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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20547
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 cocker spaniel won't stop sneeezing. It's been about 2

Customer Question

My cocker spaniel won't stop sneeezing. It's been about 2 days and he has these sneezing spells that last for about 45seconds. Then the sneezing will stop and say a few hours or an hour later he begins this constant sneeze. He's on Apoquel for allergies and I have given him a half of Benadryl. I feel so bad for him when these attacks happen. He's still very playful. I'm wondering if something else is going on?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cocker spaniel's name?
Customer: Pacino
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Pacino?
Customer: He just always has had allergies and itching of his ears and just itching in general.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I also don't know if he's having trouble breathing - I did play with him for a little while and he was acting totally normal. But this constant sneezing spells has me seriously worried...his nose is not running. I'm wondering if he has a cold - or it's just allergies due to the weather change ?? Thank you for responding!! I'm very, very concerned.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 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 old is Pacino?

Has he every had sneezing issues this time of year before?

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

Are his gums pink or pale/white?
Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Pacino is 6 years old - last year at this time he was not like this at all. I adopted him in Nov 2015, and I knew he had allergies & his previous owners only gave him Benadryl. When I became his owner I took him to the Vet bc I didn't like just giving him Benadryl and the Apoquel has helped. This sneezing attack happened all of a sudden - he walks around and just sneezes. At times he's calm and there is no sneezing - it just comes and goes
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

First, I would note that Apoquel isn't usually of much benefit for sneezing and often allergies that cause sneezing in the dog are different from those of the skin. In any case, if you have given him just a half of Benadryl once, then I would be concerned you may have given an under dose or too low a dose for effect (usually it needs to be used at a dose of 0.5-2mg per pound every 8-12hours). So, if you wanted to try that again you could do so just now.

Otherwise, if he has sudden onset sneezing attacks that don't appear seasonal and have been an issue for a while, I have to note that we need to tread with care. We can see this with polyps or masses in the upper airway and it is sometimes a finding with fungal nasal infections. So,if this has been ongoing for a while then we'd want to have a check up to make sure those aren't an issue. At the same time, his vet can also rule out bacterial and viral upper airway infections that could also manifest this way.

Otherwise, just further to your home care, I do want to note some other supportive options we can use here. To start, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. 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 him in a dog crate, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room for him. This could also be set up in a small room.

As well, 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 not a favorite but it can help reduce discharges and irritation within the nostrils. 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.

Overall, if this isn't seasonal then I'd not be suspect an allergy here for Pacino. Instead the above would be our main concerns and what we need to rule out. So, we'd want to use the above to soothe his upper airway irritation causing the sneeze but need to consider a check up to ensure none of those other issues are present here.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Wow thank you so much for your advice!! I am having difficult understanding the doses to give him of the Benadryl. So is it safe to give him a 25mg of Benadryl a day? He weighs about 26/27lbs. I know the Apoquel is for his itching not necessarily for sneezing.I can and will try the nasal spray. I know he won't like that, but the poor little guy is just walking around sneezing at times. Right now he hasn't had a sneezing attack for about an hour. But then it'll start up when he walks around. I just am concerned he has a cold or something is wrong in his nasal passages....I may take him to his Vet come Monday bc this has been going on for too long & I hate to see him just sneeze like this.
I appreciate your help. You've been very helpful!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Poor boy, an hour of sneezing is surely no fun for him.

In any case, with the Benadryl, if he is 26lbs then we can give a dose between 13-52mg every 8-12 hours. And hopefully we can give him some comfort until his vet can check and rule out those other concerns for us.

All the best,

Dr. B.


**Please rate me afterwards by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.
Hi Monica,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.

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