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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10272
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Constant sneezing spells. Pacino & he is 6 years old, He has

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Constant sneezing spells.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Pacino & he is 6 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Pacino?
Customer: He has allergies really bad and is on Apoquel 2 times a day

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Pacino. I do have a few additional questions to ask about him first if you don't mind:

1. How long has he been sneezing?

2. Is the discharge clear or yellow or possibly greenish in color (if you can tell)?

3. Is he currently taking any medication (in addition to Apoquel)?

Thanks, Deb

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He's been sneezing for about 5 days now and it just happened all of a sudden. He has no discharge at all from eyes, nose, etc. he is on Apoquel 2x's a day and no other medicationsHe does take Fluoxetine 10mg 2x's a day

Thanks for the answers to my questions and the additional information. Please give me a few minutes to type back a response for you.


When a dog this age starts to sneeze and has been repeatedly doing so for several days (with no prior history), then there could be several possible explanations. In no particular order, they are:

1. Upper respiratory infection or a sinus infection although usually the sneezing produces a green or yellow discharge. Antibiotics are frequently dispensed and improvement is seen within a short period of time.

2. Allergies which I assume he has since he's taking Apoquel. In most cases, allergic patients won't develop sneezing as a new symptom associated with this problem but if there's something new in his environment or in the neighborhood (such as new plantings or a new carpet/rug, aerosol sprays, construction etc.), then sneezing might be seen.

Anti-histamines such as Benadryl (at a dose of 1 mg per pound of body weight twice a day) may be useful/helpful although sedation can be a side effect.

4. Nasal mites can cause sneezing but may be difficult to find. Treatment is fairly easy, though, so if I suspect this problem, I'll treat my patients with Ivermectin given every week for three doses. This drug may need to be dispensed by your vet, though.

5. Nasal polyps can cause dogs to sneeze although, again, it may be difficult to prove without additional testing such as rhinoscopy and/or an MRI.

6. Fungal infections can cause dogs to sneeze but usually the discharge isn't clear; it's usually more yellow/mucoid and is not terribly common but it depends on where you live.

7. Infected tooth/oronasal fistula is also a cause but less likely if Pacino recently had dental work done. However, having said that, if dental x-rays weren't done, then an infection might be missed.

If this were my patient, I'd give them Benadryl (which is safe to give concurrently with Apoquel); if limited or no improvement is seen, then I'd probably treat for nasal mites to rule out this problem as my next step.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your help and advice. I think I may take him to his vet early Monday AM. I'm afraid he may have an infection or sinus cold?? He will sneeze while he walks around the house and then it'll go away for a while then it starts back up. We don't have anything new in the house and no changes so that's why I'm at a loss as to how this just happened out of the blue.
He weights about 27lbs or so - so giving him 25mg of Benadryl is safe?

You're more than welcome.

Yes, the dose of Benadryl that I'd give a dog this size would be 25 mg twice a day. There shouldn't be any drug reactions with the other two medications that he's taking although it may cause him to be drowsy.

I don't think it's a bad idea to have him seen by your vet on the off chance that he may have an infection. Typically, there's a green or yellow discharge when these patients sneeze but it's not a bad idea to have him checked out.

Best of luck with him. Regards, Deb

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok sounds good. I now have a peace of mind knowing I can give him Benadryl along with his other medications. I am gonna bring him to his Vet on Monday just so he can check to see if something else is going on. I've not seen any discharge at all from his eyes, or nose and he's not coughing - it's just sneezing. Last year at this time he wasn't like this at all.I appreciate your advice and help! You've been very, very helpful!!

Glad that I could help to ease your mind about him:)

I don't think it's anything too serious at this point, but I can just imagine that he's a tad uncomfortable ....and it probably bothers you to see him this way...understandably so!


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Oh breaks my heart to see him just walk around having these sneezing attacks.Thank you again, Deb!

I suspect it probably bothers you a bit more than him but this doesn't change the fact that its bothersome!!!!

I'm off to help a neighbor who has some health issues but I hope you'll keep me posted. I'd like to know what your vet thinks may be going on with him.

If you have any additional questions before Monday, just let me know and I'll answer back as soon as I can (if I'm offline at the time).

Take care, Deb

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Hi Monica,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb