Every dog owner loves taking funny photos of his dog sneezing, as it is so cute and sweet. However, when your dog keeps sneezing, it stops to be funny, and you start to worry. But is it a cause for concern? Why is your puppy sneezing?
Just like in humans, the most common reason for sneezing is an irritant in the nose. But it may also be a sign of an oncoming sickness. There are many reasons why your dog is sneezing, and they range from totally negligible to pretty concerning. Let’s learn more about the most common causes and what to do if your dog keeps sneezing.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Dog’s Sneezing?
Irritant or allergy: Chemicals, dry air, dust, or perfumes can irritate a nose of your pup enough to cause sneezing. Also, the reason for sneezing can be an allergy. However, it is quite rare, and skin symptoms are more common. Allergic dogs often have “reverse sneezing,” but we will talk about it later.
Sneezing can be a symptom of a contagious respiratory disease called Kennel Cough. The Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria is the causative agent that causes this illness and sneezing.
The Distemper virus is one of the worst viruses that can infect a respiratory system of your dog. Moreover, it also affects the nervous system. Another common virus that causes sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge is Canine influenza virus also known as dog flu.
Cryptococcus, Aspergillus, and Blastomyces are the most common fungi that can affect your dog and cause sneezing. They are everywhere in our environment, and fungi often cause nasal/sinus infection in dogs.
Foreign objects: Plant material or small particles of food are things that cause sneezing when they get to your dog’s nose. And your pup will try to blow the object out.
Mites: Another common reason is Pneumonyssoides caninum parasites living in the nasal passage of your dog. You can meet this mite in any part of the world, but, most commonly, it occurs in Scandinavia. Your dog can get infected after direct contact with another dog.
Tooth root abscess: Dog’s teeth have quite long roots. Their tips can lie close to the thin tissue that separates the oral cavity from the nose. Tooth root abscess often extends into the nasal passage, causing sneezing and inflammation.
Emotions: Sneezing can be a sign of excitement and happiness. Many dogs sneeze when playing or while rolling on their back, and there is only one explanation – your dog is especially happy! And such sneezing is not a cause for concern, as it is just an expression of emotions.
When to Worry About Your Dog’s Sneezing?
Most often, occasional sneezing should not cause concern if there are no other signs of sickness. On the other hand, when your dog keeps sneezing without any reason, it may be better to consult your vet.
Usually, allergies are not a dangerous threat to the health of your dog. However, if, besides sneezing, they cause skin irritation or itching, bring your pup to the vet. Moreover, you should do it urgently if you noticed appetite loss, swelling, or blood.
You should always watch closely for other symptoms if your dog keeps sneezing. Sneezing may be no big deal, but its causes need some investigation.
What Is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs?
Reverse sneezing is a quite common respiratory defect characteristic for brachycephalic breeds and small breed dogs. Unlike regular sneezing, when your dog pushes the air out through the nose, reverse sneezing is the process of pulling the air. It is a more or less natural event for many dogs.
The worst thing in reverse sneezing is an unexpected, startling noise that accompanies it. This sound is similar to a honk, and it may make you think that your dog has an asthma attack.
Usually, the pup stands still with his head extended and elbows spread apart, making a loud noise. This strange position, coupled with this snorting sound, is the reason why many dog owners rush to the emergency clinic or the vet.
What to Do If Your Dog is Sneezing?
- Check the dog’s nose
Use a lighting source to examine the nasal passage of your dog. Look for foreign objects, nasal discharge, etc.
- Apply saline nasal drops
Saline drops can help rinse irritants away and moisten dry nasal passage. You can use a plain saline rinse sold in pharmacies.
- Try an antihistamine
Antihistamines can be helpful if the reason for sneezing is mild allergy. You can use Benadryl or something similar.
- Evaluate your dog’s overall health
Is your dog drinking and eating regularly? Are there any other symptoms like coughing or itching? Is there a possibility of getting infected by other dogs?
- Consult your vet
Maybe your dog needs an examination or some diagnostic tests to be done. They may include:
- Blood tests like fungal tests or complete blood count (CBC)
They can help find specific fungal diseases or inflammatory responses.
- X-rays of your dog’s skull and nose
They can show bone erosion, inflammation, and tumors.
It is a specific imaging procedure performed when your pet is under anesthesia. A vet manipulates a narrow tube with a camera into the dog’s sinuses. He looks for inflamed tissue, foreign objects, or tumors. It also allows a doctor to take tissue samples for further cellular analysis.
Based on the cause of your dog’s sneezes, you may take various preventive measures. Vaccinate your dog according to the vaccination schedule. Avoid places like doggie daycares or dog parks if your pup has a weak immune system.
Sneezing is a natural part of life for your dog. A few sneezes during play or after a roll on the carpet are not a problem, as it means that your dog is happy. Also, a random sneeze once or twice a day is not a cause for concern.
However, if your puppy keeps sneezing, has a nasal discharge, or feels poorly, you need to consider possible causes. Consult your veterinarian to find the root of the problem and choose the treatment plan.
You know your pup best, so if you think something is wrong, a quick call to the vet can be the best solution!