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Sneezing is a fairly common and normal occurrence in dogs. But what if your dog starts sneezing a lot more than they usually do?
When it comes to sneezing in dogs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is sick. In fact, most dogs will sneeze during play, or if they become over excited. Dogs sneeze for number of reasons. The cause could be something as simple as allergies, though in some cases it could mean something more serious.
Typically, it is irritants in a dogs nose that are the cause of their sneezing. Much like human sneezes, dogs do the same in order to expel the irritant. If you notice your dog keeps sneezing consistently for a prolonged period of time, then you may want to dig a little deeper.
A dog with a viral or bacterial infection tends to cough or dry heave rather than sneeze. However, infections that are caused by Aspergillus fungus will lead to sneezing. These infections are caused by the dog getting in contact with the fungus through their sinuses and nose.
It’s fairly common for a dog to develop these symptoms after being exposed to dust and grass clippings while outside. The infection may clear up on its own. However, if you notice your dog is in pain or has any bleeding, call a vet. Immediately. Usually an anti-fungal medication will treat this quickly.
2. Tumor Development
Although tumors are relatively common in dogs, especially as they age, this is not the leading cause of them sneezing. Still, it is possible that a dog who sneezes for a prolonged period of time may be suffering from nasal tumors. Dogs with longer nose are more prone to tumor development.
Tobacco smoke has also been linked to nasal tumors in dogs. Since the tumor may be blocking part of their nostrils, dogs often sneeze in response. If your dog is exposed to tobacco smoke on a regular basis, then it may be worth having a vet evaluate for tumor development. Treatments for this condition will vary depending on the severity.
3. Nasal Mites
Mites are small bugs that can usually only be seen under a microscope. They can live in the pet’s nasal passage and cause significant itching. They may lead to bleeding and chronic discharge from the dog’s nose. Mites are commonly contracted after digging in the ground. If your dog is a diggere and frequently sticks his face in the holes, he may have a nasal mites infection. Your vet can evaluate for this problem and will prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Allergic rhinitis is not extremely common in dogs but it can occur. Pets are somewhat susceptible to allergy symptoms that also affect their sinuses. You may notice nasal discharge similar to how humans would have a runny nose. This can result from anything such as dust or cigarette smoke. If avoiding the allergen isn’t possible, then your vet may prescribe an allergy medication for long-term management.
5. Dog Breed
If you notice a significant change to your dog’s sneezing habits, then it’s likely a sign of one of these other causes. However, certain breeds of dogs known as brachycephalic breeds have compressed nasal passages. Examples of this type of breed include Boston terrier, pug, and bulldog. They tend to sneeze on a frequent basis due to their anatomy. This is usually not a cause for concern.
6. Infected Tooth
This is not a common cause either, but it could be a possibility. The third upper premolar in a dog’s mouth has roots which are close to the nasal passages. If this tooth or the teeth near it have an infection, then this can lead to your dog sneezing. If you’re concerned about this, then take a look at your dog’s upper teeth for any signs of an infection. If present, the tooth may need to be removed but schedule a dental visit for the best treatment option.
Managing Dog Sneezing
Although occasional sneezing likely isn’t a serious condition, always take note if your dog starts to sneeze significantly more all of a sudden. Take the dog’s temperature, and schedule a vet visit immediately if it is elevated above 101-102 degrees.
Dogs can also sneeze if overexcited so try to calm them down and see if symptoms decrease. If you start to notice sneezing in addition to difficulty breathing, pain, or other unusual behaviors, call your vet immediately. In some cases, sneezing can be a serious condition but your vet can tell you if you need to come in immediately or simply schedule a routine visit.
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