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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19755
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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, I am trying to understand why my miniature schnauzer

Customer Question

Customer: Hi
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I am trying to understand why my miniature schnauzer has been sniffing the air constantly for the past few months. She seems very agitated and restless.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $19) to post your type of question to Dog Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: She is two years old. After we bathed her last night, she seemed to get worst with the sniffing. She is just not herself today.
JA: OK. Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Is she eating and drinking normally?

Is she eliminating normally?

Has there been any changes in diet, food, treats, etc?

Any changes in cleaning supplies, et?

What type of home do you have, such as apartment, single family, crawlspace, basement?

Do you live in the north or south part of the country?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is eating and drinking normally and also eliminating. There have been no changes in her diet or any new use of cleaning supplies. I live in a single home in Michigan near Detroit. I also have a cottage up north near Mackinaw, MI. She is not herself. She seems to be very subdue and that is not her. She was up the entire night sniffing up in the air and shaking her head. Something is bothering her. She has been like this for a few months but not this intense. Although she has been sniffing like that for a few months and really intensified after I gave her a bath. I have a video of how she is behaving.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I'd love to see the video. Can you upload it somewhere and give me the link?

Does she act teh same way no matter where you are with her?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can email the video to you. I had her at the vet office a month ago and she was doing the same thing. My vet didn't know what was wrong. I have another call into the vet. Waiting to hear from her for she is just not feeling well.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I can think of a few things that might cause her to act in that manner. Often if there are mice in a house or crawl space you will have a dog sniffing the air a lot to try and locate where the smell is coming from. This might be happening in a home especially since it has been colder recently. Their sense of smell is much more sensitive than ours is so they tend to sniff more often when then come across an unusal odor.

Another cause might be something in the nasal cavity. Your vet would need to look in the nasal cavity and see if there is anything in there such as a grass seed. Some older dogs will have tooth issues that impact the nasal cavities. This can also cause sniffing which is not normal. Allergies might also affect her ability to smell and might trigger her to try to sniff more if she realizes her sense of smell is less than it was before.

It might also be a symptom of a focal seizure. Focal seizures can manifest as any repetitive behavior. Fly catching when no fly is there is a good example of seizure activity as is a dog that stares at a wall. You can read more on focal seizures here.

If she was my dog, I'd go ahead and have bloodwork run and imaging of her head to see if there is something in the nasal passage or some other issue like an abscess or tooth root or growth.

Take the video with you to the vet. I suspect imaging will likely give you a good idea of what the problem is.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.