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My dog has been sneezing and seems to wheeze at times. Cuco…

Customer Question
My dog has been...

My dog has been sneezing and seems to wheeze at times

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is your dog's name and age?

Cuco he’s 5 he’s never had allergies

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Cuco

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Cuco?

No that’s it

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/16/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,846
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me several moments to review your concerns and type up my thoughts.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

A sneeze simply means that something is irritating his nose. It can be dust, pollens, an irritating, strong smell, increased tearing draining into his nose, a viral, bacterial or fungal infection or a foreign body, a tooth root infection or nasal mass irritating the nasal mucosa. Dogs don't generally get nasal allergies like we do.

If this were a one time thing then dust, pollen, a strong smell, or increased tearing would be most likely.

Since this seems to be something that is persisting and he is doing some wheezing too I would be more inclined to think of an infection (fungal, bacterial or viral), a foreign body (blade of grass, a grass awn), a tooth root infection, or mass in his nose.

If this has been going on for less than two weeks he has no, or a little clear, nasal discharge, is eating and drinking normally, and his nose conformation is unchanged (no swelling or bumps) then it may be a viral infection, in which case this should pass on its own.

But if his symptoms are persisting then we need to consider a fungal infection, a foreign body (blade of grass, a grass awn), a tooth root infection, or mass in his nose.

Do your pup's wheezing episodes look like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HXcMLokADc&feature=related
If they look like the video this is a "reverse sneeze" which is caused by irritation of the pharynx.
It can be from inhaled irritants (like any sort of pollen).
It can be related to gastroesophageal reflux.
It can be caused by excitement or post nasal drip or an overlong soft palate.
Dogs with dental and gum disease can have lots of inflammation and may be predisposed to post-nasal drip and reverse sneezing.
A reverse sneeze isn't harmful as it's just a spasm of the muscles around the pharynx because of the irritant, but it's no fun to watch. It can be stopped most times by rubbing the throat gently.
If it is because of gastroesophageal reflux then giving him an acid reducing medication may help. You can try either:
1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.
These will reduce stomach acid and should help decrease symptoms related to reflux. These medications are quite safe and can be used long term if need be.
If it is related to an overlong soft palate then surgery may be required eventually if this is interfering with enjoyment of life or leading to breathing problems.
Bulldogs and other flat faced breeds are known for having a complex of issues that can make breathing more difficulty, called brachycephalic syndrome. These issues include an overlong soft palate, stenotic (small, closed in) nares, and parts of the larynx that evert out when breathing called everted laryngeal saccules.
If they have a low grade respiratory infection or are exposed to cigarette smoke, candle or incense vapor, pollution or other irritants then that can be a possible complicating factor as well.
Ideally if this is worsening your pup needs to be evaluated by your family veterinarian. They can determine whether this is related to a reverse sneeze or the more serious brachycephalic syndrome and see how much they are affected and whether surgery to correct some, or all, of these problems would be beneficial.
If your pup has brachycephalic syndrome dogs that don't have these problems corrected surgically can suffer from exercise intolerance and easily suffer from heatstroke because they cannot breathe properly. Long term they can suffer from tracheal collapse and secondary heart disease from their struggle to exchange oxygen. If the abnormalities are corrected surgically the pup can have a normal life. Surgery is best done by a very experienced, board certified surgeon to have optimal results.
Here is a link to a webpage that discusses brachycephalic syndrome if you'd like more information: https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/brachycephalic-syndrome

Because sometimes this can be related to dental or gum disease and the secondary inflammation from chronic infections. If this is the case a good cleaning should improve things tremendously.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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