Distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a
virus similar to the one that causes measles in people. Worldwide, it is the
leading cause of infectious disease deaths in dogs, although in the United
States it occurs only sporadically. All unvaccinated dogs are at high risk of
Infected animals shed canine distemper virus in all body secretions.
Inhaling the virus is the primary source of exposure. The highest incidence of
the disease occurs in unvaccinated puppies 6 to...
Any nasal discharge that persists for several hours is significant. A clear,
watery discharge is typical of
allergic and viral rhinitis, while a thick
discharge suggests a bacterial or fungal infection. A nasal discharge
accompanied by gagging and retching indicates
a postnasal drip. A discharge from one nostril only is seen with oral nasal
fistulas and foreign bodies and tumors in the nose.
Foreign bodies, tumors, and chronic bacterial and fungal infections can
erode the mucous membranes and produce a blood-streaked mucus discharge or a
nosebleed. Nosebleeds also occur with bleeding disorders such as von
Willebrand’s disease and hemophilia. Trauma, such as banging the nose, may also
lead to some bloody discharge. If you see blood in the nasal discharge, notify
Human cold viruses don’t affect dogs. However, dogs are afflicted by a
number of serious respiratory diseases that initially produce symptoms similar
to those of the human cold. A runny nose, along with an eye discharge and coughing and sneezing, is an
indication that you should seek veterinary attention for your dog. A yellowish
discharge along with coughing and fever could indicate canine influenza and you
should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Sneezing is an important early sign of nasal irritation. Occasional sneezing
is normal, but if the sneezing is violent, uninterrupted, or accompanied by a
nasal discharge, it’s a serious condition and you should consult your
veterinarian. Some dogs will sneeze if your house has a new carpet or new
cleaning agents are used. Perfumes, cigarette smoke, hairspray, and even
scented candles may cause your dog to sneeze.
Sneezing with a watery nasal discharge and rubbing the face with the paws is
typical of canine atopy. A sudden bout of
violent sneezing, along with head shaking and pawing at the nose, suggests a
foreign body in the nose. Nosebleeds can occur after particularly violent bouts
Prolonged sneezing causes swelling and congestion of the nasal membranes.
The result is a sniffling or noisy character to the dog’s breathing.