Your dog’s nose says many things about their health. A healthy dog may have a slight runny nose which is normal, however, a severe runny nose can indicate a serious health problem.
If you have ever suffered from a runny nose, you know how uncomfortable this is. For dogs, a runny nose is a much bigger problem because they can’t blow their noses or even wipe it like we can.
So how can you help your pet? Below, we will discuss what causes a runny nose in dogs and how you can treat this problem.
Why is my Dog’s Nose Running?
For some dogs, a runny nose is a common problem that they suffer from time to time, and it will pass. But if there are other symptoms along with a runny nose, it could be a cause for concern.
A runny nose in dogs can occur when the dog’s nose begins to produce mucous to remove any allergens or contaminants. That could be pollen, germs, parasites, or anything your dog can snort while roaming the garden. Sometimes a tumor can be the cause of a runny nose.
Listed below are the common causes:
Dog flu is very common and can spread through the air when an infected dog coughs, barks, or sneezes, just like the human flu. The flu virus can also be spread through feeders, drinkers, or humans who come into contact with infected dogs.
The flu takes about three to four days to complete its cycle and most infected dogs will not show any symptoms. However, severely affected dogs may show signs of sneezing, runny nose, cough, pus from the nose, and difficulty breathing.
Basically, the flu is not a serious illness, but its symptoms, if accompanied by other illnesses, can become very serious. It is also very important to keep your dog away from any other infected dogs in the area.
Dogs can also suffer from pollen and dust allergies, just like humans. They are also susceptible to food allergies and even mites. Your dog may suffer from a runny nose and an upset stomach from any of these allergies.
If you can find and reduce what is causing your dog’s allergy, it will help improve his quality of life.
Types of runny nose
There are 2 different types of runny noses.
- Mild runny nose (not of serious concern)
- Chronic or severe runny nose
Symptoms of Runny Nose
- Swollen or puffy eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Trouble breathing
- Bad breath
- A decline in dental health
What to do if your Dog has Running Nose
Basically, the treatment of the runny nose depends on the type of runny nose. If it is a mild runny nose them you can follow the following steps:
- If the mild runny nose is being caused by an allergic reaction, you will need to find the source of the problem. You will need to observe your dog’s behavior and how he interacts with his environment, and remove any irritant which might be causing the reaction.
- If the runny nose is due to a bacterial infection, your vet will recommend some antibiotics. In the event of a yeast infection, your vet will either let it clear up on its own or, if it is more serious prescribe antifungal medication.
- If nasal mites are present, they can be treated with an oral dose of ivermectin.
- If there are dental issues causing the runny nose, this can be treated by cleaning and extracting the affected teeth.
Treatment for a Severe Runny Nose
A proper diagnosis of a runny nose can only be possible if the symptoms are reported to your veterinarian immediately. If possible, take your dog to the vet within 24 hours of initial symptoms. The full diagnosis of your dog’s runny nose can be made by rhinoscopy.
This is done by putting your dog under general anesthesia, and his nasal passages are fully examined by inserting a tube called an endoscope. This is the proper and safe way to examine your dog’s nose. Anesthesia is used to prevent your dog from sneezing out the tube.
There is a small camera at the end of the tube that will help the vet see inside the nasal passage and detect abnormalities. The endoscope tube also has some surgical tools that can help remove any foreign body found in the nasal passage, or it can also help to take a sample of any suspicious growth.
The nasal discharge that is taken from the nasal passage as a sample is examined for bacterial and fungal components. Additionally, your dog’s blood pressure is recorded and a test is performed to determine the clotting profile of your dog’s blood.
The most important and serious cause of a runny nose in dogs is nasal cancer. This type of cancer is slow-growing and invasive. This cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy. Nasal cancer treatment involves the removal of the cancerous tumor, but this surgery can be very complicated due to the sensitivity of the nasal structure. Nasal cancer can be treated with radiation therapy if it is diagnosed in the early stages.
A runny nose is not usually the cause of concern. More often than not it will get better on its own. However, in severe cases, you should visit your vet who will perform a full diagnosis.