Sneezing in dogs is as natural as sneezing in humans. Sometimes it itches and tickles in the dog's nose and sneezing can bring relief. With us bipeds it is nothing else: a pure protective reaction of the body.
However, if your dog sneezes very frequently and the sneeze is accompanied by nasal discharge, then something more may be behind it. When exactly the sneezing in the dog becomes alarming, what signs of disease are associated with it and what you can and should do, I show you here.
1. When the dog sneezes – causes of sneezing
Sneezing in dogs (and also in humans) is a sudden expulsion of air through the nose. Sneezing happens involuntarily. Mostly also almost explosive. You probably know this from yourself, when something really itches in your nose again and you emit a proper sneeze as a result.
For sneezing, dogs (and also humans) inhale air quickly just before sneezing and expel it as a strong "sneeze" through the nose.
Usually this is accompanied by the dog's head also moving quickly towards the floor or sideways to the floor because of this. In any case, my dogs have often managed to hit their skulls on the floor or on a wall or a cupboard when they sneezed😉 .
As with us humans, sneezing is always a protective reflex of the body. It serves to clean the nose from the smallest particles. These particles irritate the nasal mucosa. Trigger so the sneezing.
1.2 Normal sneezing and alarming sneezing in dogs
In such a case, the cause must be addressed quite quickly. The veterinarian is absolutely obligatory in case of bloody or purulent nasal discharge!
Not only humans can suffer from allergies that cause frequent sneezing. The dog can also be affected by such an allergy.
In case of allergies of the dog, which among other things are manifested by sneezing, nasal mucosa of the dog is continuously inflamed. Often this is accompanied by a nasal discharge, which is rather clear mucous.
Your veterinarian can help you and your dog with allergies. Therefore, even in the case of a suspected allergy of the dog, a visit to the vet is mandatory.
Sneezing in dogs due to nosebleeds is rare, but it can be a cause. Whereby then you probably first the nosebleed. Then the sneezing would be noticeable. In any case, nosebleeds in dogs are not to be trifled with. You should act quite quickly. If you want to know more about the possible causes, first aid and diagnosis, you can read about it in my article on nosebleeds in dogs.
2.7 Parasites and fungal diseases
Very rarely, but nevertheless, parasites and fungi can also be to blame for your dog tormenting a strange nasal discharge accompanied by sneezing.
This can be the case, for example, with hepatozoonosis or toxoplasmosis. Hepatozoonosis occurs mainly in southern European countries and in the Middle East and is transmitted by ticks. This disease is also accompanied by other signs of illness such as fever, emaciation, apathy and muscle pain.
Similar is the case with toxoplasmosis. It occurs very rarely and is transmitted to the dog especially through raw pork and cat feces. In addition to nasal discharge, toxoplasmosis also causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, paralysis and heart problems.
It should go without saying that if one or more of these symptoms appear, you should take the dog to the vet immediately.
3. First aid when your dog sneezes
With an occasional sneeze you do not really need to worry. However, if your dog continues to sneeze frequently or even in spasms, my urgent advice is that you visit a vet with your dog as soon as possible.
The same is also true for backward sneezing.
In general, you should avoid that your dog often or suddenly sneezes. is permanently exposed to a very irritating and unhealthy environment. This means, for example, that if you smoke, you should not expose your dog to cigarette smoke.
Should you ever clean with very strong smelling cleaning agents, send your dog for the time rather in the garden or another room. Also hairspray, other sprays or perfume should not be used in the direct vicinity of your dog. This will prevent irritation of the nasal mucosa.
If your dog sneezes constantly or suddenly very much, you should absolutely go to the vet with your four-legged friend.
3.1 Your dog sneezes constantly and suddenly
Sudden and constant sneezing can be a sign of an infection or a foreign body in your dog's nose. But allergic reactions are also possible.
Depending on the frequency and severity of the sneezing, and depending on the nasal discharge of the dog, I would consult the vet quite quickly.
3.2 Your dog sneezes often in succession
If the dog sneezes often in succession, it may be that he has simply inhaled an irritant substance (smoke from cigarettes, sprays, cleaning agents or similar). If you can exclude that this is the case, the sneezing must have another reason.
Therefore it is important that you observe your dog well. For example, if he is weak and exhausted? Or does he have nasal discharge? Depending on the symptoms / signs of illness, this may also be an infection or other disease.
Just to be sure that your dog is fine and not suffering from a major problem, you should also visit your vet in this case.
3.3 Your dog sneezes after a walk
If your dog sneezes frequently right after a walk, it could be a sign that a foreign body is lodged in his nose or throat. caught in your dog's nasal mucosa. By sneezing, your dog is trying to get rid of this foreign body.
Unfortunately this does not always work. In order to relieve your dog of the foreign body and the sneezing as quickly as possible and to prevent the formation of long-lasting and painful inflammations, you should go directly to the vet with your four-legged friend in such a case.
3.4 Your dog sneezes blood
Nosebleeds or sneezing with blood in the dog means “high alert”. You should definitely take the direct way to the vet. Have your dog thoroughly examined there.
There are many reasons for blood in the dog's nose. It could be, for example, that your dog has ingested poison (e.g. rat poison) ingested or ingested. has gotten into the nose. It is also possible that a foreign body has injured the nasal mucosa. This is often the case when the nosebleed is unilateral.
In the case of bilateral nosebleeds, the cause is often more likely to be poisoning, tumors, severe infections, liver disorders, other blood coagulation disorders or kidney disease, among other things.
There are some advisors who recommend to observe the nosebleed for 10 to 15 minutes. Especially in the case of my old bitch I would immediately visit the vet instead of waiting. Even if the blood from the nose finally turns out to be harmless.
I am glad if I could help you further and I am curious about your experiences, questions and tips about sneezing in dogs. Do you have e.g. experiences made with your dog, which I have not yet described here? Share it with us! You can simply write me below in the comment field!