Are dog allergies causing your pooch to sneeze? Or could it be something else? How about bee stings?
I was at a meeting the other day where Sally was telling a story about Tammy, her two-toned chihuahua. It seems Tammy had been suffering a mysterious bout of .
“Not just a sneeze here and there, mind you, but sneeze after sneeze after sneeze,” Sally (not her real name) said. “It went on all morning.”
This was too much. Tammy had never sneezed like this. At first she didn’t pay much attention to the sneezes, but when they persisted she felt she had to do something.
But what? What could be the matter? Could it be dog allergies?
Thinking about it, Sally told us, she realized there were a lot of things that could be causing Tammy’s sneezing.
It was springtime, and there was pollen in the air. Sally’s neighbor had been busy in her garden, too, so it could have been that Tammy was sensitive to some of the new plants.
And a house down the street had just been fumigated. So airborne insecticides might be the cause.
Concerned for her little dog, Sally (not her real name, by the way) had picked her up to cuddle her. Tammy settled into her arms, but then she had to sneeze. Again. Again. And again.
Sally said she called the vet.
“You called the vet just because your dog was sneezing?” one woman asked, as if that sounded absurd to her.
“Well yeah, I did,” Sally said. “What would you have done?”
So now, let me ask you: What would YOU have done? If your dog starts sneezing a lot, will you know what to look for to determine the cause?
It might help to know some of the things Sally’s vet asked about:
Has your dog been out in the yard or out on walks where she might have inhaled some object? Dogs love to sniff new and tantalizing plants. They adore rooting around in piles of dirt, where they can inhale small objects that get irritate the nasal lining.
Looking at your dog’s face, are there any signs of swelling? A sting can cause swelling, but so can other things, like a blow to the face. Could your dog have been hit by something falling on her nose?
Is your dog’s nose bleeding? This could be caused by a wound or by irritation of the nasal lining.
Is your dog’s nose running? She could have a cold, or this could be a sign of the dog’s body working to clear the nasal passages.
Could your dog have been stung on or around the nose by an ant or a bee? Such stings can cause sneezing, and can have serious consequences if left untreated.
Do you see signs of infection, like yellow-green ooze from the nose, eyes, or mouth?
• Is your dog breathing normally when she’s not sneezing? Hold the back of your hand in front of her nostrils. Is she breathing significantly more through one nostril than the other?
Sally had answered ‘No’ to most of these questions, but her dog had been playing outside where there were bees.Looking closely at her Tammy’s face, Sally decided one side looked puffier than the other.
But Tammy wasn’t bleeding, her nose wasn’t running, she was breathing evenly through both nostrils, and she didn’t show signs of infection.
Sally knew Tammy loved chasing bees. On several occasions, Sally had see her snapping at them on the leaves of plants in the yard. A bee sting was a real possibility.
On the vet’s recommendation, Sally told us, she gave Tammy a dose of Benadryl, and after an hour or so the dog’s sneezing stopped.
“I think it was a bee sting,” she said. “We have a lot of bees in our garden, and she just won’t leave them alone. She seems to think they taste good.”
By the next day, Sally said, Tammy was back to normal. No more sneezing. She didn’t like giving Tammy drugs, but the Benadryl did seem to help.
Would you have given your dog Benadryl? There are herbal and homeopathic alternatives, but Sally wasn’t aware of them.
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Chiwah Carol Slater
The Pet Story Passionista
Word Weaver Chiwah
Founder, PetWrites.com, WordWeaver4U.com