Dog Sneezing and Nasal Discharge: When is it Serious?

Dog Sneezing

Dog sneezing occurs for the same reasons sneezing occurs in humans, mostly to rid the upper respiratory system of an irritant. Dog sneezing can be the result of a cold or upper respiratory infection, or that of allergies. Allergies are the most common cause of canine sneezing. Just like people, dogs can have allergies to pollen, dust and mites. Seasonal allergies will usually be limited to spring, summer and fall. Your dog might suffer from allergy symptoms that include dog sneezing for two to four weeks, or even longer, during this time. Allergy-induced dog sneezing will be bilateral—that means your dog's sneeze will come from both nostrils at the same time. There may be some discharge from the nostrils associated with this form of canine sneezing. Allergy-induced dog sneezes usually appear in the absence of other symptoms; your dog will remain active and continue to eat and drink as usual. If any puss or bloody discharge accompanies the dog sneeze, your dog may have an upper respiratory or sinus infection. Such infections can occur at any time of the year and can cause your dog a lot of pain; see your vet for appropriate medications. Puppies are particularly prone to infections and puppy sneezing should be carefully monitored for frequency and color of discharge. Foreign bodies trapped in the nasal passages can make your dog sneeze. Dogs with objects lodged in their nasal passages often have intense fits of excessive dog sneezing. Discharge may accompany the injury, but usually only from one side of the nose. It's not uncommon for dogs to get things lodged in their noses, so if your dog is sneezing heavily and you suspect a foreign body, see your vet right away. In rare cases and mostly among older dogs, intranasal tumors can cause canine sneezing. Dogs with such a tumor may show a bloody discharge from one nostril. The dog sneezes more and more frequently as the tumor grows. Sadly, these tumors are often malignant and can be difficult to treat. Dog and puppy sneezing is often a symptom of seasonal allergies or for a sinus infection for which your dog might need medication. Look at the color of your dog's nasal discharge and consult your vet if it is bloody or discolored. Consider whether your dog may have an obstruction in one of his nostrils; is the dog sneezing fiercely and with shocking frequency? If your dog is older, ask yourself if the dog's sneezing been going on for a long time and now seems to be getting worse. All of these questions can help you determine whether your dog's sneeze is worth worrying over.