Puppy sneezing may be a symptom of allergies or a respiratory infection. Usually sneezing is not a serious medical condition, and can be treated or go away without medication. Make sure you notice any additional symptoms, so as to be able to pinpoint the real cause behind the sneezing.
1. Respiratory diseases
Dogs can get respiratory illnesses. Colds and sinus infections are common in puppies. Parainfluenza and the Adenovirus are frequent causes of sneezing in puppies.
A respiratory infection may also cause other symptoms such as:
- Swollen eyes
- Inflamed lymphatic glands
- Mucus in excess
- Breathing difficulties
- Puppies that have been in contact with a shelter environment may often display kennel cough syndrome, which will be accompanied by symptoms such as sneezing.
If the dog has a bacterial, viral or fungal infection of the nose, sneezing is common. These infections may become chronic, if you fail to treat them.
2. Foreign bodies
If your puppy has a foreign object stuck in the nasal cavity, he may sneeze frequently, as he will try to get the object out of his nose. The puppy may sneeze blood if the object has injured his nasal cavity or the pharynx.
However, the object may block the nasal cavity, so you need to go to the vet immediately.
The vet can extract the foreign object. If the object is too large, surgery may be needed. Anti-inflammatory medication may prescribed, and the puppy is likely to have a fast recovery.
Puppies can be allergic to different environmental factors, including:
- Inhaled fibers
- Household products or chemicals
- Sneezing occurs as a natural response of the body trying to eliminate the source of irritation from the nose or pharynx.
Other symptoms will include nasal discharge, skin irritations, itchiness and hair loss.
Some allergies are seasonal, depending on the source.
Dogs typically develop allergies after the age of 2, but there are cases of puppies that are allergic.
Sneezing caused by allergies can be treated by administering medication. The treatment will consist of antihistamines, steroids or allergy shots.
4. Tooth i nfection
Tooth infections may cause frequent sneezing in puppies. Check your puppy’s mouth for foul odor, swollen gums or pus pockets.
Tooth infections are rare in puppies, but can be present.
Tumors can also cause sneezing. However, puppies are very unlikely to have tumors at such a young age.
If your dog sneezes often and he eliminates blood, take him to the vet to rule out tumors. Some x-rays of the sinuses will be needed.
Remember that a bleeding nose is always a reason for concern in puppies.
A puppy sneezing on occasion is normal, but if the sneezing is frequent, you need to detect the cause.
Some puppy breeds with flat noses will sneeze more frequently, due to the anatomy of the nose. By Dr Ruan Du Toit Bester
Hope this info helps
Till next week
Dr Ruan Bester
Ask the Vet: Royal Veterinary Centre
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