If your dog is sneezing with discharge from one or both of his nostrils, he is probably suffering from rhinitis, a condition in which the mucosal lining within his nasal passages is inflamed. These symptoms can be bothersome to your canine companion, especially if they occur on a chronic basis. One of the most common nasal diseases in dogs to cause chronic symptoms is an inflammatory condition called lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis.
The Causes Are Myriad
The lengthy name of lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis can be defined simply as a chronic inflammatory nasal condition. It's not so simple to find the cause and formulate a definitive diagnosis of the idiopathic disease. Airborne allergens and fungal irritants may be the causative culprit for the disease’s development. Viral infections may also contribute to the subsequent development of lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis. While the disease is rarely caused by primary bacterial infections in dogs, the inflammation and excessive production of mucus can compromise your dog’s ability to clear debris from his nose effectively, enabling a bacterial colony to brew an infection as a secondary nasal problem.
Sneezing and Discharge Are Symptoms
Inflammation of the nasal passages and an increase in mucous production bring on a number of symptoms in the form of your dog's efforts to clear his nose and breathe easier. Sneezing is one of the most common symptoms. As mucus flows back toward the throat, an aspiration reflex commonly known as reverse sneezing may occur. Although most cases of lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis affect both sides of the nose, you might see nasal discharge from one or both sides. Your dog may paw at his nose or rub it on the ground. He may also be restless in his attempts to settle down for a snooze, because his nasal passages may be so constricted that he is finding it difficult to breathe through his nose. The condition can worsen when the dog lies down.
Diagnosis Is Tricky
Chronic nasal diseases are not common in dogs. The symptoms are also commonly found in a number of other conditions that affect the nasal and sinus passages. The process for diagnosing lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis is one of elimination. Cytology and fungal cultures of the nasal discharge, thoracic and skull radiographs, and routine laboratory blood panels will rule out a number of conditions that can cause nasal discharge. Imaging tests such as nasal computer tomography and rhinoscopy provide the most detailed picture of the tissues and passages of your dog’s nasal and sinus cavities. These tests will rule out the presence of nasal polyps and tumors that could also cause your dog’s symptoms.
Treatments Include Antibiotics, NSAIDS and Antifungals
Once other potential explanations for your dog’s chronic nasal symptoms have been ruled out, your veterinarian will start a symptomatic treatment plan. The vet may try long-term use of antibiotics that help to boost your dog’s immunity may in conjunction with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for minimizing nasal inflammation. Some veterinarians are finding success with the use of antifungal medications. Treatment results can be frustrating. Several treatment options may need to be tried before the most effective remedy for your dog is found. Do not give up if the first medication fails to alleviate your furry friend’s symptoms. Communicate all effects of each medication with your veterinarian.