Blood Blister On Dog – Why And What To Do?

Blood Blister On Dog


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A blood blister on a dog is a non-malignant cutaneous tumor or skin growth. These growths look like small fluid-filled cysts, which are typically white or reddish in color. Blood blisters can appear anywhere on a dog’s body, but most often form on the paw pads, under the tongue, and on the nose. Treatment of these lesions is typically not necessary unless they become bothersome, as they often will resolve on their own. However, if a blood blister gets infected or is accompanied by other symptoms that could indicate a more serious underlying condition, it is important to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian.

What’s A Blood Blister? Is It Serious?

A blood blister is a raised blister that is filled with a clear/red liquid that is made up of serum and blood. Blood blisters are usually caused by friction (i.e. from wearing the wrong size shoes) or tissue damage due to an impact. Blood blisters are usually not serious and will heal on their own. However, if the blisters become very painful or infected, medical attention may be needed.

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Blood blisters, also called hematomas, can appear on a dog’s body for various reasons. Here’s a breakdown of what might cause them and what you can do:

Causes of Blood Blisters in Dogs:

  • Trauma or Injury: The most common culprit is bumps, scrapes, or injuries that rupture blood vessels under the skin. This can happen on the paws from rough surfaces or due to excessive licking or chewing on another body part.
  • Ear Hematoma: This is specific to floppy-eared dogs and occurs when the dog shakes their head too forcefully, causing blood vessel breakage in the ear flap.
  • Underlying Conditions: Less frequently, blood blisters can be a sign of allergies, autoimmune diseases, or vascular tumors.

What To Do:

  • Minor Blisters: If the blister is small and your dog seems unbothered, you can monitor it at home. Keep an eye on it for signs of infection (pus, redness, swelling).
  • Large Blisters or Discomfort: It’s best to consult a veterinarian. They can determine the cause, drain the blister if needed, and prescribe medication if there’s an infection.
  • Ear Hematoma: A vet will likely drain the ear and bandage it to prevent refilling. In some cases, stitches might be needed.

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What Are Some Skin Abnormalities That Cause Blood Blisters?

  • Dry Skin: Dry skin often results in skin cracking and can sometimes cause blood blisters.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergens such as chemicals, food, or pollen can cause skin irritation and blisters.
  • Auto-Immune Diseases: Auto-immune-related diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris can cause blisters and ulcers on the skin.
  • Excessive Grooming: Dogs that are anxious can groom themselves excessively which can lead to hair loss and blood blisters.
  • Neoplasia: Cancerous skin tumors can cause irritation and blisters on the skin.
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Blood blisters on a dog can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on several factors such as the severity of the bruising, the size of the blood blister, and how the area is cared for. If it’s a minor bruise, the blood blister could last a few days, while a bigger bruise could take several weeks to fully go away. If the area is kept clean and dry, supple, and protected from further trauma, it should help the healing process and reduce the length of time the blood blister is present.

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The most common symptom of a blood blister in dogs is the formation of a small, firm mass beneath the skin. This mass may be a few millimeters in size or much larger, depending on the underlying cause or the size of the affected blood vessel. Other symptoms can include swelling, redness, pain or discomfort, discharge, limping, or a foul odor. In some cases, the skin may slough off, revealing an ulcerated area with scab-like material on top.

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If you suspect your dog has a blood blister, it’s best to take them to the vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment. The vet may determine that the blister is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as an infection or an allergic reaction. If the blister is determined to be a hot spot, the vet can prescribe an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication to treat the area. The vet will also likely suggest that you keep the blood blister clean and dry. If necessary, they may provide you with a medicated ointment to apply to the affected area.

How To Prevent Your Furry Friend From Getting A Hematoma?

