A dog’s sinus cavities are located between its nasal cavities and skull. When a dog develops an upper respiratory tract infection it is also at risk of contracting a sinus infection.
When a dog has a sinus infection, the sinuses become inflamed and congested with fluid. This condition is often caused by fungal, viral or bacterial infection. A dog who is suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection is at the highest risk for falling victim to a sinus infection.
Insect bites or stings can also develop into a sinus infection. If a dog is overly exposed to smoke, dust, pollen or mold, its sinuses can become inflamed and lead to infection. In older dogs, health problems like abscessed teeth can often result in sinus infection.
When a dog develops a sinus infection it will sneeze often and may gag or cough. Its eyes and nose may begin to water and if the infection becomes severe, it could lead to bleeding from the nose.
A clear discharge from the eyes and nose usually is indicative of an allergy that may be due to inhaled dust or other irritants.
Dog sinus infections are often symptoms of a lesser upper respiratory tract infection or the common cold. But if the sinus symptoms last longer than two days it would be wise to make an appointment with a veterinarian.
Immediate emergency vet care is absolutely necessary if a dog develops a nosebleed. A dog with sinus infections can suffer from nosebleeds, but if they are severe, they usually are an indicator of a more serious condition.
The vet will do a complete physical exam and detailed medical history before being able to positively diagnose a dog’s sinus infection. The vet will closely examine the dog’s eyes and nose and take X-rays or an ultrasound to determine the degree of congestion.
Medication is usually prescribed to treat a dog’s sinus infection. If the vet determines that bacteria is responsible for the infection, the dog will be prescribed an antibiotic. If a fungus is responsible for the infection, anti-fungal medications will be prescribed rather than an antibiotic. If the dog’s sinus infection is viral, no medications will cure it and the infection is left to run its course.
If a dog comes down with a sinus infection it’s recommended that it stay inside the house and not go outside if it’s raining or cold. The dog should be kept as warm and dry as possible.