QUESTION: My 6 year old large mixed breed Dog has thick mucous coming out of her nostrils now for months. She has been kind of diagnosed with Rhinitis/Sinus problems. I have been searching all over the internet and cannot find a answer. Poor dog her nose is plugged up most of the time it seems. Is this a Behavior problem and not a Health problem? Every time, all my Vet does is just gives her some shots and medicine and sends her home but she never ends up cured. Please help?

ANSWER: This is not a behavioral problem, this is a health issue. Did the Vet check her for infected teeth? In a high percentage of the cases, it is caused by dental problems. Infected teeth must be removed ASAP. Generally when it is both nostrils with a purulent discharge, then their is infected teeth on both sides of the face. Often it is either the Canines or Fourth Premolar Teeth in the upper jaw which lie just beneath the nasal passages.

Long standing ear infections rarely but may be a possible cause? I have little documented on long standing ear infections causing it but felt it should be mentioned. Only one case in my files so they is how rare it is and usually results in Sinusitis, not Rhinitis.

Sometimes Rhinitis and Sinusitis are wrongly diagnosed. The frontal and maxillary sinuses are extensions of the Nasal Cavity. They are lined by a mucus membrane similar to that in the nose. Inflammation of this membrane causes Sinusutis. Infections starting in the Nasal Passages (RHINITIS) can extend to involve a sinus (SINUSITIS).

Treatment for a Nasal Infection (RHINITIS) is directed at finding the underlying cause and treating it along with the nasal discharge. Bacterial Rhinitis is treated with appropriate antibiotics. The right antibiotic must be used for that particular cultured infection. Fungal infections usually respond to one of the newer antifungal agents such as Ketoconazole or Difluconazole.

Tumors and Polyps should be removed if that is the cause. If a foreign body is located, it needs to be flushed out or removed through an Otoscope using alligator forceps.

Often the cause is infected teeth and they must be removed.

Inflammation that has become "Chronic" is very difficult to clear up. Granulation tissue (proud flesh) builds up in the nose, causing further blockage and resisting the flow of air. Treatment then requires special cultures and in some cases, exploratory surgery. For this reason it is advisable to treat even minor nasal cavity irritations with a penicillin antibiotic such as Amoxicillin to provide cover and prevent the disease from becoming "Chronic".

Hope this helps you. If in doubt, go to another Vet. Second opinions have saved a lot of animals. I always recommend a second opinion from another Vet in such cases as yours.

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