Sneezing is normal among dogs. In fact, it is as normal as sneezing among humans. However, dog sneezing comes across as serious in many dog owners. They immediately wonder if their dogs have an illness. Truth is, although dog sneezing is usually not a cause of worry, it can often tell if something is wrong with dogs.
Sneezing happens for many reasons. Usually, dog sneezing is caused by a foreign object getting into the nostrils. When a dog, for example, sniffs a ball of dust, he will release the foreign object through sneezing. Getting exposed to foreign objects happens if the dog always plays outside or gets into dusty, grassy, and bushy places.
Dog sneezing also might result from pollens. Apart from sneezing, the dog might also scratch his nose, chew his paw, and have watery eyes.
Strong chemicals and odors trigger sneezing as well. This explains why after sniffing a liquid detergent or getting near someone wearing a strong perfume, a dog sneezes uncontrollably.
But in some cases, dog sneezing might be caused by an upper respiratory tract infection, otherwise known as cold. A dog sneezes because the nasal membranes are inflamed due to bacteria (e.g. Streptococci and Bordetella) and virus (e.g. parainfluenza). Tooth abscesses and food allergy might also be a cause of dog sneezing. And in serious cases, a dog sneezes because of a tumor. Usually, a bloody nasal discharge accompanies sneezing.
Unknown to many, breed has something to do with sneezing. Dogs with short snout and tighter nasal passages sneeze more than their counterparts. These include bulldogs, pugs, Shia Tzu, Lhasa Apsos, and Pekingese.
Short-lived sneezing doesn’t require medical attention. But if the dog sneezing continues for three days and is accompanied by fever, nasal discharge, breathing difficulty, lethargy, and loss of appetite, medical attention is necessary. The dog should be brought to the veterinarian at once to see if any of the above causes might have triggered the dog’s frequent and prolonged sneezing.
Foreign object in the nostrils and chemical allergy can be easily remedied. In fact, sneezing itself can relieve the condition of the dog. Avoidance of places with irritants and removing the irritants from the places the dogs frequent also help. However, sneezing that’s been diagnosed as a symptom of a more serious condition should be quickly treated. The treatment is of course based on the diagnosis. Antihistamine is usually prescribed by the doctors, although homeopathic remedies are also becoming popular. Some of these are aconitum napellus, arsenicum album, calcarea sulphurica, and hepar sulphurus.
Prevention is centered on avoiding the causes of dog sneezing. In other words, if the dog is allergic to pollens, he should not go to the woods, gardens, and similar places. If the dog has a dental problem, he must be immediately checked by the vet. Although sneezing is pretty normal, something should be done to prevent it from happening in the first place. And every dog owner must be responsible in this respect.