My Dog is Sneezing
A sneeze here and there is a normal event in a dog's life. You and I probably feel like it's a good thing to sneeze once in a while. Repeated sneezing, however, is not normal and may indicate a serious problem. If it goes on for too long, it may even lead to bleeding, and the sneezing will then turn into a bloody spray. If your dog is sneezing more than you think is normal, there are a few things you can do in order to get a better idea how serious it is.
What to Look For
Start your assessment by offering your dog a drink of water. Occasionally a drink alone will clear the oronasal passage of some irritant and resolve the sneezing. Next, look your dog straight in the eye and get an idea if there are any asymmetries of his eyes, face, or muzzle. If you have some sort of protective face- and eyewear, use it to prevent getting oral or ocular exposure to your dog's nasal discharge. Listen carefully to your dog's breathing in between the sneezing episodes. Try blocking first one nostril, then the other, to determine whether there is any form of partial or complete obstruction in either of the nasal passages. Use your flashlight and try to get a look into each of your dog's nasal openings.
What to Do
Ask yourself a few questions to figure out what to do next:
If your dog has allergies to various seasonal plants or pollens, this may explain the sneezing and your dog may respond well to an antihistamine such as Tavist, Claritin, or even Benadryl. In general, check with your vet for dosage and to confirm that your dog has no specific additional health risks that would prevent you from using them safely.
Text © 2007 by Robert D. "Jake" Tedaldi, D.V.M.
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