why does my dog always have a runny nose
Sometimes there is nothing to get excited about. If your dog has a clear nasal discharge when he is nervous but it clears up as soon as he calms down, your dog is healthy. It is nothing to worry about. When the runny nose goes on for several hours, however, even if it is clear, you should be concerned since it may be from a viral infection (like canine distemper or parainfluenza). Most dogs with allergies will develop skin problems, unlike people who have symptoms like a runny nose and watery eyes. If your dog has a clear runny nose and is itching, taking care of the itching will probably resolve the runny nose. If you are interested in taking care of this yourself and are willing to spend the time, there are some alternative,
available. When the dog has a thick substance coming out of the nose, especially when it is a green or yellow discharge and goes on for several hours, your dog may have an infection and you need to do something about it. You can take a warm cloth to remove the discharge from your dog's nostrils and make him more comfortable, but he is only going to be okay when you find out what is wrong and he is treated. If you do not want to put your dog on antibiotic therapy, you can try an immunostimulant like cat's claw, Echinacea, or Reishi mushrooms, but I recommend you do so after having your dog's runny nose diagnosed at your vet. Some dogs with a yellowish discharge from their runny nose will also start coughing, have problems breathing, and even be reluctant to move around. These problems might let you know that your dog has canine influenza and really needs to be treated.
If there is food, water, or discharge coming out of only one nostril, open your dogВs mouth and take a look. You might find the abscess, tumor, or signs of the trauma that is causing the runny nose. Usually there is not much to do about it, but years ago I found a rotting stick that had caused an abscess. (This was in my clinic but the puppyВs family could have done this. ) When the stick was removed from the puppy's mouth he was able to get better by himself. You do need to do something right away if your dog has any blood coming from the nose. A little blood can be the first sign of a tumor in the nose. It can also tell you that your dog has a grass awn in the nose, an infection that has been going on for a while, and even problems with his teeth. A bloody nose can be something serious, or it may happen from nothing more than an accident. If your dog is lethargic, panting excessively, or coughing or having any trouble breathing that indicates the problem has already become systemic. You need to have your dog examined by your local vet as soon as possible. You may notice your dog s nose running and whatever is coming out of it could be watery, thin and clear, or may be thicker and contain blood or pus. Whatever it is, it s a discharge from your dog s upper respiratory organs, and although runny noses and sneezing are normal for dogs, you should be concerned if it becomes severe or happens frequently, as it could be a sign of a serious health issue.
A mild runny nose will be small amounts of watery stuff, with or without sneezing, and could just be a sign of nervousness in your dog. A severe runny nose that persists and has a thick discharge any color but clear should be checked out. Symptoms of Runny Nose in Dogs A runny nose itself is often a symptom of other issues, but if it s accompanied by any of the following, don t just shrug your shoulders at it. Types Mild, or common runny nose, which is not a concern. Causes of Runny Nose in Dogs A mild runny nose might just be a sign of anxiety, but a severe runny nose can be caused by any of the issues below: Allergies, an immune system reaction to your dogs environment. Foreign object in your dogs nasal passages. Bacterial or fungal infection of your dogs sinuses. Nasal mites, a parasitic infection of your dogs sinuses. Dental diseases, such as abscessed teeth, periodontitis and gingivitis, are bacterial infections that can spread into your dogs nasal passages. Nasal cancer, or nasal adenocarcinoma. Diagnosis of Runny Nose in Dogs Schedule an appointment with your vet within 24 hours so that they can properly diagnose your pet. They may use general anesthetic to examine his nasal passages with an endoscope, a little camera on the end of a tube. It s totally safe, but the anesthetic is recommended to prevent your dog from feeling discomfort or sneezing out the tube. The camera will allow your vet to spot anything strange in your dog s nose. It can also be used to remove foreign objects or take a sample of any suspicious growth they might see.
If dental health is determined to be the cause, a dental exam may be done. They may take a sample of your dog s nasal discharge to check for fungi and bacteria. Treatment of Runny Nose in Dogs How your dog is treated for runny nose will depend on the cause. Allergies can be treated by antihistamines, or removal of the cause, if possible. If a foreign object is found, your vet will remove it and may prescribe an anti-inflammatory to prevent infection. A bacterial infection will be treated with antibiotics; the veterinarian may let a fungal infection try to clear on its own or may prescribe antifungals, depending on the severity. Nasal mites are treated with an oral dose of the heartworm drug ivermectin. Dental diseases will be treated directly, through tooth cleaning and the possible removal of teeth under anesthesia. Nasal cancer will be the most serious cause of runny nose, and is slow growing but invasive. It doesn t respond well to chemotherapy, but surgery can remove tumors and radiation therapy can be used if it s caught early. Recovery of Runny Nose in Dogs Follow through on all your veterinarians instructions, particularly in regards to medications, and follow up by monitoring your dogs recovery. If discharge or sneezing continues, frequently clean your dogs nasal passages by wiping with a soft cloth or tissue. Make sure your dogs environment is clean, water is always available, and monitor and address your dogs dental health regularly.
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