Excessive Sneezing in Dogs

Sneezing in dogs can mean the animal is irritated, but it may also be a symptom of a complex medical problem. Excessive sneezing can be detected, diagnosed and treated. If left untreated, the underlying conditions causing sneezing can aggravate your pet.

Recognizing Excessive Sneezing

Dogs may sneeze occasionally, due to different irritants, but if you notice that the dog is sneezing more than a couple of times per day, this is more than normal.

Causes of Excessive Sneezing in Dogs

Dogs may sneeze occasionally when they inhale an irritant, and the sneezing is an attempt to eliminate the irritant. However, excessive sneezing may be caused by a number of medical conditions such as:

  • Allergic reactions to various substances in the environment
  • Infections affecting the respiratory tract
  • A foreign object that is trapped in the nasal cavity or the respiratory tract
  • Teeth and gum infections
  • Polyps in the nose
  • Tumors in the nose or respiratory tract

Additional Symptoms

The dog that displays excessive sneezing can have numerous additional symptoms. Watch out for:

  • Coughing, which can indicate the dog has a respiratory infection
  • Itchy skin and dermatitis, indicative of allergies
  • Nasal and ocular discharges, may be present in the case of allergies and infections, and the consistency and color will vary according to the underlying conditions
  • Panting and problems when breathing
  • Bad mouth smell
  • Pus in the gum area
  • Blood when sneezing, indicative of polyps or tumors in the nose
  • Vomiting, often with blood
  • Pale gums
  • Skin infections
  • Hair loss

Diagnosing Excessive Sneezing in Dogs

The vet can diagnose the excessive sneezing in your pet judging by the additional symptoms displayed. A general examination of your pet will be performed. Blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds can help the vet establish the diagnosis.

Excessive Sneezing Treatment

The treatment of excessive sneezing can be of several types, depending on the causes of the symptom. If the dog is allergic to something in his environment, the treatment may be:

  • Antihistamines
  • Steroid creams or oral corticosteroids
  • Allergy shots
  • Limiting the exposure of the dog to the allergen
  • Supplementation of immune system vitamins

If the dog has a cold or a respiratory infection, the treatment may be:

  • A cure of antibiotics
  • Steam baths and warm compresses to decongest the nasal passages and sinuses
  • Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

If the dog has a foreign body trapped in the system, this should be removed. In the best case scenario, this is possible using tweezers, but the dog may also require surgery.

Teeth and gum infections are first treated with antibiotics and if need be, the damaged tooth will be extracted.

A tumor or polyp will need to be surgically removed. Should the tumor be malignant, a cure of chemotherapy will be also recommended to control the development of the cancerous cells.