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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21199
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 have 3 dachshunds. One of them started with a sneezing snorting

Customer Question

I have 3 dachshunds. One of them started with a sneezing snorting about a week ago, now all 3 of them are doing it. They are getting worse now with a cough.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee ones today.
Based on the signs you are seeing, we do have a few concerns for your wee ones. Now to see all 3 affected does make issues like nasal foreign bodies (ie grass, seeds, etc), allergies, fungal infections and nasal growths all less likely. Instead, we'd have to consider viral or bacterial upper airway infections (ie Parainfluenza, kennel cough, etc).
With all this in mind, I would note that if your first one isn't starting to settle with this after a week of signs, then you may need to consider speaking to your vet about treating this with a course of antibiotics and dog safe anti-inflammatories (to reduce congestion, irritation, and inflammation within the upper airway).
Otherwise, further to the Benadryl (which does help with allergies but can reduce nasal discharges as well), you can consider trying to reduce their airway irritation with a bit of steam treatment. To do this, you can take them into the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear any material that may be accumulating in the nasal passages and just soothe any irritation.
Alternatively, you can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often dogs don’t like things held up to their faces. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam rooms’ with each dog one at a time in a small room or big dog carrier with the humidifier near by (you can put a sheet over the crate and humidifier to better focus the steam.)
As well, to flush and soothe the nasal passages, you can use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist but not anything medicated). To do so, tilt their head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Again not a dog 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.
Finally, since you noted there is coughing as well, you can try to soothe this by using plain over the counter glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey. Both can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Typically we will give a 1-2 milliliter (~1/4-1/2 teaspoon) as needed. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM. I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any similar syrups that may contain other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 1/2 (half) teaspoon per 10lbs of the dog's body weight every 8-12 hours. Again, this can reduce the irritation that is triggering their coughing fits.
Overall, we do have a few considerations for these signs. With all dogs affected, the infectious agents are our main suspect. Generally speaking, viruses can take 1-2 weeks to settle, but if this is lingering even with the above and your Benadryl or they are severely irritated, then we'd want to consider speaking to their vet about a course of antibiotics to clear bacterial agents and dog safe anti-inflammatories to reduce the irritation that is triggering these signs for them.
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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