What is sneezing?
• Dogs can sneeze just like people and it looks and sounds pretty much the same!
• A sneeze is a reflex (something you can't control) that forces air out through the nose.
• Some dogs also have mucus, clear liquid or blood come from their nose when they are sneezing, others have no other signs.
Differentials (what could be causing my dog to sneeze?)
• A one off sneeze is not usually something to worry about! Just like us, dogs can sneeze if something tickles their nose!
• If your dog is sneezing constantly or sneezes a few times a day for several days, or if there is any discharge from their nose there could be a problem.
Here are some of the possible causes of sneezing in dogs:
▪ Infections – viral or bacterial – although this is probably what most people suffer from when they are sneezing, it is less common for us to see dogs sneeze from just an infection.
▪ Foreign body – something stuck up their nose!! We commonly see blades of grass or grass seeds stuck up noses!
▪ Dental disease – very nasty teeth problems can lead to sneezing and discharge from the nose.
▪ Cancer – growths inside the nose can cause sneezing.
Diagnosis of sneezing
• Rule out teeth problems – this may be able to be done in the consult, but if we are unsure we may recommend taking x-rays of your dog's teeth.
• Look for a foreign body! While under an anaesthetic we try and look up your dogs nose and around the back of their throat to check there is not something stuck.
• Flush their nose – if we suspect a foreign object is stuck we will flush their nose under an anaesthetic.
• X-ray nose
• Biopsy – if there are any odd lumps or bumps we try and take a small sample to see if they are made up of abnormal cells.
Treatment of sneezing?
• Treatment depends on what is causing your dog to sneeze.
• If they have a blade of grass up their nose flushing it out is all the treatment needed!
Prognosis for sneezing (how a dog is likely to do afterwards)?
• Prognosis for many of the causes of sneezing is very good, and your pet should make a full recovery.
• Obviously the more serious conditions may require on going treatment or surgery.