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Sneezing and runny eyes.

Species: Dog
Breed: Beagle
Age: 8-11 years
My dog has been excessively sneezing for over a year now. She has had no respiratory problems until around then, and has been to the vet multiple times since. She is always sneezy with watery eyes and a runny nose and very occasionally coughs up mucus. She also has a problem with "reverse sneezing".

We've tried giving her small doses of benadryl and some human allergy medication, but nothing provides long term relief for her. The vet can't figure out what is wrong and just thinks it's allergies, but I've read more and more that dogs don't respond to allergies in this way.

Aside from this though, her appetite is fine, her breathing is fine, she has no fevers and is as active as a 9 year old beagle probably would be.

It's just hard to see her like this and not know how to help, and sometimes it's not very pleasant to be around her because she's always sneezing.

The problem has been consistent for probably a year and a half now and is just starting to get frustrating for us as well as her. Is there something else wrong with her that we should maybe have our vet look into?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Cases like this are frustrating! It's often difficult to know why a dog is sneezing repeatedly and it's not a common problem.

You are right that allergies don't usually manifest this way. Most dogs with allergies will have skin problems - itchy feet, ears and bum. With that being said I have seen a few dogs that did have inhaled allergies. And, beagles are really well known for having allergy issues.

I find that Benadryl and other antihistamines don't work that well for dog allergies. You may want to talk to your vet about doing a trial dose of some steroids. I have most of my allergic patients on very small doses of prednisone. In small doses, dogs handle prednisone well and it is safe. You'll know within a few days of starting it whether it is helping.

Another thing to ask your vet about is nasal mites. They are not that common, but can be a cause of chronic sneezing and reverse sneeze issues. Most heartworm/flea combination medicines will treat nasal mites so if your dog is on something like Revolution or Advantage Multi for heartworm then nasal mites are not likely.

Does Clover have any dental issues? A tooth root infection could definitely be the cause. Sometimes it can be hard to see. If she has any hint of dental problems then it is possible that a good dental cleaning with extraction of any possibly infected teeth could help.

It's also possible that there is either a foreign object or even a nasal tumor in the nose. Unfortunately these can be hard to diagnose. Ultimately it would be wonderful to have a specialist do a scope of Clover's nose. This is where they administer an anesthetic and then put a tiny camera up the nose to look and see if there is any sort of a foreign object or tumor. This would be very helpful, but could be quite expensive.

I think it's a good idea to ask your vet about a trial of steroids first and then see what they think about a dental issue possibly being the cause.

I hope that helps and I hope things improve soon!

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. 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.