A sneeze is a sudden, involuntary outflow of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth. It's usually a response to an irritant finding it's way into the upper airway, most often to the delicate mucous membranes that line the nasal passages. While a semi-regular occurrence for humans, sneezing can be a sign that something is going on with your puppy.
Although normal and healthy puppies may occasionally sneeze or have nasal discharge (running nose), severe, chronic or recurrent bouts of sneezing or nasal discharge suggest a more serious problem. Sneezing and nasal discharge often occur together and may be accompanied by postnasal drip, gagging, and/or a snorting-sounding noise that sounds like a swallowed sneeze.
Sneezing and nasal discharge can be caused by dozens of conditions. Some causes are brief and self-limiting such as acute viral infections. Other problems are recurrent such as seasonal allergies. More serious causes such as tumors or lodged nasal foreign bodies are relentless and chronic unless the problem can be resolved.
What is Causing My Puppy to Sneeze?
There's a variety of causes for your puppy's sneezing. Some of the most common include:
Both cats and dogs can suffer infectious diseases that include the symptom of sneezing. Most infectious diseases that affect the upper respiratory system of your puppy will result in sneezing. In dogs, anything from kennel cough to distemper virus can cause sneezing.
Upper Airway Obstructions
There are a number of things that can build up and block your puppies airways. Anything from canine cancers to polyps to foreign bodies to excess tissue in the upper airways can build up and cause irritation and disrupt the flow of air through your pup's of the nasal passages. When that happens, your puppy will labor to breathe and will sneeze.
Though allergic rhinitis (allergies) is nowhere near as common in pets as humans, but it does occur. Allergies have similar symptoms in puppies as they do in humans: nasal inflammation, chest congestion, running noses, and, you guessed it, sneezing. If you suspect your pup has allergies, visit your vet. The key will be identifying what your little pal is allergic too, and creating a plan for keeping your pup away from the irritant.
Dust, perfumes, carpet powders, pollen, and other common inhaled irritants can cause your puppy to sneeze. Dogs will roam throughout your house sniffing around, and occasionally they'll inhale something that doesn't sit right. While the irritants are in their nasal passages, they'll try and sneeze them out.
What To Do at Home to Prevent Your Puppy From Sneezing?
If your puppy is sneezing regularly, the best course of action is to take him into see your vet. If the sneezing is more occasional, here are a couple of tips for puppy owners to deploy.
Confine Your Puppy
Place your pet in a crate or small space (such as a bedroom or bathroom) to observe his behavior for awhile. By doing this you can narrow down what is causing your puppy to sneeze.
Ease Up On Exercise
Be careful of over exercising your puppy they're sneezing. If the culprit is an infectious disease, exercise will only make it work. Once you've seen your vet and have pinpointed the cause of the sneezing, ask your vet about for their recommendation in terms of exercise.
Take Your Puppy's Temperature
If you have a thermometer at home, take your puppy's temperature. If your puppy has a fever exceeding 101 degrees, get him to a veterinarian as soon as you can.
Pet Insurance for Your Puppy
When your puppy is sneezing, the cause can range from a benign irritant to rather serious situation. When in doubt, always stick to the safe side and have your puppy examined by their vet. Some pet owners, understandably, try to avoid the vet due to the hefty costs that accompany bringing your puppy in. That's where pet insurance comes in handy. Pet insurance provides pet owners with the freedom to make veterinary decisions without stressing the financial implications. Learn why most vets recommend pet insurance to pet owners.