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Home > Health Hub > Article > Nasal Discharge & Sneezing in Dogs!

Nasal Discharge & Sneezing in Dogs!

Dr Azeemulla H R

Dr Azeemulla H R

  Yelahanka, Bengaluru     Apr 15, 2019

   3 min     


When it comes to your furry little friend, you cannot see him/her suffering. You try to do everything possible to comfort your little buddy with utmost care. But this doesn’t stop you from wondering about things like- why my pet is sneezing? Why does my dog sneeze when I pet him? What can I do to comfort him? Are there any remedies for my sneezing pet? Is nasal discharge and sneezing normal in dogs?

Well, we have a few answers to your questions. All you have to do is keep reading.

Is nasal discharge and sneezing normal in dogs?

Well, take a breath of relief, please! Clear nasal discharge and sneezing are seen commonly in dogs, and the reason can be anything. Maybe your pooch has inhaling irritants or acquired an upper respiratory tract viral infection (which are not usually serious). As long as the discharge is clear, there is nothing to worry about.

The condition should be brought to the attention of the veterinary if the nasal discharge contains blood, or has a weird smell, or is thick and gray in colour. This indicates a more serious problem especially when it comes to an unvaccinated puppy.

What causes running nose and nose discharge in dogs?

Nose discharge (mucus) and sneezing in dogs may be a sign of benign viral infections or allergies. In the worst scenario, it can also be a sign of parasitic infections or severe infectious diseases like distemper, or nasal cancers. Therefore, do not let the condition go unseen. Look carefully for signs and symptoms like dog nose discharge, dry nose, wet nose, pale nose, running nose, etc.

The appropriate treatment action depends on the type and severity of the discharge and the physical state of the nose.

What are the common causes and treatments?


Abnormal nasal secretions in dogs can be a result of an allergic reaction to pollens, foods, drugs, mites, spores, and chemicals.

The symptoms can be a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchiness, and nosebleeds.

The treatment is to keep your pooch away from the allergen. You can also take your pet for an allergy test.

Polyps and tumors 

Bloody discharge, pus, or mucus can indicate nasal polyps (overgrown mucus-producing glands) or nasal tumors.

This condition has to be addressed to a vet at the earliest. Usually, surgery is the go-to treatment for benign tumors, but the cancerous ones are usually managed with radiation.


A bacterial, fungal, or viral infection can cause a clear or pus-like discharge. Other symptoms include foul odor, a nosebleed, and coughing.

The treatment involves certain antibiotics or anti-fungal drugs. Sometimes surgery may be necessary for a chronic condition.

Nose Blockage 

If there is something stuck in your pet’s nostril (like a bone or a grass), the first sign is the nasal discharge.

The other symptoms are sneezing, pawing at the nose, and slight nosebleeds.

It is best to consult with a vet. The vet will sedate your dog to remove the blockage carefully with tweezers, and then prescribe antibiotics to avoid infection.


A thick, sticky, yellowish nasal discharge in dogs indicates a sign of distemper which can cause pneumonia, fever and twitching and convulsions in dogs.

Treatment options are anticonvulsants, antibiotics, sedatives, and painkillers.


Cleft palate is seen in dogs as well. The primary symptom of fistula is discharge soon after your pet eats. Surgery is the most effective and commonly opted treatment option for cleft palates and oral-nasal fistulas.

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Tags:  why does my dog sneeze when i pet him,pets sneezing,runny nose in dogs,nasal discharge in dogs,dog nose discharge,

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