a bug stung in his nose, either.

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post #3 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 08:24 AM
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If he normally sweats and didn't that would be a sign to me something is up and I'd be on alert. In a horse at his age and activity level with no prior bleeds I would more readily suspect a bump or something flew up his nose and caused irritation.



I have a bleeder. She bleeds under extreme heat conditions and any use when the temp and humidity gets to a certain level or like recently when we had unheard of low humidity for days. She gets summers off for that reason. We give electrolytes to encourage drinking and replace loss through sweating and that seems to help as we have only rarely seen a bleed once started for the hot months. Hers though are more than a trickle when she does. If we were to use her in the summers the vet said she would need to be put on Lasix prior to riding. Not something I want to do.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
If he normally sweats and didn't that would be a sign to me something is up and I'd be on alert. In a horse at his age and activity level with no prior bleeds I would more readily suspect a bump or something flew up his nose and caused irritation.



I have a bleeder. She bleeds under extreme heat conditions and any use when the temp and humidity gets to a certain level or like recently when we had unheard of low humidity for days. She gets summers off for that reason. We give electrolytes to encourage drinking and replace loss through sweating and that seems to help as we have only rarely seen a bleed once started for the hot months. Hers though are more than a trickle when she does. If we were to use her in the summers the vet said she would need to be put on Lasix prior to riding. Not something I want to do.
It was only about 15C at the time with strong wind making it feel more like 10C, so that's why he didn't sweat. There was sweat under the saddle pad and girth. My daughter is wearing a hoodie and I was standing there shivering the whole time because I didn't wear a coat. My fingers were numb from the cold.

This has never happened before and she's ridden him a lot harder than this.

I never thought of a bug bite up his nose. That's certainly possible. Still, I will keep an eye on him during future rides. Thanks.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 08:35 AM
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If he didn't bump his nose...
How high up was the blood originating from?
Could you see that spot?

Exercise induced bleeding is not immediate seen sometimes...
It can come later as the heart-rate calms and respiration go back to resting numbers.
If, a huge if this is exercise induced then Harley needs scoped at the proper time by some pretty excellent equine care specialist = traveling to a equine hospital, teaching college or often near a racetrack they can accommodate the work needing done then scope after to see if you have a problem and how to control it.
My concern would be what you are not seeing inside, hence the scoping need time timely after...

Before panic sets in...watch him closely after riding/exercise for this to happen again...
Be aware of a attitude change in willingness to work, head movement unusual, coughing, sudden lethargic or needing extra encouragement to do...
It could be a nothing except he blew his sinus clear of dust a bit to hard, to allergies starting to really bother him...to he is now developing bleeder status.
Go slow, be alert to him as always you are and act accordingly to any changes as they present.
Hugs for all of you and Harley...no more stress does anyone need!!
..
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks @horselovinguy , yes, I am planning on keeping a very close eye on him, and if this happens again, have him scoped. He seemed to be feeling fine afterwards, but I was quite worried when it didn't stop immediately. I could not tell where it was coming from. At first it looked like there was a nick inside the nostril, but when I went back to check on him, there was blood further up from the nick. The blood was a bit light in colour too, like there was a bit of watery discharge mixed with it. But it wasn't at all heavy. Barely a trickle - more like a few drops. Still, given his age and all, this is something I will be monitoring very closely!

Travelling to an equine hospital is not possible at the moment because we'd have to leave the province and borders remain closed. I don't know what happens if there is a true emergency - probably they would make an exception. But then we'd have to isolate for 14 days after returning which would mean no more lessons, clinics, and missing the first show of the year.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 10:14 AM
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I don't want to be an alarmist - BUT my daughters 22 yr old Foxtrotter had a small trickle of blood out of her nose that we attributed to cold dry air. A couple of weeks later she was off with a temp of unknown origin. The only reason we really noticed as she was off her feed just a little. We called the vet out and she was also a tad dehydrated. This was in January 2018 it was bitterly cold at the time. The mare was quite sick for a few weeks and ended up in an equine hospital for 2 weeks before she succumbed to liver failure. On the day we decided to let her go she was bleeding quite a bit from her nose. Her liver enzymes were up and that is what led to her hospitalization - she never had a bloody nose after the first one until her last day. She was also extremely fit and weighted in at 1000lbs when first admitted to the hospital the vets were impressed with her fitness level for her age. In the end it was determine she succumbed to liver failure possibly brought on by a tick born virus - but we never found a tick on her and do not live near any woods and it was early February when she passed away with a couple of feet of snow on the ground. the other possibility was that she had melanoma tumors internally causing liver issues - she had just a couple very small ones visibly. She was also a grey.

My advice just keep a very close eye. Nose bleeds could be nothing or could be a sign of something larger.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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@carson - so sorry about your daughter's horse. Yes, the reading I did online last night did not exactly set my mind at ease. There are a lot of worrisome thing associated with bleeding noses, but then again, it could just be a one-time thing caused by a bump of the head in the trailer or some other mysterious cause. The weird thing is that it didn't start until about an hour after they were done. They did a good cool-down, as always, then we took our time sponging him off, chatting with the coach about upcoming clinics and maybe a show... loading him, and only found the blood upon arrival at the house. No blood in the trailer. So he probably was not bleeding that long when we rolled in. I wonder too if he might have poked himself with a prickly stem or even a small stick in his hay in the trailer. I always have hay in a haynet for travel, and he likes to poke it with his nose to make the hay fall out.

I will most certainly be checking on him frequently and if it does re-occur or if we notice any other weird symptoms, I will call in an equine vet. He sure does keep me on my toes! But he is so worth it.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-01-2020, 12:38 PM
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A little bit of blood and a one time deal probably isn't something to worry about. The air could be dry or he could have bumped or scratched it. If it starts happening off and on then it's a vet call and discussion (maybe not exam but a talk on the phone). If the amount of blood increases without a known cause, then it's an exam.

From what you described, probably not too much to worry about.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-03-2020, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
A little bit of blood and a one time deal probably isn't something to worry about. The air could be dry or he could have bumped or scratched it. If it starts happening off and on then it's a vet call and discussion (maybe not exam but a talk on the phone). If the amount of blood increases without a known cause, then it's an exam.

From what you described, probably not too much to worry about.
Thanks for setting my mind at ease. So far, no recurrence (and she rode him a couple of times since). I'll continue to keep an eye on things.
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