Background Tumours of the upper respiratory tract are relatively common in cattle, but to our knowledge, there have been no reports of lymphoma of the nasal cavity. This case report describes the findings in a 22-month-old Brown Swiss heifer with T-cell lymphoma of the nasal cavity. Case presentation The main clinical findings were lacrimation and swelling of the head above and below the right eye, mild exophthalmos, third eyelid prolapse, purulent ocular discharge and congestion of scleral blood vessels. An endoscope could only be introduced a few centimetres into the right nasal cavity because of an obstructing mass in the nasal passage. Radiographs showed a mass in the right nasal cavity and maxillary sinus. A tentative diagnosis of neoplasia of the right nasal cavity was made and the heifer was euthanased and necropsied. A firm, tan mass measuring 10 by 13 by 15 cm in the right half of the head occupied the entire right nasal cavity. A final diagnosis of high-grade, malignant, small-sized T-cell lymphoma was made based on histological and immunohistochemical evaluation. A distinction between αβ T-cell or γδ T-cell lymphoma was not made. Conclusions This report on T-cell lymphoma in the nasal cavity of a cow suggests that nasal lymphoma should be included in the list of differential diagnosis of conditions associated with dyspnoea and stertorous breathing in cattle.