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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9197
Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
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Is It Serious If Dogs Have A Runny Nose?

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Should I take my dog to a pet hospital if she is breathing heavy and clear fluid is coming from the nose?

Can I wait to have her seen by my regular vet in the morning?

Sally Grott: Is the breathing labored, heavy breathing or much differently than normal such as Raspy?

Customer: It is not raspy, just fast. She is attentive with her ears up.

Sally Grott: Thank you for that information. If her nose was runny and was green or yellow color, then you would want to worry about an infection. Did anything happen today that would make you think something is going on?

Customer: No not really. She kind of whined a couple times earlier, but we didn't see or hear anything out of the ordinary.

Sally Grott: Can you take her temperature rectally, any thermometer will do. Also, can you tell me what color her gums are?

Customer: Her gums look pink, and her temperature is 100.8.

Sally Grott: Okay, great! Everything is pretty normal. If there was an infection, there would probably be a fever present. Normal temperatures for a dog is 100.5-102.5. Gums should be pink, if they were pale, white blue or gray that would be a cause for concern. If they are blue or gray, that means there might not be enough oxygen going through the body. If you press your fingers on her gums and release quickly, they will turn white for a second. Please let me know how long it takes them to turn pink once you have released.

Customer: Within a second or two.

Sally Grott: Great! That is normal, anything over that would be an emergency.

Customer: So, would you recommend me to just keep an eye on her this evening and take her to a vet in the morning?

Sally Grott: Yes, I would keep an eye on her; if her breathing is labored that can indicate pain. Short breaths in and out can indicate pain as well. I am going to direct you to a site that will tell you what normal vital signs are and you should take them when she is at rest so you know what is normal for her. Link -

Also, I will give you a link where you can read about the causes of nasal discharge -

Customer: I have another quick questions about one of my other dogs. Occasionally, she will cough like she is trying to cough up a hairball or something, but nothing ever comes up. She is a five year old lab with no other illness signs. Can we give my other dog with the breathing issue anything for pain?

Sally Grott: This could be what we call a reverse sneeze. It lasts for a few seconds to a couple minutes and the dog may suck in air quickly through their nose and sound like it is gagging on something. If you rub under the neck and the episode subsides sooner then you will know that this is the problem. It is thought to be related to allergies. As for your other dog, I would just recommend just watching her because if you need to make an ER visit and they want to give her medicine, whatever you may give her may interfere with what a doctor may give. Has she been exposed to any ticks that you know of?

Customer: No, but it does sound like that. It sounds like she is trying to suck in air through clogged airways, but then she will try to cough something up. It doesn't seem to bother her.

Sally Grott: Here you will see a dog going through a revere sneeze, some are more violent than others -

Customer: No ticks that I know of, though she does have a lot of fatty tumors. One is about the size of a baseball.

Sally Grott: So, the fatty tumor could be causing her to be uncomfortable and if this is the case, it is wise to see your vet to determine what to do. If they do not interfere with the dog's daily activities then nothing can be done. But, if she is showing discomfort because of them, then maybe it is time to do something. Does she have a bed or does she sleep on the floor?

Customer: She sleeps on our bed or the leather couch. She has had the tumor for a couple of years.

Sally Grott: I might suggest one of the memory foam dog beds for her, so it conforms to her body in the case the tumors are causing discomfort. This way there will be less pressure on the sore areas. You can put that right on the couch or on the foot of the bed for her.

Customer: Basically you recommend we watch her this evening and go from there?

Sally Grott: Yes.

Customer: We just watched the video on reverse sneezing, and that is exactly what my other dog does. Thanks for all your help! We feel much better about the situation.

Sally Grott: You are welcome. Is there anything else I can do for you? Also, may I send a free follow up with you for a week and see how your dog is doing?

Customer: Absolutely!

Sally Grott: Great! I will set that up now! You will receive a note in your email from JustAnswer from me.

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