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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15355
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I have a golden retriever about 9 years old, has recently completed

Customer Question

I have a golden retriever about 9 years old, has recently completed heartworm treatment, but before the treatment, she developed a runny nose and had nasal discharge, this was in October 2014, she still has it even after the treatment for heartworms which the vet thought could be part of the problem. We believe she developed the nasal problem from sticking her nose into the ash can from when we clean out our fireplace. I get the impression the way she hangs around our backyard grill and the ash can that the people we rescued her from, whom we know used alot of charcoal for grilling, allowed her to sniff through dumped ashes for food morsel from the grill, since they starved her also. I believe she developed the habit of sniffing through the ash can looking for food scraps but in the process got a snott full of ashes and perhaps parts of unburned wood in her sinuses causing an infection. This is just my opinion, I'm not a vet, but these are how I believe she developed these symptoms.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear you are worried about your dog. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.
Has she had this runny nose and discharge since October 2014?
I am sorry an expert has not helped you sooner. I just came online and saw your question.
A runny nose is not usually seen with heartworm. I agree, it does indicate something up in the nose, allergies, or a nasal infection. If she is aspirating ash into her nose, that could cause a chronic discharge. I would also expect her to be sneezing, if she is getting ashes up into her nose.
Is the discharge clear, or is there any blood in it? It is from both nostrils, or just one?
If I could, I would collect some discharge and examine it under a microscope. That should tell me if this is an infection requiring antibiotics, or if it is due to irritation or if there is some other reason for the discharge. We do see dogs get tumors (benign or cancerous) in the nose, but usually when that is the reason, the discharge is from one nostril, and often there is blood in the discharge.
If looking at the discharge microscopically does not tell me the reason for it, I would next look up the nose with a scope.
Is she sneezing or coughing at all?
Let me know what other questions you have. Rebecca
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, she does sneeze, but it isn't constant or continual like one might think. There is blood in it occasionally, and when her nose gives off discharge, it's usually yellowish. She is having alot of difficulty breathing since she cannot breathe through her nose at all.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information.
If she were my own dog, I would begin with looking at that discharge microscopically. This could be something in her nose, like a benign polyp, a piece of something she aspirated, or it could be an infection and that she needs antibiotics.
If you want to try something at home, you could try nose drops, such as Little Noses for children. However, it is always best to get a diagnosis of the problem; then you know the best treatment.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Thank you. In the event that it's a polyp, is this something that requires surgery? Treatment with pharmaceuticals would preferable of course due to cost, but at this point, none of us are certain what treatment is needed.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I have been offline; had to go to my "day job". The only treatment for a polyp is removing it by surgery, freezing, etc. There is no pharmaceutical that will make it go away. Let me know if I can help with anything else.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Our son is taking Molly to a local vet tomorrow. Molly is his dog so he needs to take a day off wirk and handle that. He had seen your answers and will have some idea as to how to speak with the vet.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
How is Molly doing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her condition is unchanged. Hopefully she will the help she needs tomorrow. I thiught she was going to the ver today, but her appointment is for tomorrow morning.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Let me know what you find out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok will do.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.