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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. 

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

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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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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Ginger

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Shih Tzu

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23 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Congestion
Watery Eyes
Running Nose

My shih tzu (2 years old) has a runny nose several times a day. (Always clear) and watery eyes. she often sounds congested especially during the night. She appears to struggle to breath after episodes of licking at her nose. She does this often during the day and at night. She sleeps a lot and only seems to want to play after 8:00 at night. She had an allergy shot that didn't do anything. I give her 1/4 benydril that doesn't help. Any suggestions?

June 28, 2018

Ginger's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

There are many possible causes for runny eyes and nose which may include allergies, however other causes may include upper respiratory tract infections, chemical irritation, foreign objects in the eye among other causes. Without examining Ginger it is difficult to say how severe things are because I cannot listen to her chest and breathing in general; you should return to your Veterinarian since treatment so far was unsuccessful for a more in depth examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 28, 2018

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Kassidy

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Lab mix

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10 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Coughing
Post Nasal Back Drip

My female lab mix has been diagnosed with chronic rhinitis. We have not been able to figure out the cause allergy-wise. We've also tried several anti-histamines. To make things worse, she will cough up (and in bad cases) end up with Aspirational Pneumonia. The frequency of this is increasing and she's had to go on anti-biotics for several weeks each time it happens. I'm wondering how we can treat the rhinitis since it is chronic ?

June 15, 2018

Kassidy's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

The problem with chronic or recurring conditions is that an underlying cause needs to be determined in order to effectively manage the condition long term; if you’re still having issues it may be best to visit an Internal Medicine Specialist for a consultation to see if they are able to shed any light on this issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 16, 2018

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Tuco

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German Shepherd

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Loud Breathing

My dog about two weeks just had heart worm shots and was fine until now. About two days ago he has started breathing with his mouth open and has had crusty yellow discharge from his nose. Occasionally he will not breath through his mouth but sometimes pants loudly. Occasionally he sneezes hard and has a rough cough. He still eats and drinks but is all of this worth taking him to the vet? Also he took medications from his heart worm shots that were a weeks worth.

Feb. 18, 2018

Tuco's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Respiratory issues are one possible side effect of heartworm treatment, as the worms can cause significant irritation as they die. It would be best to have Tuco rechecked with your veterinarian as soon as possible, so that they can evaluate his heart and lungs and make sure that he doesn't need further treatment. I hope that he is okay.

Feb. 18, 2018

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Bella

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Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

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11 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Runny Nose
Stuffy, Crusty Nostril

My dog has been diagnosed with a sinus infection, its been 2 weeks since she had eye removal surgery. How could she have gotten this? How harmful are the antibiotics? This is her 2nd dose of antibiotics since her surgery. Should she be on a probiotic?

July 26, 2017

Bella's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Sinus infections may occur for a variety of reasons and are usually secondary to other conditions like allergies, irritants, trauma, foreign bodies etc… Most dogs will tolerate antibiotics well and should be able to go through two courses of antibiotics without worrying about the need for probiotics. If the infection is persistent after this course of antibiotics, it would be worth having a swab taken for culture and sensitivity to determine the best course of treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

Thank you Dr. Turner.

July 26, 2017

Bella's Owner


Hi my dog had her eye removed and she now has the same symptoms she's had a ct scan and a rhinosocopy and all the lab tests done all came back with just inflammation! Her nose has now started to bleed a very small amount on and off and I'm getting very concerned :(

Sept. 24, 2017

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Forrest

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Labrador Retriever

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Redness
Sneezing
Nasal Clear Drainage,

My dog has been experiencing severe allergies this season. Very running eyes which are crusted over some mornings, sneezing and reverse sneezing, coughing here and there and most recently nasal discharge which is clear and watery. He had been taking Benadryl 3 times a day, but he is still having issues. About 2 days ago he started breathing through his mouth more as the nasal discharge started. He does not have labored breathing but seems to have a stuffy nose. He is eating and drinking normally but taking longer naps between plays times.

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Cupcake

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Dachshund

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Chronic Rhinitis

Our mini dachshund has been suffering from "chronic rhinitis" for well over a year. At first, it was attributed to a bad tooth and the problem did minimize after the tooth removal. However, it came back with a vengeance. Now, she is on a regular dose of antibiotics and prednisone combined with shots every four to six weeks. This keeps the issue minimized but the condition comes back strong the day after her meds run out. Additionally, her nasal areas swell visibly when the meds run out. She has had x-rays, blood tests, etc. all of which have come back negative. We have spent tons of money but seem to get nowhere other than "more meds and more shots."

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Tiki

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Yorkshire Terrier

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

My dog is a small Yorkshire terrier. He sounded like he has a but of a sniffle for 3 days but i just assumed he had a little bit of a cold. Ober the weekend it got progressively worse so i took him to the vets and they have prescribed anto inflammatories and antibiotics. I hate seeing him like this as its like his nose is now completely blocked like us humans have with a really bad cold. He onky started the treatment 2 days ago but im just anxious and wanting to know what other people have experienced.

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Matisse

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Dog

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Nasal Discharge

7 yr old hound mix (26#). Experiencing constant congestion/nasal discharge of green mucus thru nose. Symptoms began after intranasal Bordatella administration a year ago. Dog has had 2 rhinoscopies (with nasal flush), blood, allergin and bacteria tests, all negative. Has had xrays of nose, dental radiograph and radiograph of abdomen/thorax. Results were increased cluster of opacities in hilar area of heart. Heart shape on VD view seen as "shield" shape and slightly enlarged. Small liver. Dog on Doxycycline and Piroxicam without significant relief. Next steps??

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Lacey

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Corgi

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

My dog has been sick for over 6 months now. She’s had an on and off cough and a stuffy/runny, dry nose as well as violent sneezing. We tried medication for kennel cough (didn’t work) and Benadryl for allergies (didn’t work). She also had some X-rays done, a BAL, CT scan and blood work done by an internal specialist. They didn’t find anything abnormal other than some bacteria in her respiratory system. Right now she is on Prednisone which has definitely helped with the sneezing and coughing but her nose is still really dry. Not sure what else we can at this point.

Rhinitis and Sinusitis Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,500