Why does my dog sneeze?

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A dog can sneeze for a variety of reasons.

The culprits?

  • Allergies
  • Environmental irritants
  • Anatomical abnormalities
  • Upper respiratory diseases, or
  • Cancer

Dogs have hay fever-type symptoms due to pollens. Environmental irritants such as dust or a foreign body in the nasal passage will cause sneezing in an effort to dislodge it.  Accompanied by nasal discharge can cause him to sneeze. Some dogs have an anatomical condition of the back of the pharynx that can cause a reverse sneeze. The dog will act as if it has something caught in its nose, will try to shake it out, and then sneeze a few times, but end up just fine. If your dog has been displaying this behavior since birth then this is usually the case.

More commonly, an upper respiratory disease is the cause. Examination is important to rule out serious or harder to treat conditions such as a fungal infection in the nose or to
flush out the dog’s nasal passages under anesthesia to remove the foreign matter. The veterinarian will examine the dog, note any nasal discharge or presence of a virus or
bacteria, and determine treatment. The presence of bacteria can be treated with antibiotics while most viruses are treated by the dog’s own immune system.

If your dog is sneezing, a trip to the veterinarian is well worth it to rule out serious diseases.



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