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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16211
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 chihuahua is having trouble breathing through her nose.

Customer Question

My chihuahua is having trouble breathing through her nose. She is having to open her mouth periodically to get air. She's a few years old and this just started happening a few days ago. Can a dog have a cold?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It's not a reverse sneeZe...and its constant
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 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 wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Does she sound congested? Any coughing or sneezing?

Any nasal discharge? From one or both nostrils?

Is she appearing to forcefully breath out?

Is there reduced air flow from one or both nostrils?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She does sound congested. She is sneezing this morning. It sounds like she is trying to remove something for her nostrils to breathe. She was in a bit of distress this morning.. Sneezing a lot so I wiped her face and there was a tinge of blood and a piece of grass. She has had some snot bubbles but nothing more coming from her nose. No discharge from either nostril. She is forcefully breathing out with most breaths. Her gums are pink and the are a little sticky. Her breathing rate was 24.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that her breathing rate is normal and her gums are pink (a sign that she is taking up oxygen well).

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we do see sneezing and congestion for a range of reasons. Though if she has sneezed out blood and a bit of grass, then it is quite possible that the grass was caught in one of her nostrils and at the root of this. Though we may have left over inflammation and even brewing bacterial infection secondary to this.

Therefore, if she just sneezed that out and is not distressed anymore, we can monitor her and give this time to settle. If you do do that, then you can use steam (ie from a humidifier or hot shower) to loosen residual congestion and non-medicated saline nasal drops to gently flush anything else left over in the nasal passage. Though if she is very agitated and still quite congested, then we could alternatively have her local vet dispense dog safe ant-inflammatories +/- antibiotics to reduce the irritation, dilate the nasal passage, and offset any risk of infection.

Overall, her signs are consistent with a nasal foreign body (grass being one of the most common ones). So, if she has got this out, we can monitor and use supportive care. But if she is very irritated or the snot bubbles are severe, then further treatment from the local vet would be ideal to nip this in the bud for her.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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