Epistaxis - Horse

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Epistaxis is the presence of blood at the external nares. It is not a disease alone and there are many underlying conditions that cause this clinical sign. There are many causes of epistaxis, which fall into various categories. Below is a comprehensive list of all causes of epistaxis.

Respiratory Tract

Nasal aspergillosis
Ethmoidal haematoma
Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage
Rupture of rectus capitus
Mycotic infection of guttural pouches
Nasolacrimal haemorrhage
Nasal/ pharyngeal trauma
Nasal/ pharyngeal foreign body
Sinus neoplasia
Sinus cyst
Lower airway disease
Pulmonary neoplasia.


Mitral insufficiency
Atrial fibrillation


Head trauma, such as rupture of the longis captis muscle or the rectus capitus, or a basihyoid fracture can all cause epistaxis.

Clinical Signs

Depending on the disease, the clinical signs will involve epistaxis +/- other signs related to the condition.


Need to find the underlying cause, by various methods such as endoscopy, radiographs and a full physical exam at rest and at exercise. Other clinical signs such as the characteristics of nasal discharge and any asymmetry of the face are key clinical signs. History is important in diagnosis, such as if there is any history of trauma.

Treatment and Control

To treat epistaxis, one will need to find the underlying cause and treat this.

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