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Backward sneezing and drooling.

Species: Dog
Breed: Lab
Age: 2-5 years
Firstly I am doing this om my iPhone . I can get email but can not send so please get this right. Not an easy one.
Tucker has been very healthy and comes from a good bloodline. This started a month ago now. He was drooling and backwards sneezing. I took him to my vet and all his vitals were fine. He sent us home and told me to put him on benadrill. He got much worse and was losing contol of his bladder and vomiting. I was sent to a different vet and he spent the day there. He had X-rays , bloodtests, and I was told they could not find a thing wrong. I suspected food and I nursed him back feeding him ground beef and white rice 50-50. He came back to health for Two weeks with only a few bouts of the backwards sneezing. He has been back on his high end food for two weeks then suddenly started yesterday started with the same symptoms . Discharge from the eyes drooling vomiting etc. The only thing that has changed in his life is that a cat was brought into the house. He was into the cat box before so we have tried to keep that away. ?????

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for your question. This is a tough one to answer, but I can give you a few of my thoughts.

It's an interesting set of symptoms...sudden reverse sneezing, incontinence and vomiting. I am having a hard time putting those symptoms together.

When a dog suddenly starts to reverse sneeze there are a few possibilities. Sometimes it can be because of a "something" affecting the nasal cavities. That "something" could be a foreign object, an infection, or nasal mites.

Really, none of these problems should cause any other symptoms though.

One thought I did have would be to ask your vet about the possibility of a fungal infection such as blastomycosis. A fungal infection in the nose could definitely cause the reverse sneezing and can cause other symptoms in the body. It will not necessarily show up on routine blood tests or xrays.

A tooth root infection could cause reverse sneezing. It should not cause loss of bladder control though. In theory, it could cause vomiting if the infection was serious enough. A tooth root infection is usually not difficult to pick up with an exam, but sometimes it can be tricky. Additionally, we usually will see an increased white blood cell count, but not always.

Were there tests done on his urine? Any time that a dog has incontinence issues, it can be helpful to do a urinalysis.

It doesn't sound to me like this is a food related problem, or an allergy.

If this was a cat I would be wondering about a polyp affecting the pharynx. If the polyp was big enough it could cause issues with the inner ear causing nausea and balance issues. I've never seen this in a dog though.

I would really advise that you have one of your vets recheck him. If they still can't determine what is going on he may have to have a test called a rhinoscopy done. This is where they use a special camera to look up his nose and determine if there is a problem in there. Unfortunately though this is a test that a specialist needs to do and it can be expensive.

I'm sorry I don't have an exact answer for you, but let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie

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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. 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.

Customer reply:

The incontance was a one time thing and suspect the benadrill. I have another dog in the house and he is fine? Can it be that he has an allergy to cats or cat feces?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, I see. If we take the incontinence out of the picture, it becomes a little more clear.

It is extremely unlikely to be due to an allergy. When dogs get allergies they are rarely respiratory. We usually see issues with the skin on the feet and ears.

So, if we narrow he symptoms down to sneezing and drooling then this sounds like either a tooth root infection or something inside of the nose, with that "something" being either a bacterial or fungal infection, nasal mites, a tumor or even a foreign object.

It may be worthwhile to have another xray done. (I am assuming that the xrays were done of the nose/head.) Then, the vet can compare the xrays from before to the current one and see if there is evidence of something growing in there.

If this were my case I would likely give Tucker a treatment of Revolution which is a heartworm medication. This medication kills nasal mites easily.

Again, the rhinoscopy may be necessary.

Customer reply:

Over nite Tucker got much worse. He was Walking into walls and showing signs of brain problems. I took him to the emergency clinic where they are sedating him and I told them to go ahead and treat him for the toxic thing on the brain that is caused from the cat feces. It is my gut feeling.I m looking at another $4000 bill Monday if he needs CT scan. The vet said it was rare but not impossible that he got this from the cat. What is it and are these symptoms inline. They tell expectant mothers to not clean cat boxes for the same reason

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh. Sorry to hear that things are getting worse. The condition you are talking about is called toxoplasmosis. It is a parasite that can cause neurological lesions. I've never heard of it causing sneezing though.

I really hope things improve soon!

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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.