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What are Rhinitis and Sinusitis?

Dogs with long noses and skulls are most commonly affected such as the Collie, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog and Greyhound. Conversely, brachycephalic breeds (such as the French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Pug and Boxer) are prone to pollution-induced tumors that can cause rhinitis.

Rhinitis and sinusitis are closely related afflictions. Both refer to swelling; sinusitis refers specifically to the swelling of nasal passages while rhinitis refers to swelling of the nose. 

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Rhinitis and Sinusitis Average Cost

From 444 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,500

Symptoms of Rhinitis and Sinusitis in Dogs

  • Excessive sneezing
  • Bad breath
  • Rubbing or pawing at the face
  • Facial pain or swelling
  • Lack of scent ability
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Restlessness
  • Bilateral nasal discharge
  • Unilateral nasal discharge
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Labored breathing
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nose bleed

Types

Acute 

This is generally caused by a foreign body lodged in the dog’s nasal cavity. In this case, sudden and violent sneezing will likely be the first apparent symptom.

Chronic

This occurs when the cause of rhinitis cannot be definitely diagnosed. Most often it is seen with allergies that can not be eradicated from the dog’s living space (such as grass). Chronic rhinitis also happens when the dog suffers from acute viral infections or when a bad tooth is exacerbating the problem.

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Causes of Rhinitis and Sinusitis in Dogs

Rhinitis can occur for many reasons. The most prevalent cause is a viral infection. Parainfluenza virus, herpesvirus, and adenovirus are the most widespread.  Although bacterial infections are often a factor, a bacterial infection alone does not usually cause rhinitis. Canine distemper is a somewhat common cause. Bordetella is a less common cause. If your dog goes to daycare, even if he has been vaccinated for bordetella as most kennels require, this could still be a cause. The bordetella vaccine is not 100% effective. In general, dogs who are vaccinated against bordetella have less severe symptoms and a shorter recovery time. Other causes include:

  • Foreign body in nose
  • Tumor in nose
  • Traumatic injury
  • Virus
  • Fungal infection
  • Parasites
  • Allergies
  • Dental complications
  • Bacterial infection
  • Change of pigmentation around the nose
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Diagnosis of Rhinitis and Sinusitis in Dogs

If clinical signs are present, your dog should be considered as having rhinitis and sinusitis. Nasal discharge, facial pain, and eye redness may indicate the condition. Because rhinitis can be caused by a variety of reasons it can prove difficult to effectively diagnose and treat. Your veterinarian will need to take blood samples and do laboratory tests such as a nasal culture or tissue biopsy. Your veterinarian will want to rule out underlying possible causes like neoplasia, or effectively treat infections causing the rhinitis or sinusitis, such as fungal invasion. In the event of a foreign body or tumor causing rhinitis, an x-ray will be needed to diagnose. CT scans may provide additional views; in the case of parasites, sometimes a nasal flush is used.

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Treatment of Rhinitis and Sinusitis in Dogs

Treatment of rhinitis and sinusitis varies widely depending on the cause. Surgery may be needed in the case of a foreign body lodged in the nose or for removal of a tumor or in the case of trauma. Dental complications may require the removal of the guilty tooth. Antibiotics are widely used in the case of bacterial infections. Fungicides may also be used. Many dogs will require IV fluids if the infection is severe and a high fever is present. 

In mild or acute cases, supportive care may be enough treatment. In the case of viral infections, a secondary bacterial infection can develop. In this case, the viral infection is typically treated with supportive care and antibiotics are used to treat the secondary infection. 

Lysine is an essential amino acid that helps your dog’s body produce antibodies, hormones, and enzymes that boost the immune system. In the case of a chronic viral infection, lysine can be an effective addition to supportive care. Functional treats are available with lysine.

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Recovery of Rhinitis and Sinusitis in Dogs

Your pet may need a medication protocol during his recovery. Anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and additional amino acids may be necessary as prescribed by the veterinarian.

Prognosis varies depending on the age of the dog, cause, and severity of the case. Many cases respond well to treatment. Some become chronic. Generally speaking, the sooner diagnosis can be made, the better the dog responds to treatment. In cases of chronic rhinitis, pet parent and veterinarians will need to work together to maintain effective treatment.

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Rhinitis and Sinusitis Average Cost

From 444 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,500

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Rhinitis and Sinusitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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West Highland White Terrier

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Two Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nasal Discharge

I have a 10 week old puppy that has been sneezing and woke up with yellow nasal and eye discharge today. He has no other symptoms such as loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, etc. He has also had his first and second rounds of immunizations including distemper and parvo but the next round isn’t due until Jan. 9th. Is this something I should wait out for a few days to see if it clears up or an emergency requiring a vet visit immediately?

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

Sneezing with clear discharge is often a viral infection but as the discharge is yellow there may also be a bacterial component. In this case, antibiotics may be needed. You may wish to see how he does at home, but watch for signs he is getting worse such as reduced appetite, lethargy or a cough.

Dec. 27, 2020

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Labradoodle

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Fast Breathing

Our one year old labradoodle seems to be breathing extremely fast this evening and is not her normal self or more calm/laying around. She drank a good deal of water. She threw up once and had some runny/soft stool yesterday, but otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. She does seem to have a warm nose at times, but it is wet and sometimes runny. Should I be concerned particularly about the fast breathing? It has lasted most of the evening. She is resting/sleeping now but still breathing fast.

July 31, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. If she is breathing fast, it may be best to see your vet. There are many reasons that your dog could be breathing this way and would need to be examined by your vet. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

July 31, 2020

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Rhinitis and Sinusitis Average Cost

From 444 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$1,500

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