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Snorting dog

Species: Dog
Breed: dachshund
Age: 2-5 years
My dog has been sneezing and once ina while making a coughing snoring. I took him to the vet and he suggested I try Benadryl. I have been giving him that but he is still sneezing and snoring. This doesnt happen a lot. I have read a lot about kennel cough and it doesnt seem like he has the symptoms. He doesnt cough at night or during activity. He doesnt have runny nose nor eyes. When I put pressure on throat he doenst cough either. Should I worry? What can I do?>

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Rico is having problems! Sometimes sneezing and coughing can be difficult to figure out.

I'm wondering if the coughing you are seeing is something called a reverse sneeze. Have a look on youtube using the search term "reverse sneeze" and see what you think. Be sure to look at a few videos as not all of them are typical.

Another possibility is something called nasal mites. We don't really know how common these are because they are hard to diagnose. But, they are killed by most topical heartworm/flea medications such as Revolution. So, if I am suspecting nasal mites I will usually either apply Revolution or consider treating with ivermectin.

It's also possible that there is some sort of foreign object in the dog's nose or mouth but it is unlikely from what you have described.

It is also possible that this is due to allergies, but allergies causing sneezing and coughing/snorting in dogs are not common. And if it were allergies Benadryl should be helping.

I would agree with you that it doesn't sound like kennel cough.

My guess is that you are seeing a reverse sneeze. If this is what it is unfortunately there's not much we can do for it.

However, the good news is that a reverse sneeze is not harmful to the dog.

Hope this helps!

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 sneezing I am seeing is not the reverse sneezy. It is like a human sneeze. Like the one we make when we have allergies...So are you saying allergies are not common in dogs? meaning the sneezing is not a cause of allergies?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sneezing because of allergies is not common, but certainly can happen. However, if this were due to allergies you really should see that the Benadryl makes a difference. You could also talk to your vet about using Reactine which sometimes works better than Benadryl.

If it only happens a few times per day it may be nothing significant. Many people sneeze multiple times per day and we don't get concerned.

Dr. Marie

Customer reply:

I am sorry I forgot to mention that I have a second dog, same breed. He is now once in a while sneezing too. If this was allergies, I guess it wouldnt be contagious. I guess I want to know when should I really worry or what else should I look at. The sneezing is fast and brief most of the time. It sounds more like they are clearing their noses. Sorry for the back and forth. Thanks for answering.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

No problem!

Interesting that you have two dogs that are sneezing. I have seen some dogs with mild kennel cough that will sneeze and that's it. Sometimes dogs who have been vaccinated for kennel cough, if they come in contact with the virus will sneeze for a couple of weeks but never get any sicker.

It sounds like there really isn't anything to get terribly worried about. The only other thing I would mention to your vet is the possibility of nasal mites.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

Thanks so much for your asnwers. I will keep monitoring the sneezing for now. I guess if it gets worse I will take them back.
My last question: If it is kennel cough, can they get it again? I have heard people saying that when a dog gets kennel cough they will never get it again.
Thanks again!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is an excellent question. You would think that once a dog has had kennel cough they would be immune for life but this is not necessarily the case. I have indeed seen dogs get kennel cough more than once in their life. I have also seen dogs who were up to date on their kennel cough vaccine get the virus as well.

There are a few components to kennel cough. Sometimes the virus is a bordetella virus and sometimes parainfluenza. And these viruses can have slight variations as well.

Think of it like a cold virus. If you got a cold today, you will not catch the same cold 2 weeks from now. However, 2 months from now a slightly different virus may come along and you could catch that one.

One thing to note here is that in most cases kennel cough is not horrible. It is very rare for it to be life threatening.

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

Thanks again!
I will monitor them. They both are young so better chances to recuperate faster.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! Have a great day! I'm sure your dogs will be just fine!

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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.