dog's nose running

Dog’s nose running

Dog’s nose running – Among a host of health issues, the most common one that a dog owner may confront is the runny nose of his dog. Even a healthy dog shows mild runny nose occasionally and this is no reason for alarm. It is when the condition looks chronic or the discharge is abundant and colored and that too accompanied with some characteristics smell, it must be taken seriously. It could be due to anything so simple as a mere excitement to something as serious as cancer.

Symptoms: –

  1. Nasal discharge is noticed in dogs which may vary from clear watery discharge on occasional basis to severe jelly like or hazy discharge which is thicker and colored. It may also give some foul smell.
  2. The eyes or nose of dog may become swollen.
  3. The dog might face breathing issues in which nasal respiration is reduced and dog relies more on his mouth for breathing.
  4. Dog’s dental health starts declining and he may even show a considerable loss in appetite.
  5. Patches of secretions may be noticed on different sites of dog’s upper body parts and face.
  6. There may be associated problems such as sneezing, coughing, nose bleeding or itching etc.


A dog expert or a veterinary expert must be reported the symptoms on the basis of which tests may be carried out and the probable cause of secretion may be diagnosed. The most common causes of dog’s runny nose are summarized as under: –

  1. Allergies: – Allergies are responsible for runny nose of dogs in a majority of cases. Dogs are prone to allergies towards a variety of foods, chemicals, pollens, microorganism etc.
  2. Presence of a foreign object in nostrils: – If the nasal discharge appears at only one of the nostrils, it could be due to a blockage caused in one nostril by some foreign object that may have stuck there.
  3. Tumors: – If the symptoms include noisy breathing, swollen nose and blood or pus in the discharge, it may be the case of nasal tumors.
  4. Peculiarity in nostrils: – A dog may show signs of nasal discharge due to abnormality in the size of the nostril or peculiarity of its cartilage structure.
  5. Fever: – Some types of fever such as mountain fever are also known to be associated with nasal discharge in dogs.
  6. Dental: – The interconnectivity of eyes, nose and throat allows the problems in any one of these body parts to spread to the others. Similarly, if a dog is suffering from a specific disease, the infection may spread over to nose. E.g. gingivitis.
  7. Sinus: – The runny nose may result from the fungal or bacterial infection caused to the sinuses of dogs.
  8. Infection: – There can be a variety of bacterial, viral or fungal infections causing the nose bleeding or discharge normally associated with bad odor.
  9. Cancer: – In extreme cases, the nasal discharge may also be attributed to nasal cancer.
  10. Distemper: – If the nose discharge in dogs is sticky and yellowish in color, it may be because of distemper.


The diagnosis of dog’s runny nose very much depends on the proper reporting of symptoms and observations by the dog-owner to the vet. A vet may use one or more of the following techniques for a thorough examinations: –

  1. Rhinoscopy to examine the nasal passage.
  2. Dental examination for any potential fungal or bacterial infections.
  3. Blood pressure test.
  4. Recording blood coagulation profile.
  5. General body and environment test.


  1. If allergy is diagnosed as the cause of runny nose, it may be treated by finding the source. If the irritant is of seasonal nature, preventive steps should be taken. If the irritant is locally placed, efforts can be made to sort it out else the dog should be shifted elsewhere.
  2. If a foreign particle is found as a blockage, it may be removed by the vet and some anti-inflammatory, antibiotic may be prescribed.
  3. If the problem is caused by microbes, the appropriate antibiotic antivirus or anti-fungal medicines may cure it.
  4. If the problem is due to a dental disease, the vet may go ahead with teeth cleaning, cavity treatments, tooth removal
  5. In case of tumors surgery may be required for their removal. Radiation based treatments are also useful in such cases.
  6. Cancer may require a longer course of treatment comprising of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgical removal of cancerous tissues.


The recovery time may vary depending on the cause and treatment pattern of the diagnosed disease. The dog owner is required to follow through on all the instructions of his vet. He has to regularly administer the medicines to the dog as prescribed by the vet.; closely monitor the symptoms; frequently conduct the necessary checkups or tests and keep in constant touch with the vet. All the nursing facilities and requirements must be arranged appropriately for the faster recovery of the dog.

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