Thank you for your patience,
Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we can see sneezing/nasal irritation as you have described associated with a range of factors in the older dog. This includes any irritation or infectious process that can arise from the nose
down the nasopharynx (where the nose and back of the throat meet), to the trachea, and down to the lungs. This can include issues like allergies, bacterial or viral infections, foreign bodies caught in the nasal passages, fungal infections, some parasites, complications from dental
disease (if a tooth root abscess has eroded the bone
between the mouth and nose), and we always have to be wary of tumors
/masses/polyps causing at least partial obstruction and irritation.
With this all in mind and with the sudden onset of signs and clear discharge, we would just want to try a wee bit of supportive care at this stage. Of course, any appearance of snotty discharges and we'd be concerned about bacteria and want him checked by his vet so that antibiotics can be dispensed. (And I would note that if we saw one sided nasal discharge, then those foreign body concerns, fungi, and growths
would become more of a worry here).
In regards ***** ***** care options, to start you can try to reduce the congestion that will be triggering his sneezing. To do so, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. You can also use a baby nebulizer. Though since they often don’t tend to like things held up to their faces, you could make him a 'steam tent’ with Shadow in a dog crate, the nebulizer/humidifier next to it, and then cover both with a thin bed sheet. You could also do this in a small room.
Furthermore, to flush out the nostrils and reduce irritation within them, you can use saline nasal drops like Ocean Mist (but not anything medicated) to further reduce discharge build up. To do so, just tilt his head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Again not a favorite, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril. Afterwards, wipe away any discharge or crust with a damp cotton ball.
Finally, if you suspect allergies or if pollen counts are high this week, you can consider a trial on a low dose of OTC antihistamine. Commonly we use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) at a low dose (ie. 0.5mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) to reduce allergy induced inflammation. We like to keep the dose low, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if he has any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication without speaking to your vet.
Overall, these are our main considerations for what you are seeing with Shadow. And if this has come on suddenly and is causing him significant irritation, then it’d be ideal to start the above at this stage. If you do so, but he doesn’t settle or you see snotty discharge, then we’d want to consider having this checked for him. If he is due a booster
soon, you may want to move that appointment up for him. His vet can just check to rule out those more worrying conditions to just make sure he isn’t secretly growing a polyp or tumor that would need us to discover and address it quickly. And if they can rule that out, then they can dispense additional treatment if needed to soothe any nasal irritation and clear any lurking infection.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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