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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16277
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I sleep with the fam on medium or gh and my dogs normally

Customer Question

I sleep with the fam on medium or high and my dogs normally sleep under the covers. Both of my dogs breathing sounds like they are congested, one more than the other. Not sure what is wrong. This has been going on for 2 nights now.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

Does either dog have nasal discharge?

Any coughing or sneezing?

Any appetite loss or lethargy?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you so much for your response. No he still has a good appettite. Little smeezing but not much. It is just his breathing. He sound congested, and sometimes he sounds like he's weezing and trying to breath but he can't.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

Now as they have likely been exposed to the fan before this situation, we'd not assume that is the cause of our signs. Instead if both dogs have signs to a degree, I'd be suspicious of a viral or bacterial upper airway infection. We could also see this with allergies or dust issues (if the fan has been sitting unused until recently) but usually won't see both dogs affected.

In any case, as long as we aren't seeing snotty discharge (a sign of bacterial infection and indication for antibiotics), we can start some supportive care for your more severely affected lad (and the other as well if you wished). To start, to help reduce wheezing and sneezing, you can try taking 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/humidifier. Though since they often don’t tend to like things held up to their faces, you could make him a little 'steam tent’ with your lad 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 or Little Noses (but not anything medicated). 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 if both are affected. Afterwards, wipe away any discharge or crust with a damp cotton ball.

Finally, if you suspect allergies, you can consider a trial on a low dose of OTC antihistamine. Commonly we use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) for this, especially as it is also a mild dog safe decongestant (where most decongestants on the market aren't safe for our dogs). When using this, we tend to use a low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of his body weight twice daily) to just avoid drowsiness 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, I suspect the fan is a red herring if your dogs have been sleeping with it on before. Instead, this sounds suspicious of a viral or possibly a bacterial infection brewing. Therefore, we'd want to use the above approach at this stage. Though if this lingers or we see snotty discharge, then we'd want to plan to have a check up so that antibiotics +/- dog safe anti-inflammatories and further decongestants can be dispensed to settle this.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you so much. Yes both dogs have slept with the fan on before plenty of times. My boy dog is the one that sounds the worst, the female only slightly. I will try the humidifier. Thank you again for all your help and my little Tony thanks you as well!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

I am glad I could give you a plan of action here and hopefully we can just settle this wee Tony.

Take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please do make sure to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi Zoe,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Toby. How is everything going?
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