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Antibiotics for stuffed up nose.

Species: Dog
Breed: Austrailian Shepard
Age: 8-11 years
Hello again Dr. Marie, writing again about our dog Sparky and have some questions. He is not getting better and is snoring and having trouble breathing through his nose along with a clear watery dischage from his nose. He seems like he can not breathe through his nose. Our vet wants to try another round of antibiotics, making it the forth time. We have heard that steroids like prednisone may be better if we are dealing with maybe tumors in his nose as you have mentioned earlier. Can you think of any meds that may help him if in fact he has a tumor in his nose? we want to make life comfortable if at all possible. Thank you for your help Dr. Marie..Regards, Karl and Jeri Jacobi.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, I am sorry to hear that Sparky still isn't feeling well. Here is your previous question so that we have a reference.

The main problem here is that we don't know what is causing the stuffiness. And, it can be very difficult to get a diagnosis, even if there are no cost concerns.

I think that if your vet wants to try another round of antibiotics then there is good reason for it. It sounds like they are leaning towards a bacterial infection of some sort (whether it's in the nose or perhaps with a tooth root) and some bacterial infections respond differently to different antibiotics.

You certainly can ask the vet if prednisone is a possibility. There are potential drawbacks to using this drug though. Prednisone can cause issues with the liver or kidneys or other organs depending on what dose it is used in and for how long. In most cases, the benefit outweighs the risk and prednisone use is safe though. The other concern is that this would not be a lifelong fix. If there is inflammation in the nose from, say, a tumor then prednisone may give some temporary relief but eventually things will start to get bad again. Still, it's possible that your vet would be willing to give this a try. The third risk with prednisone is that it can in some cases make it harder for the body to fight infection. So, if there is an infection there, you could possibly be doing more harm than good.

I think it's not a bad idea to give another round of antibiotics a try seeing as that is the direction that your vet is taking and then you can ask them if perhaps some steroids would help.

As mentioned previously, another idea would be to have Sparky sedated so that the vet can have a thorough look in his nose to see if there are any obvious problems like a tooth root infection or something else. On a related note, my in-laws' elderly dog recently started having awful sneezing fits. I prepared them for the worse (i.e. tumor, bad tooth root infection) and lo and behold the dog eventually sneezed out a massive string of grass that he had inhaled. I'm not saying that it's likely that Sparky has inhaled grass, but it certainly is possible that there is a foreign object there.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.