Symptoms of Internal Bleeding in a Canine

Updated April 17, 2017

Internal bleeding refers to blood that leaks from blood vessels inside a dog's body. If left untreated, internal bleeding can cause large amounts of blood loss, which can lead to shock. Internal bleeding can be caused by a wide range of injuries, like falling from a high distance, being hit by a car or suffering any other violent trauma. Internal bleeding is not as apparent as external bleeding; your dog may initially appear to be fine. Since internal bleeding is dangerous, however, get your dog to a vet whenever you suspect internal bleeding.


Dogs who are bleeding internally may exhibit signs of anxiety and restlessness. They may pace, bark, lick themselves excessively, or wet inside the house.


Bruising is actually a sign of very mild internal bleeding, caused by broken capillaries in the skin. Although bruising is not dangerous, it may signal more severe internal bleeding. Check for bruising if your pet seems injured or has sustained a trauma. Bruising can be difficult to see through fur, but you may be able to see bruises on dogs' hairless bellies.

Nausea or Vomiting

Internal bleeding can lead to nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. Dogs suffering from internal bleeding may also vomit blood.


Weakness or depression can have a myriad of causes, including internal bleeding. Canine depression symptoms include lethargy, moping, appetite loss, loss of interest and aggressive behaviour.

Breathing Difficulties

Internal bleeding can cause difficulty breathing in dogs. Breathing trouble can also be caused by heat stroke, shock, poisoning and anaemia.


Dogs suffering from internal bleeding after a trauma or injury may also bleed externally, especially from the rectum, mouth, nose or ears.

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About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.