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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16316
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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My 14 year old dog has a plugged up nose wondered if saline

Customer Question

My 14 year old dog has a plugged up nose wondered if saline could help him
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

If Shadow has some nasal congestion, then you can certainly use non-medicated saline nasal drops (ie Ocean Mist, Little Noses) with him. Often we will do so by applying 2-3 drops per nostril to loosen any congesting discharge. As well, if he is very plugged up, you can consider steam treating him too. To do so, you can use a nebulizer/humidifier or even take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. So, those would be our point of call if he does seem to have a plugged up nose.

Of course if this doesn't settle with the above over the weekend, since he is older, we'd want to consider a check with his vet to just make sure we only have a bit of nasal congestion and no space occupying lesions (ie fungi, growths, etc) causing these signs for him.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

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 how I am credited for assisting you today.Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Maureen,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Shadow. How is everything going?
nekovet
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He's not eating much mainly drinking water lost quite bit of weight still wags his tail and gets around ok though sometimes he's a little wobbly We've been putting hot compresses against his nose to breathe in and as result got some stuff out of that blocked nostril breathing better now he wouldn't let us go near him with nose drops
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hi again,

What color was the stuff you got out?

Is it congestion in one nostril or both?

Any sneezing, coughing, snoring or voice change?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Kind of dark thick like plugged up nose that had hardened just on one side voice is a little hoarser but he's almost 15 sneezes once in awhile
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now if this is just on one side, we really need to tread with care. This is because allergies and infectious upper airway issues tend to affect both nostrils. Furthermore, we can see one-sided nasal discharge with more serious issues like fungal infections and tumors. And the last differential there is a real worry for our older dogs.

Therefore, while the compresses are good and the saline drops would have been ideal, we would really want to have him examined and the nose xrayed to see what is going on inside. If it is bacterial infection alone, then antibiotics can be used to clear it. Otherwise, we may need anti-inflammatories to reduce nasal inflammation or mass size +/- anti-fungal treatment if that is found to be our culprit.

Finally, just since he wouldn't allow the saline drops, I would suggest steam treating him. To do so, you can take him into the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting his nasal passage. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but since dogs don’t tend to like things held up to their faces, you can make a ‘steam tent’ with him in a dog crate with the nebulizer next to it, and a bed sheet over both.

Overall, I am quite concerned to hear that we have one sided nasal discharge in an elderly dog. This raises real worries of more then just an infection. Therefore, we'd want to use the above but consider a check and xray to make sure there is nothing more sinister that we need to address as well.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sorry it is both nostrils lately mainly one side In mornings now discharge in his nose is light tan not nearly as bad but appetite not getting much better never use to be picky but now he is and wants to drink water and go outside a lot When it was nice weather he was usually outdoors in his pen He has a dog house made like a house there's a grassy part and around edge of pen is brick Anyway now we just let him go out walk around a bit and come back in too cold to be out
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank goodness that is the case,

While those worries do remain for an older dog (since they can spread to both nostrils in later stages), our infectious issues would be higher on our list of concerns. In that case, we'd want to have his local vet start him on antibiotics to treat all we can here. Otherwise, I would again steam treat him since congestion can put them off food. As well, if he is eating poorly, then you can use a nutrient dense diet like Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, puppy food or liquid diets like Dogsure or Clinicare. All have more nutrition per bite, we can get more into him even if we can't get a large volume in.

Finally, just to address any allergy issues and try to reduce his congestion, you can try him with an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce congestion. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your wee one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Overall, its much better to hear that we have signs on both sides. Still, it does raise concerns of infection and we'd want to use all of the above but also consider antibiotics from his vet to help him fight this off and clear it.

All the best,

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 how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )