4 Common Dog Nose Problems

Dog nose problems range from nasal infections to tumors and discoloration. There are times when a problem is a serious fungal infection, or just a small case of kennel cough. First, you need to know what's normal for your dog's nasal area before you can rule out a more serious complication.

If a dog's nose is a little warm, it's not a serious problem. The best temperature for a dog's nose is a bit cool and it should be a little moist; but not overly wet. The color of a dog's nose should be appropriate for his breed: such as black or pink and spotted.

The common dog nose problems are:

Nasal Tumors

To see if your dog has a tumor in his nose, look for the following symptoms:

  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Snoring or trouble breathing
  • Rubbing or pawing at his nose
  • Bleeding on one side of his nose
  • Discharge from one or both nostrils

Other conditions causing abscesses and nose problems in dogs:

  • Aspergillosis: Fungal infection that comes through the nose. The dog will get ulcerations on the outside of his nose.
  • Cryptococcosis: Fungal infection causing nodules on the dog's nose.
  • Leishmaniasis: A parasitic infection in the blood resulting in ulcers on the dog's nose.

Dry Nose and Discoloration

A dry nose for your dog can be absolutely nothing or something more serious. It depends to what extent your dog's nose is crusting or showing other signs like severe cracking or discoloration. Rule out:

  • Blistering of the nose may occur in some dogs. Crusty dermatitis of the nose usually happens when a dog has had too much sun exposure. Solar dermatosis causes mild to severe scaling on the dog's nose.
  • Snow nose: the dog's nose fades brown in winter.
  • Problems from eating out of plastic dishes: Some materials in the plastic products like dyes cause allergies and sensitivities in some dogs. Switch to stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowls.
  • Nasal Infections in Canines
  • Your dog's nasal passages may become infected due to a fungus, virus or bacteria. A cold or upper respiratory infection can cause an infection. This happens when the lining of the sinuses become inflamed and filled with fluid.

Observe your pet's breathing and his energy and appetite levels to see if he may be sick. To determine if he has a nasal infection, a vet may want to x-ray the dog's sinus cavities.

Here are some sings of a dog nasal infection:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Eye or nose discharge
  • Some cases, nosebleeds
  • Thick, yellow discharge

What to do for a nasal infection:

  • Keep your dog dry, cozy and well hydrated.
  • Hydrate him with a steady supply of clean, fresh water.
  • Feed him some warm chicken broth.
  • Limit his time outside during colder weather.
  • Set up vaporizer to help treat a dog's sinus infection.
  • Apply saline nasal drops to his nostrils.

Runny Nose

On occasion your dog's normally moist nostrils may seem a bit runny. Most times this is not cause for alarm. However, there are various reasons why your dog's nose is running:

  • Foreign body in nasal passages
  • Sickness
  • Allergy
  • Tumor
  • Respiratory infection
  • Bacterial rhinitis
  • Kennel cough
  • Sinus infection
  • Distemper

A runny nose can appear as nasal discharge. Expect variations in nose discharge problems ranging from different colors to consistencies. What to watch for:

  • Clear
  • Gray
  • Cloudy
  • Green
  • Bloody
  • Thick
  • Mucous