  • Regularly groom your pet: Be sure to brush and/or comb your pet’s coat daily. Long-haired breeds require thorough grooming at least once a week.
  • Check your pet’s ears regularly: Make sure your pet’s ears are clean and free of wax and dirt. If wax or dirt accumulates in the ear, it can lead to infection or irritation that can cause a hematoma.
  • Monitor for signs of irritation: Any signs of skin irritation should be examined by a vet and treated immediately. This will help prevent a hematoma, as skin irritation can sometimes lead to hematomas.
  • Take preventive measures for parasites: Regularly check your pet for fleas, ticks, mites, and other parasites. If you notice any of these pests, contact your vet immediately for treatment.
  • Keep your pet away from drafts: Cold drafts can cause ear irritation and can even lead to hematoma formation. Make sure your pet stays away from open windows, fans, and air conditioners.
  • Keep your pet’s environment stress-free: Stressful environments can lead to hematomas because of a weakened immune system. Make sure your pet’s environment is always quiet and peaceful.
  • Vaccinate your pet: Vaccinate your pet against diseases like rabies and distemper. These vaccinations will help keep your pet’s immune system strong and lessen the chance of hematoma formation.
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Blood blisters on dogs are a rare occurrence, and they usually occur due to trauma or injury to the skin. In most cases, there is no need for medical intervention, as the blood blister should heal on its own. If the area becomes infected, however, or the blood blister continues to persist, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. The vet may recommend antibiotics if necessary. It is best to keep the area clean to avoid further infection or itching and discomfort for your dog.

FAQs On Blood Blister On Dog

1.How Are Blood Blisters Different From Vascular Tumors?

Blood blisters are small, raised bumps of skin filled with a clear fluid composed of serum and blood. They are typically caused by trauma to the skin, such as a pinch or a burn. Blood blisters are not cancerous and usually heal in a few weeks without any medical intervention.

Vascular tumors, on the other hand, are abnormal overgrowths of cells that form in the lining of blood vessels. These tumors may be cancerous and can recur even after removal. They often require medical treatment and regular monitoring to prevent recurrence or metastasis.

2. What does a blood blister on a dog look like?

A blood blister on a dog usually appears as a raised, red bump that is filled with fluid. It may have a dark or black center, and it can be painful and sensitive to the touch.

3. Can dogs get blood blisters?

Yes, dogs can get blood blisters. They are usually caused by an injury that caused a small blood vessel to burst and then become filled with blood or fluid. Blood blisters can affect any part of the dog, but they are most commonly found on the paws, around the nails, or on other areas of the skin that have a thin layer of skin.

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4. Should you pop a blood blister on a dog?

No, you should not pop a blood blister on a dog. Although they can be uncomfortable for them, it’s best to leave them alone or seek treatment from a veterinarian. Popping a blood blister could create a wound, which may become infected and cause more issues.

5. What Are Blood Blisters on Dogs Also Known As?

Blood blisters on a dog are also known as subcutaneous hematomas.

6. What Is A Bump Filled With Blood On A Dog?

A bump filled with blood on a dog is likely an abscess caused by a bite, a blocked anal gland, or a ruptured blood vessel. It should be examined by a vet to determine the proper treatment.

7. Can Dog Blood Blisters Be Prevented?

It can be difficult to prevent dog blisters, as they can be caused by numerous things, such as friction, allergies, or parasites. However, regular grooming and cleaning can help reduce the risk of blisters. Additionally, providing your pet with materials to sleep on that are soft and properly padded can make them more comfortable and less prone to blisters.

8. Is A Vet Visit Necessary for Blood Blisters On Dogs?

Yes. Blood blisters on dogs can be a symptom of several conditions and your vet will need to determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

9. How Does A Vet Diagnose Hematomas In Dogs?

The first step in diagnosing a hematoma in a dog is to perform a physical exam. The vet will likely feel the affected area, take a detailed medical history, and measure the hematoma’s size and shape. The vet may also take X-rays to rule out any bone fractures or other underlying conditions that could be causing the hematoma. In some cases, blood work and other lab tests may also be recommended. Depending on the results of the physical exam and lab tests, the vet may recommend specific treatments to help resolve the hematoma, such as medications, bandaging, or surgery.


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