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My dog has just started sneezing and has a runny nose. Been…

My dog has just started...
My dog has just started sneezing and has a runny nose. Been going on since last Friday (10th March). Her eyes are watery and red-rimmed and she also has a cough - one which the vets couldn't sort out, even though she has had about £3,000 spent on her in tests and veterinary visits. She didn't cough though until last week. The first night her nose watered so much she soaked her pillow and her nose was bubbling with water during the night. My vet has prescribed anti-biotics (Ronaxan 100mg - 1.1/2 tablets once per day)which have made no difference at all and they have now prescribed anti-inflammatory (Rimadyl 50mg - 1/2 tablet twice daily) but these don't appear to be having any effect either. My dog is 14 years in April and has been very fit and well until last Friday. She is an active Cocker Spaniel x Lurcher and not at all overweight. Can you suggest anything, either in the way of what it could be or how to treat her. I would be so grateful.
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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/16/2017
Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,980
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
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Hi I am Dr. Denney. I am currently reviewing your post now. Please give me a few minutes to type my response. Thank you for trusting us with your question.

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I am so sorry Lucy is having all theses respiratory issues. Has she had chest X-rays done? Has she been sedated for a full oral/ nasal exam?

It sounds like she has rhinitis which can be really hard to diagnose because it can be multifocal and require a few different therapies and diagnostics to get the diagnosis and treatment going.

Rhinitis can occur for many reasons:

  • Tooth root abscess of the fourth upper premolar which causes maxillary sinusitis and subsequent rhinosinusitis.
  • Viruses: Feline herpesvirus-I and feline calici account for 90% of acute rhinitis in cats.4,6 Canine distemper.
  • fungal infections: Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, Penicillin spp., Rhinosporidium (dog), Blastomycoses (dog)6
  • parasites: Pneumonyssoides caninum (dog); Eucoleus boehmi
  • idiopathic inflammatory rhinitis (lymphocytic plasmacytic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis)
  • inflammatory polyp (cats)
  • congenital abnormalities like cleft palate or primary ciliary dyskinesia
  • foreign body
  • allergic rhinits
  • intranasal neoplasia
  • bacteria e.g. Bordetella

Culture of her nasal secretion is something I would consider

I would also be considering a rhinoscopy ( where they use a camera to look though her nasal tissues and larynx)

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Here is a list of diagnostic next steps to take. Has your veterinarian done any of these?

Bacterial culture of either the nasal discharge or the nasal cavity may not be very useful. Distinguishing pathogens from normal respiratory flora can be difficult since a variety of bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can be isolated from both healthy cats and dogs. Primary bacterial rhinitis is not common. If a nasal bacterial culture is warranted, it is best to collect the sample from a nasal biopsy or from deep within the nasal passages.

Nasal flush may be used to obtain material for cytology and sometimes for histopathology. Techniques include gross flushing of debris from the nose, flushing and aspirating with a catheter, and or the coring, rigid catheter biopsy technique.

Periodontal probing of each upper tooth may detect periodontal pockets which may be indicative of abscessation with secondary nasal involvement. Dental caries, although uncommon, may be a source of infection/nasal cavity involvement; probe the crown of the tooth in order to detect soft areas.

Skull radiographs should be performed under anesthesia for optimal positioning and the best interpretation. Assess for turbinate lysis, fluid density in the nasal cavities and in the frontal sinuses, and other changes. Unfortunately, nasal radiography is often not sufficient to differentiate inflammatory rhinitis from neoplasia rhinitis because similar changes may be seen in all these diseases.

Nasal computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance scans (MRI) enhance the ability to differentiate inflammatory from neoplastic diseases. These imaging modalities allow assessment of the sphenopalatine sinuses and middle ear canals as well as the nasal cavity. But these are expensive and may not be an option

Rhinoscopy (scope with a camera is used) requires general anesthesia and should always be done after radiographic or advanced imaging.

Biopsy specimens may yield a diagnosis but some results, such as inflammation, fibrosis, necrosis, and glandular hyperplasia..

Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,980
Experience: Veterinarian at Kingsland Blvd Animal Clinic
Verified
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Hi Sue,

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

Dr. Meghan Denney
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Dr. Meghan Denney
Dr. Meghan Denney, Dog Veterinarian
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Satisfied Customers: 1,980
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