People get a runny nose in response to a number of things, including allergies or illness. It’s so common that we hardly ever think twice about it. Believe it or not though, dogs can have this same issue. A dog’s sniffly nose or nasal discharge can be a symptom of a more serious problem however, one that could require your attention.
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Causes of Nasal Discharge in My Dog
A dripping nose for humans is easy, but as I said, there can be multiple causes when it comes to your pet! Try not to worry too much at first though since you might not be looking at something too serious. There are all types of causes for runny noses in dogs, from anxiousness to something as serious as cancer.
There are some incredibly common causes for your dog having nasal discharge which you don’t need to worry too much about, such as nervousness or allergies. If you’re seeing clear nasal discharge when your dog is nervous or excited that disappears when they calm down, then your dog is fine. When it lasts for hours, that’s when you need to be worried. Your dog also might be itching in conjunction with a runny nose. This is a general sign of allergies, but you might also see coughing, nosebleeds, and sneezing. To treat it, simply treat your dog for the allergies as you normally would. It might be a good idea to be sure it is allergies however, since multiple other more serious causes include the same symptoms.
Infections of the Nose
Unfortunately, not all causes are as easy to deal with as our common ones. Infection for instance can be quite scary, especially when you see a thick substance coming from the nose that lasts for hours. When this happens, you need to run to the vet and get antibiotics. From home there are a few natural remedies like Reishi mushrooms you can try, but it’s best to at least have the infection diagnosed by a vet.
Influenza (In Dogs?)
Dogs can get the flu? Of course! It feels just as bad for them as it does for us when we have it, and they display some similar symptoms. Your dog will start to cough, display lethargy, and may have problems breathing. It’s quite worrisome, but it doesn’t have to be life-threatening if you get it treated quickly.
Sneezing and Sinuses
Dogs might not end up sneezing when they have the flu, but they do often end up sneezing when they have inflammation in their nose. They can even have upper respiratory problems, nasal irritation, nasal mites, or nasal tumors when they sneeze and have a dripping nose. When combined with sneezing, be careful of that dripping nose in case it’s pointing to a diagnosis of sinus or dental disease rather than simple allergies.
This one might seem a little out of the box, but it really does happen. Dogs put their noses in everything, so it’s no wonder that sometimes objects get stuck in their throat. If there is something there, you’ll notice food, water, or discharge coming from the nose. Once you look inside the dog’s mouth, an abscess, a tumor, or signs of trauma can be present. There isn’t much you can do here unless there is an obstruction causing it, and if you remove it, usually your pup will be good as new! You might also need to go in through the nose with tweezers if you can, or get your vet to help.
Polyps or Tumors (Worst-Case)
There are definitely more serious causes you need to look out for too, such as polyps, which are overgrown mucus glands, and obviously tumors. In these cases, blood, pus, or mucus can come from the nose, which is definitely worrying. Polyps usually require surgery mixed with more treatments later. Tumors have a few options like removal or radiation if it’s cancerous, but because the cancer will grow slowly, you need to pick up on the symptoms early. If you catch it early enough, the prognosis doesn’t have to be as bad as it could be.
Predisposed to Problems?
Humans and dogs really are quite similar sometimes. Both of us can be predisposed to certain medical conditions too, so there are some dogs that are more likely to get a runny nose than others. Dogs with flat noses for instance, and those with floppy nose cartilage are a few, so think of pug-type dogs. Dogs can even have cleft palate too, or a fistula. All of these conditions can be fixed by simple surgeries.
Dog Nose Dripping: What Can I Do For My Dog?
It sometimes feels a little hopeless dealing with medical problems if you don’t know what the cause is. This can be frightening when the possibility of cancer is on the table. Our advice however is to first see what kind of nasal discharge you’re looking at. Is it bloody, clear, thick, yellow, smelly, or pus?
If you’re seeing serious signs like blood, color, smell, or pus, or if it’s lasting for hours, go to your vet immediately. Your vet will be able to perform a diagnosis better than you and give you the best next steps for treatment. As for treatment then, it really depends on what’s causing the discharge. Like we said earlier, there are antibiotics for infections or even surgery as a possible fix for other problems. The best thing you can do is to go to the vet before getting anxious.
A dog’s dripping nose is much scarier than a human’s! As humans, it is a quick fix, and usually a sign of illness. Dogs experience the same thing, although their drippy noses can have some serious causes behind them. That’s why if you see one, take a few hours to see if it stops, but otherwise take a trip to the vet. It doesn’t have to be so scary if you can figure out what’s wrong!