Normally dogs are very playful. They do not stop still and have a lot of energy. Now, although that vitality makes us think that they are not going to get sick, they suddenly sneeze and we are alarmed. However, there is no reason to do so; Sneezing in dogs can be due to several causes, as we will see next.
The respiratory system of dogs
Although the canine respiratory system is, above all, responsible for taking oxygen and eliminating harmful gases for the body, such as carbon dioxide, it also has another important role – like the respiratory system of cats.
Neither dogs nor cats perspire on the skin, like humans. Thus,The respiratory system is involved in temperature regulation.
The canine respiratory system is composed of:
- Mouth and nose
- The lungs and lower airways (bronchi and bronchioles).
Occasionally, the respiratory system can be affected by various factors and lead to respiratory diseases. One of the most striking symptoms of this type of disease is usually sneezing.
Before continuing, it would be worth answering the following question: what is a sneeze? Well, it is an involuntary reflex act. That is to say, It is an explosion of sudden, forced and involuntary air that is expelled by the nose and mouth.
What causes sneezing in dogs?
Sneezing can be caused by several causes, including the following:
Allergy is a reaction of the body in the presence of an allergen, which is a non-harmful substance that the body detects as foreign and against which it reacts. Among the different types of allergies, the most common in dogs is atopic dermatitis or atopy.
Atopic dermatitis is a genetic predisposition that generates an inflammatory disease, characterized by itchy skin along with sneezing, nasal and ocular secretions. If the disease is not detected soon, it will progress and skin lesions will appear.
In atopy, the body reacts against non-harmful substances, producing antibodies to fight them. Among the main allergens are:
- The pollen.
- The plants.
- The fungi of the environment.
- The dust mite or insects.
The veterinarian will prescribe hypoallergenic shampoo to relieve itching and skin discomfort. If the symptoms are more severe, you may consider prescribing an anti-inflammatory treatment.
If the dog has been exposed to low temperatures, it can catch a cold. Among the most common symptoms are ocular secretions, cough, lack of appetite, lack of interest to play or sneezing in dogs.
Fortunately,most dogs recover from the cold alone, No need for treatment. In these cases, owners are recommended to keep the animal hydrated at a stable temperature, avoiding walking in the coldest hours.
Occasionally, the cold can be confused with another very contagious disease in dogs, distemper. However, while the distemper is caused by Morbillivirus, The cold is a reaction of the body to changes in temperature.
Canine infectious tracheobronchitis is a disease caused by bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is also known as kennel cough and has cold-like symptoms, including sneezing, secretions, lack of appetite or reluctance.
Tracheobronchitis can also be caused by viruses, fungi or parasites. It is a highly contagious disease, although it is also possible to cure it easily.
Another person responsible for respiratory infections is Aspergillus fungus. It is a type of common nasal infection that is generated by inhaling fungi present in the grass, dust or hay. Symptoms include sneezing, secretions and nosebleeds and visible inflammation.
Some dogs sneeze when they are happy or excited, usually when they see their owners. You can also sneeze how much you are playing with other dogs.
Dogs wrinkle their nose when they are happy and, therefore, they may sneeze. For that reason, if your dog sneezes a few times upon entering the house, this means he is glad to see you.
It is important to emphasize that sneezing itself is simply an involuntary act. Therefore, sneezing in dogs does not imply any danger to the animal. Nevertheless, If you notice that the animal sneezes constantly and shows another series of symptoms, such as those described above, take it to the veterinarian for a check-up.