Sinus Allergies in Dogs

Sinus allergies in dogs occur as the result of an irritation to the nasal cavity, causing inflammation and pain. While sinus allergies in dogs are not typically life-threatening, they are a condition that can cause a great deal of pain and warrant medical treatment and identification. By learning how to identify a sinus allergy, you can help your dog to lead a more comfortable life.

Causes of Sinus Allergies

The causes of sinus allergies are numerous. Virtually anything in the air or the environment could cause a dog to have an allergic reaction, and identifying the true cause can sometimes be difficult. Causes of sinus allergies in dogs can include:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mites
  • Grass
  • Medications
  • Food
  • Other animals
  • Perfumes
  • Deodorants

The list of what can cause a dog to have a sinus allergy is lengthy, but the most important factor is to at least be aware of the symptoms so that they can be treated.

Symptoms of Sinus Allergies

Sinus allergies in dogs typically occur instantaneously, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. If a dog is exposed to something that it has developed an allergy to, any of the following symptoms may be present:

  • Nasal congestion and inflammation
  • Nasal cavities that are tender to the touch
  • Nasal drainage
  • Clear drainage from the eyes
  • Redness and inflammation of the eyes
  • Unusual sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to make a diagnosis for sinus allergies, a veterinarian will often complete an entire physical examination and review the medical history of the dog. This will help to answer any concerns and direct the veterinarian to suspect a sinus allergy. The symptoms alone are usually enough to definitively determine that a dog has a sinus allergy.

Once a sinus allergy has been diagnosed, many dog owners want to know what the specific allergy is so that they can help their dog to avoid that particular allergen. However, this is not something that can be done in a veterinarian's office. A blood test can be run and sent off to a special laboratory that will test the dog's blood against the most common types of allergens, allowing for a determination of the true cause. If the allergen is determined to be cat dander, for example, and there is a cat in the home, the dog owner will have a decision to make. If a dog develops serious sinus allergies, it is probably important that this blood test and panel be conducted.

Treatment of sinus allergies in dogs typically consists of avoiding the allergen, if known, and anti-inflammatory medications to help alleviate the congestion and pain of the sinuses. Some dogs may have to take medication indefinitely, or only seasonally if the allergen cannot be avoided or identified.