Nose Discharge in Dogs

The causes and treatments of a dog’s nose discharge.


Infectious diseases: Rhinitis (inflammation/infection of the nasal passages) caused by viral infections (most commonly distemper, adenovirus-1 or adenovirus-2, parainfluenza), bacterial infections (usually secondary infections or Bordetella bronchiseptica, one of the bacteria associated with kennel cough), fungal infections, or tooth root abscesses that extend into sinuses (maxillary recess).

Irritation/inflammation: Smoke aspiration, inhalation of irritant vapors, or chronic inflammatory disease (lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis).

Allergies: Rhinitis due to atopy (allergy to inhaled substances).

Foreign bodies: In nasal passages or sinuses.

Tumors: In nasal passages or sinuses.

Trauma: To nose, face, or sinuses.

Parasites/Parasite-borne diseases: Salmon poisoning disease (a bacterial disease contracted by eating salmon, trout, or Pacific giant salamanders parasitized by flukes that carry the infective organism).

What to do: Nose discharge without other signs of illness is not usually an emergency. Call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment. Nose discharge that is accompanied by symptoms of illness may or may not be an emergency, depending on the duration, severity, and the other symptoms. Contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately for specific advice about your dog’s situation.

Disclaimer:’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Article Categories:
Dogs · Health and Care