When we talk about having a runny nose, we typically attribute it as a symptom for colds or flu, especially when the season calls for it, or otherwise an allergy. While this is true for us humans, it may also be as true towards animals, like dogs—if not more than that.
What causes runny nose on dogs?
The changing season actually has nothing to do on animals exhibiting a nasal discharge. The real culprits are the microbial pathogens that are airborne on the environment during such time.
Unlike the common misconception, the cold weather does not induce sickness like cold but rather the proliferation of disease-causing micro-organisms which we inevitably inhale. But pathogens, in this sense, is an umbrella term to the many micro-organisms that are invisible to the naked eyes, like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
To add to the overall problem that is manifested with a runny nose, there are also other reasons why dogs show it.
A runny nose could be caused by any of the following:
· a foreign substance within the nasal cavity,
· the feeling of vomiting and not actual puking (nausea),
· a bleeding disorder,
· a kind of trauma,
· neoplasia (abnormal growth of tissue),
· or a congenital defect where the air passages are narrow
Breeds with short-noses, as per experts, are at higher risk of respiratory issues than other dogs. The likely culprit behind this is, as you guessed it, the rather short air passageway in their nasal cavity.
The behavior that typically comes with having a runny nose among dogs could be any or a combination of any of the following:
· Frequent pawing on the face, particularly the nose
· Difficulty in breathing, sometimes involves wheezing
· Decrease in appetite
The kind of symptoms may vary according to the cause, but a combination of any of the abovementioned symptoms might insinuate the need for the dog to visit the vet.
Can runny nose be prevented?
Preventing your dog from contracting a nasal discharge may not be possible given the level of exposure it might have with its environment. However, the chance of it ever happening can be mitigated with just the right level of care.
For instance, prohibiting your dog from wandering around areas with dry bush and lands significantly minimizes the risk of your pet getting a nasal discharge as these are areas where the potential cause of worry thrives.
When is Runny Nose a concern?
Mild cases of nasal discharge are often self-limiting and should not be any owner’s concern. Typically, this kind of runny nose occurs as the dog’s natural response to mild allergens like pollen and dust.
However, when your dog has been manifesting nasal discharges for too long, has only a dripping from one side of the nose, or if the consistency of the nasal discharge itself is concerning—green, bloody, crusty, or thick—you would know that your pet’s case has gotten serious. If this is so, bring your pet over to the vet for an immediate treatment.