Dog Nasal Discharge

"Does your dog have nasal discharge? When should you be concerned? Most dogs will normally have clear nasal discharge. Discharge from the nose that is green, yellow or bloody would be unusual. Excessive sneezing or pawing at the muzzle is also abnormal. There are many different causes for nasal discharge. Possible causes include: inhaled foreign material such as grass, sticks, plants, toys, etc., tooth root infection, fungal infection, bacterial infection, inflammation called rhinitis, high blood pressure, blood clotting problems or even nasal cancer. It is important to note what the discharge looks like and which nostril is having the discharge. Tests that are useful in diagnosing the cause of nasal discharge would be x-rays (least helpful in most cases), having a scope placed in the nasal passage (rhinoscopy), nasal biopsy, nasal culture, measuring the blood pressure, bloodwork, or a CT scan of the nasal passage. Usually a combination of these tests will help to determine the cause of the discharge. Sometimes, a trial of medication will be attempted with antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. If the medications do not help, further testing will likely be important. If your dog is having nasal discharge, please discuss with your veterinarian."

Submitted by: Dr. Kathleen Spencer

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