I read your column all the time and hope you can help us resolve our dog's health problem.Fritzy is a 9-year-old terrier mix who weighs 65 pounds. Her weight is under control. For over two years she has been on a homemade diet of meat and vegetables (but no grain) supplemented with flaxseed and flaxseed oil, acidophilus and, recently, vitamin C. Since early spring, she has been sneezing, snorting and snoring. She has been on antibiotics since May and we recently changed to Clavamox after a nasal swab showed a bacterial infection. Her sinuses were X-rayed and showed no obstruction. Her condition has improved over 50 percent with the antibiotics, but the sneezing and so on continues, especially in the morning when she goes outdoors and in the sunlight. When I apply warm compresses to her snout and put a few drops of warm saline water in her nostrils she sometimes sneezes up ropes of mucus, noticeably from just one nostril.I was told that if she doesn't improve she should go to a respiratory specialist. I do ho
C.H., Ijamsville, Md Dec 26, 2004
Your dog clearly has a chronic nasal infection -- a combination, it would seem, of sinusitis and rhinitis. Such infections can be very difficult to treat, especially when some of the inner nasal cavity bones become infected.As in afflicted humans, a small hole or two in the infected sinus may have to be made (under a general anesthetic) and a catheter inserted to allow frequent irrigation. More extensive surgery may also be called for following an examination of the nasal cavity. In some instances, dogs with symptoms like the ones you mention have been found to have a grass seed lodged in the nasal cavity.Alternatively, a warm vapor dispenser of essential oils (such as eucalyptus, lavender, frankincense and hyssop or sandalwood) may provide much relief if set up in Fritzy's sleeping area.
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