"Chronic Rhinitis in Dogs

"Chronic Rhinitis in Dogs

Health & Safety

The term rhinitis describes inflammation of a dog's nose whereas sinusitis refers to inflammation of their nasal passages. However, both condition cause excess mucous which is discharged through the nose. The problems really start when dogs suffer from the condition for a long time and the condition turns into chronic rhinitis which typically involves dogs suffering from a bacterial infection too.

The Causes

As dogs age, they often have abnormal growths that form in their nasal passages or problems with their teeth which causes inflammation both of which can lead to them suffering from chronic rhinitis. However, any dog at any age can develop the problem and would need to be seen by a vet so their condition can be assessed and treated sooner rather than later. With this said, the most common cause of why a dog might be suffering from chronic rhinitis or sinusitis would typically see them suffering from the following conditions:

  • A fungal disease
  • An abscess on the root of a tooth
  • Parasites
  • A bacterial infection
  • A viral infection
  • An abnormal growth which is referred to as neoplasia
  • A congenital abnormality which includes being born with a cleft palate
  • A foreign object lodged in a nasal passage
  • Nasal polyps which are usually benign tumours or tissue growths that develop in a dog's nose

Symptoms Associated with the Condition

When dogs suffer from either rhinitis or sinusitis, there are certain symptoms that go hand in hand with the disorders which includes the following:

  • Persistent sneezing
  • A deformity to the face
  • Lack of appetite which is referred to as anorexia
  • Discharge from the nose
  • A stuffed/blocked nose whether one side or both nasal passages
  • Reverse sneezing

Diagnosing the Problem

A vet would thoroughly examine a dog's mouth to establish if they have developed a root abscess on a tooth or whether ulcers have formed in their mouths which could be the cause of the problem. The vet would need to rule out any other causes which includes if a dog is suffering from the following disorders:

  • Hypertension
  • Lower airway disease

The sort of tests a vet would typically recommend carrying out on a dog suspected of suffering from chronic rhinitis would include the following which would help confirm a diagnosis:

  • A complete blood count
  • X-rays of a dog's mouth

When dogs develop a nasal discharge it typically affects both nasal passages and is a good indication that they are suffering from either a bacterial or viral infection. However, when the discharge only affects one passage, the chances are the problem could be caused by any of the following:

  • A fungal infection
  • A growth
  • An abscess
  • A foreign object has become lodged causing a blockage

Treatment Options

When dogs suffer from chronic rhinitis, they would need to receive ongoing treatment because the condition can rarely be resolved. However, if the vet finds the problem to be a bacterial infection, they would typically prescribe a course of antibiotics and it's essential for dogs to be given the complete course for the treatment to be effective.

Living with a Dog with Chronic Rhinitis

As previously mentioned, chronic rhinitis cannot usually be cured and as such any dog suffering from the condition would need to be treated by a vet on an ongoing basis. This would allow the vet to reassess a dog’s condition and to establish if they are responding well to the treatment set in place to treat their chronic rhinitis.

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