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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20843
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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She seems to be sneezing a bit more often. She is a shih tzu

Customer Question

She seems to be sneezing a bit more often. She is a shih tzu x mini poodle
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the poodle's name and age?
Customer: Millie she is 6yo we adopted her a month ago from a shelter but did have a vet check up two weeks ago
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Millie?
Customer: she has a strong flea allergy and she does snore quite a bit when she sleeps
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with 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:

How long has she been sneezing more? How often?

Any nasal discharge? If so, what color? From one or both nostrils?

Does she sound congested or have any breathing difficulties?

Is that snoring a new development (or since the sneezing worsened)?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The sneezing had increased in the last week. No nasal discharge that I have seen.The snoring has been getting more consistent and louder in the last week. She does sound a little congestested but not quite sure.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we can see sneezing in dogs for a range of reasons. This can be viral or bacterial infections, but if she has had a sneeze for a while and her snoring is worsening then we’d also have to be worried about allergies, polyps, fungal infections in the nose or even a mass.

With all this in mind and since Millie has no discharge, you can choose to monitor her at this stage. If she does develop any snotty nasal discharge from one or both nostrils, becomes lethargic, or that snoring continues, then that would be our cue to have her checked by her vet to make sure none of those more serious issues are present.

Now while monitoring her, there are a few steps you can take at home to relieve the sneezing and associated congestion (the reason we sneeze). To do so, you can take her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting her. You can also use a baby nebulizer, but often they don’t like things held up to their faces. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam tents’ with her in a dog crate, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room for her. This can also be done in a small room.

If she sounds congested and is potentially building up mucus within her nostrils that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. You can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses) but not anything medicated. Tilt the head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Again they hate this, 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.

As well, if you suspect that she could have an allergy to something in the environment, then you can consider a trial for a few days on an anti-histamine like Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). A low dose (ie. 0.5 mg per pound of her body weight twice daily) can just be enough to resolve sneezing due to allergies. We do like to keep the dose low, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if she has any pre-existing conditions or are on any other medication without speaking to your vet.

Overall, there are a few causes of sneezing in our dogs, so we need to tread with care. So, as long as you are seeing no discharges, do consider taking the above steps to relieve sneezing/congestion to see if this aids her signs. And if you suspect an allergy, then you can try her with an antihistamine to rule out/address this for her. Otherwise, if you do see her start to become poorly, not settle, or develop a runny nose, then we'd want her to be checked by her vet to rule out those other concerns for Millie.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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