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Does your dog’s nose look abnormal? They may have gotten into a fight with another dog or ran into something causing trauma to their nose. They may have even broken their nose. This can be a very painful accident that can happen to your dog. If your dog has broken its nose, they may need to see the vet but there may be something you can do at home to help relieve pain and discomfort.

Can a dog break its nose?

Yes, a dog can break its nose. It is actually more common than many people think. Puppies tend to be very active and can have many different accidents including running into things and breaking their nose.

dog vet nose break

How can I tell if my dog broke her nose?

There are a few signs that you would notice that would indicate that your dog has broken his nose. These signs are:

  • A bump near the nose or swollen nose bridge

If you notice a bump over the bridge of your dog’s nose this could mean that it’s broken. This could also be that your dog has a mass growing on its nose. Dogs with a white face tend to grow masses on their nose more often than dogs who have dark fur on their face.

Their nose is bleeding

If your dog has a broken nose, they may have bloody discharge coming from the nostrils. Older dogs can develop masses in their nose or there may be an infection causing your dog’s nose to bleed.

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Your dog is pawing their nose

A broken nose can be very painful. If your dog has a broken nose, they may be pawing at their face and nose. They may also have something stuck inside their nose causing them to paw at it, so it is best to fully investigate to see what is wrong.

Their nose is changing color

If your dog’s nose is broken, it may have become bruised. This would cause their nose to change color. Many times, this can only be seen in dogs with light coloring on their face. You will rarely see any color change in dark-faced dogs.

What happens if a dog hits their nose?

If your dog hits their nose, you may just notice a nosebleed and a slight swelling the next day. They could damage the small bones inside the nose causing them to have difficulty breathing or have a snoring sound when they breathe.

Common signs of a dog with a broken nose are:

  • Swollen nose
  • Abnormal breathing sounds
  • Bleeding from the nostrils
  • Nose is not in its normal place or straight
  • Whining when you touch their nose or face

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, they may have broken their nose and will need to see your vet.

How do you treat a broken nose on a dog?

If your dog has broken their nose there are a few things that you will need to do.

Remain Calm

The first thing to do is to remain calm. When you are stressed, your dog will sense that there is something wrong and may also be stressed. This will cause their blood pressure to increase and their nose to bleed more.

Gently touch your dog’s nose

If you do not know if your dog’s nose is broken, it’s best to gently touch their nose. If it is broken many times, you can feel the broken bones and your dog will quickly let you know if it hurts.

Not all breaks will puncture through the skin and will just break internally. Usually, pain and swelling will quickly happen, helping you determine if your dog has broken its nose.

Keep your dog in a safe place

Take your dog back inside your house and to a place where they cannot do any more damage. If their nose is bleeding take them to a place that is also very easy to clean.

Call your vet

Many times, a broken nose will need prescription pain medications from your vet. DO NOT give your dog any over-the-counter pain medications as this can cause your dog to be very sick.

Do not apply any medication to your dog’s nose or give your dog any oral medications without first talking to your vet.

Ice your dog’s nose

One thing that you can do at home to help with the swelling is to ice your dog’s nose for about 15 minutes twice a day. Be very gentle when applying ice as this can cause your dog to be in even more pain if done too forcefully.

How will my vet fix my dog’s nose?

The first thing your vet will examine is to make sure that your dog actually broke its nose. After then have examined your dog, there are some other things that your vet may want to do.

Take an X-ray

One way that they may confirm a fracture is with an x-ray. This can easily be done on the day of your dog’s appointment. This would confirm that your dog did in fact break their nose and see how extensive the damage is.

Give them pain medications

Your vet will prescribe your dog pain medications to help decrease the pain and inflammation. They may also prescribe antibiotics if there are any open wounds.

Surgically repair their nose

If your dog broke many bones in their nose and face, your dog may need surgery to repair them. This usually occurs if your dog also broke parts of their jaw.

Your dog may need bone plates, screws, and wires to hold all their bones back into place. Your vet will discuss the different surgical options with you if your dog does need surgery. These types of fractures will need 2 to 4 months to fully heal then some of the orthopedic implants may be removed.

How long will it take for my dog’s nose to heal?

Just like with any broken bone, it will take a long time to heal. Many broken bones can take 2 to 4 months to fully heal. During this time you will want to follow your vet’s instructions and keep your dog calm and prevent them from re-injuring their nose.

How fragile is a dog’s nose?

Your dog’s nose can be fragile, however, it does take some force to break their nose. This can be accidentally getting stepped on, running into something, or getting hit by something.

The tissues inside your dog’s nose can be very sensitive. Just like a human, your dog can easily have a nosebleed if they hit their nose. It will take a little more force to break it, though.

Final Thoughts

Your dog can break their nose if they run into something or get hit by a car. The breaks can be very painful and usually will require a veterinary visit for pain medications and surgical intervention.