Dog Sinus Infection

dog sinus infection is defined as any infection within the sinus cavities in which fluid builds up as a result. The sinuses are cavities within the skull that unite all of the nasal cavities in the head, and are basically nothing but bones filled with air. Because the sinuses of a dog are simply open pockets, they are extremely susceptible to infections, both bacterial and viral.

How a Dog Sinus Infection Begins

Whenever any type of bacteria or virus enters the body, it can set up shop at any point within a dog's system, namely starting at the most susceptible point. This is why sinus infections in dogs are so easily spread and contracted. The sinus cavities are protected by nothing, and are basically open to any infection which can penetrate into the nasal area.

Symptoms of a Dog Sinus Infection

Once a bacterium has invaded the sinus cavity of a dog, fluid will build up in the cavities and cause a lot of sinus pressure, as well as some other associated symptoms. The symptoms of a dog sinus infection are pretty basic and mimic that of a regular head cold.

The only difference is that a dog does not have the ability to communicate the pressure and pain that he's feeling in his head. It's up to the dog owner to pick up on the remaining symptoms and seek treatment. The following symptoms can all be attributed to a dog sinus infection:

  • Runny nose and nasal discharge
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Cough producing phlegm
  • General fatigue

Detecting a Dog Sinus Infection

The most thorough and accurate way to diagnose a sinus infection is by general palpitation of the sinuses. It is worth mentioning that there are x-rays which can be done on the sinus cavities. However, these are extremely expensive methods of testing for what can be done fairly accurately with the hands.

The dog's temperature will be tested in order to determine if the infection is most likely bacterial or viral. Regardless of which type of sinus infection is present, the sinuses will still build with fluid and this can be felt by gently rubbing the sinuses with the hands.

If a dog truly has a sinus infection, gentle palpitation of the sinuses will usually be a little uncomfortable for him and may produce some signs of pain. When a sinus infection is present, there is a lot of pressure that builds up in the general head area, typically producing a headache, and most dogs will grimace at being touched on their sinus cavities.

Treatment of Dog Sinus Infections

If the type of sinus infection can be determined, such as bacterial or viral, then a course of medication and treatment can begin. A viral sinus infection really has no way of being treated medically because a virus has to run its course before it will go away. A bacterial sinus infection, on the other hand, can be treated with susceptible antibiotics.

In addition to an antibiotic, a medication to reduce pain and inflammation may also be given. Most sinus infections will only last between one and two weeks if treated appropriately.