Don’t take your dog's sneezing for granted

Or that stuffy nose in your dogs.

A dog that sneezes or had a stuff nose can be suffering from canine congestion, said Susan Paretts in “Mucous Congestion in Dogs” in

Don’t take your dog's sneezing for granted
Summer (pink dress), Lucas (green shirt) and Louise are now senior dogs. They are prone to sneezing and developing excess mucus after even just a short stay in a cold room, or when it is cold outside the house. They need a  shirt to keep them warm. They are also given more meat during cold weather to warm their bodies.   But when it is summer time, they are given some cooling food like water melon (not too much though) so that they will not suffer from heat stroke or develop hot spots. Do observe your dog when it is very cold or it is very hot. 
“Just like people, dogs can develop excess mucus in their respiratory tract due to a variety of reasons ranging from allergies to respiratory infections. Bring your pooch to the vet so she can diagnose the cause of your pup's congestion and help get him on the road to recovery,” Paretts stressed.

The following are the causes of nasal discharge and congestion:

1. Canine allergies

2. Respiratory ailments

3.  Nasal blockages

Canine allergies

The excess mucus can be aa reaction to something in the environment such as pollen, human dander, nasal mites and other respiratory parasites, foods or medications

Dogs with allergies may have itchy skin, excessive sneezing, coughing, nosebleeds and breathing problems.

The vet might recommend allergy test, a special allergy diet or canine antihistamines to help treat the condition.

Respiratory Infections

Bacteria, fungi or viruses can cause a respiratory infection that makes thee body produce produce extra mucus, resulting in canine congestion.

“Such infections include canine influenza, sometimes referred to as ‘kennel cough.’ Kennel cough is caused by a highly contagious virus. The most dangerous infections that can cause congestion in pups include canine distemper, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and pneumonia. Dogs suffering from a respiratory infection may cough, sneeze, develop a fever, have trouble breathing, become lethargic and stop eating,” Paretts said.

“Usually the nasal discharge is discolored when an infection is present. Your vet can treat your pup with antiviral, anti-fungal or antibiotic drugs to get rid of your pooch's infection and congestion,” Paretts added.

Nasal Blockages

Your dog may have been sniffing around the garden or your home and a foreign object may have lodged in one of the nasal passages.

“Such nasal blockages and tumors in the nasal passages can cause congestion and nasal discharge in pups. Your pup's mucus may be clear or discolored. A vet can diagnose a nasal blockage through a physical exam and with X-rays. She'll be able to remove it surgically to relieve your pup's symptoms. She also may prescribe some antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection has developed due to the blockage,” Paretts said.

Other Nasal Issues

Dental disease and tooth abscess can cause rhinitis and sinusitis in pooches, Paretts said.

Teeth cleaning is always advised to prevent tooth decay.

If a condition already exists, the vet can also extract the infected tooth.

“Abnormal tissue growth in the nasal passages and pooches who can't swallow properly also can develop excess mucus and secondary bacterial infections. Your vet will be able to determine what is causing your pup's excess mucus through a variety of means, including X-rays, CT scans, blood tests and physical examination of the nasal passages,” Paretts said.

On relieving congestion

With proper treatment by a vet,  the dog’s congestion should subside.

“While your pup is recovering, your vet may recommend using a humidifier with your pooch to help break up his mucus and relieve his congestion. The vet also may prescribe nose drops to treat any nasal inflammation and reduce nasal discharge,” Paretts said.

Always consult the vet. Do not treat your dog with a human decongestant that contains ingredients that are harmful to dogs.

Paretts warned against using medicine with phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine which the Pet Poison Helpline has identified as poisonous to dogs. DC

Topics: Susan Paretts , "Mucous Congestion in Dogs” , stuffy nose , dogs
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