Dog Sinus Infection Symptoms

The dog sinus cavities are found between the nasal cavities and the skull. If your dog develops an upper respiratory tract infection, he's vulnerable to dog sinus infection. When infection occurs, the sinuses become inflamed and congested with fluid. Here's what you should know about dog sinus infection.

Causes of Dog Sinus Infections

Dog sinus infections are often the result of fungal, viral or bacterial infection. Dogs who have recently suffered, or are suffering, upper respiratory tract infections are at the highest risk for sinus infection. Exposure to allergens or irritants, such as smoke, dust, pollen and mold, can irritate and inflame your dog's sinuses, laying the groundwork for infection. Bites and stings from insects can also lead to sinus infection.

Other health conditions, such as abscessed teeth or oral tumors, can lead to canine sinus infection. Secondary infections such as these are more common in geriatric animals.

Symptoms of Sinus Infection in Dogs

If your dog develops a sinus infection, he'll sneeze, and may even gag or cough. His eyes and nose may water. If the infection becomes severe, your dog could bleed from the nose. Your dog may experience lethargy, depression and loss of appetite.

Clear, thin discharge from the eyes and nose often indicates the presence of allergies. Your dog could have inhaled dust or other irritants. Infection is most likely if the discharge is thick and opaque.

Dog sinus infection symptoms are often the symptoms of a less minor upper respiratory tract infection or common cold. If your dog's sinus symptoms last for more than 48 hours, he should see a vet. If your dog develops a nosebleed, seek immediate emergency veterinary care. While sinus infections can cause nosebleeds if they are severe enough, nosebleeds are also often the symptom of a much more serious condition.

Diagnosing Dog Sinus Infections

Your vet will need a complete physical exam and a detailed medical history in order to diagnose dog sinus infection. Your vet will closely examine the dog's eyes and nose. The doctor will probably listen to your dog's breathing, and he may perform X-rays or ultrasounds to determine the extent of your dog's congestion.

Treating Dog Sinus Infections

Your vet will probably prescribe medication to treat your dog's sinus infection. If bacteria are responsible for the infection, your dog will need antibiotics. If a fungus is responsible, your vet will prescribe anti-fungal medications instead. If your dog's sinus infection is viral, medications won't cure it; you will have to wait for the infection to run its course.

Administer all medications as directed by your vet. Don't administer over-the-counter remedies intended for use in humans, as these could be toxic to your dog. Keep your dog inside, especially if the weather is wet or cold; your dog should remain as warm and dry as possible. A vaporizer can help your dog breathe, and chicken or other broth can substitute for water if you're having problems keeping your dog hydrated.