Dripping Dog Nose | 9 Causes & Solution

Dripping Dog Nose | 9 Causes & Solution

If the dog’s nose suddenly runs, this usually indicates allergies or a cold. In rarer cases, it can also be caused by nasal mites, irritants, inflammation, abscessed teeth, pneumonia, or even nasal cancer.

A wet dog nose, on the other hand, is completely normal and healthy. Because of the moisture, the dog can absorb more smells from the environment.

To narrow down the causes, the following questions can help:

  • Is only one nostril dripping or both?
  • Does it happen after a specific event?
  • Is it all year round or just certain seasons?
  • Are there any other pathological symptoms?

Dogs also use their noses to regulate temperature. Heavy panting with a runny nose can therefore also indicate sweating.

In the following, you will learn about the 9 most common causes and their symptoms.

Are you worried or unsure? Then click here to start the live chat with a veterinarian.

1. Allergies

Studies have shown that up to 20% of all dogs suffer from allergies. In humans, there are about twice as many. Typical triggers are:

  • Dander and hair
  • Grasses, shrubs, and pollen
  • Dust mites and flea saliva
  • Mold spores

The runny nose is just a symptom of an allergic reaction. Other typical effects of this are:

  • Rapid breathing rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • The dog is breathing heavily
  • Itching
  • Sudden vomiting
  • Severe cough

Prevention is the best option here as there is no cure for allergies. An allergy test by the doctor helps to identify the allergens.

Alternatively, it often helps to pay attention to when exactly allergic reactions occur. If the symptoms are severe, antihistamines can also bring relief.

In dogs with allergies, inhaling allergens often causes allergic reactions in the nose. Among other things, it can be recognized by the fact that they run their paws over their snout, their nose is constantly dripping, they breathe unusually, or even suddenly vomit.

2. Distemper

Distemper is one of the most dangerous viral diseases a dog can get. Fortunately, there has been a vaccine for this for around 40 years.

In Germany, distemper is part of the mandatory vaccinations. However, if the 3-year-old booster vaccination is forgotten or a puppy is vaccinated too late, this can still happen.

In most cases, the virus is transmitted through saliva, blood, or urine. A simple sneeze can be enough. Typical symptoms of this are:

  • Severe cough
  • Listlessness
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Sudden vomiting
  • Runny and dripping nose
  • Strong fever
  • Loss of appetite

With early treatment, around 50% of infected dogs are said to survive. In very young or already weakened dogs, however, the virus is often fatal.

If you suspect a distemper, then I advise you to see the vet immediately. The earlier you act here, the better the chances tend to be.

If dogs have been infected with distemper, then in addition to a cough, there is usually a constantly running and dripping nose. It can also be recognized by chronic vomiting, listless behavior, and a high fever.

3. Irritants

In addition to allergies, other particles in the air can also irritate the inside of the nose. Since dogs perceive their environment primarily with their nose, this happens to them relatively often.

Cleaning agents, chemical substances, and room fragrances are among the most common causes. Other typical triggers are:

  • Incense sticks
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Perfumes
  • Dust
  • Toxins

If the dog breathes in these substances too regularly or simply too much of them, it can irritate the nasal mucosa and stimulate the production of nasal mucus.

It can usually be recognized by the fact that the nose is dripping or even by sneezing and snorting. In severe cases, it can also cause nosebleeds and breathing problems.

If your dog is constantly rubbing its muzzle at the same time, this can also indicate a foreign object in its nose. Blades of grass in particular are common here.

If the dog inhales irritants through the nose, it can cause irritation of the inside of the nose. It can usually be recognized by the fact that the dog sneezes very often, the nose starts to drip or the dog rubs its snout with its paws.

4. Pneumonia

If viruses, bacteria, or fungi get into the lungs and lodge there, an infection can occur. Doctors also speak of “pneumonia” here.

In most cases, the lower airways – the so-called “bronchi” – also become inflamed. Typical symptoms of pneumonia are:

  • Strong fever
  • loss of appetite
  • The dog gets tired quickly
  • Dripping nose
  • Dog breathes loudly
  • Constant coughing
  • Irregular breathing
  • Listlessness

Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually recommended for treatment. In the case of severe breathing problems, the dog must also be partially stationed.

Rest, little physical activity, and drinking a lot are important for recovery. Bacterial pneumonia can also be transmitted to other dogs.

In addition to making it difficult for dogs to breathe, pneumonia can also manifest as a constantly runny and runny nose. In most cases, it can also be recognized by a cough, fever, and general listlessness.

5. Cold

A common cold is a colloquial term for a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It is usually transmitted by other sick dogs and animals.

Since a wide variety of viruses are circulating in Germany, the symptoms can also vary depending on the virus. Typical examples are here:

  • Sudden cough
  • Labored breathing
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Rattling in the dog
  • Light fever
  • Dog nose dripping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Watery Eyes

Vaccines are already available today against many of the most dangerous viruses. For this reason, it is important to stick to the recommended vaccination schedule.

This is especially true for puppies. Because their immune system is not yet fully developed, which is why viruses can have a much stronger impact there.

With most common viruses, however, the dog regenerates itself. In individual cases, it can also make sense to help with medication.

Viral infections in the upper respiratory tract can affect both breathing and the immune system in dogs. It can usually be recognized by the fact that the dog gets a fever, begins to wheeze when breathing, the nose is dripping, and refrains from eating.

6. Tooth abscess

An abscess is a medical term for a collection of pus. A tooth abscess is a collection of pus around the root of the tooth.

If this occurs in the upper back molars, then the inflammation can also affect the nose. Because the roots run very close to the nasal canal.

In most cases, it can be recognized by an unusual swelling of the muzzle. Other typical symptoms are:

  • Unilateral chewing
  • Strong bad breath
  • Dripping nose
  • Refusal of food
  • Reddening of the gums
  • Itching of the muzzle
  • Constant drooling
  • Touch sensitivity
  • Sudden beeping

A tooth abscess is very painful and leads to problems at the latest when the dog can no longer eat and drink properly because of the pain.

Antibiotics can fight the symptoms, but there is no way around an intervention for healing. In mild cases, a root canal is sufficient.

In severe cases, the tooth may have to be removed completely. The sooner the infection is treated, the fewer the consequences.

Dogs with tooth root abscesses are usually in great pain and can no longer chew properly. If the infection occurs in the upper part of the teeth, it can also show up as a runny nose, among other things. However, it is most likely to be recognized by swelling.

7. Rhinitis and Sinusitis

In order to limit the cause, doctors distinguish between different infections in the nose:

  • Rhinitis = inflammation of the nasal mucosa
  • Sinusitis = Inflammation of the paranasal sinuses

However, the symptoms are almost the same. According to statistics, primarily Greyhounds, Border Collies, and Shetland Sheepdogs have to struggle with it.

Dogs with flat faces are also more likely to be affected. It is usually triggered by allergies, fungi or bacteria. Typical symptoms here are:

  • Rattling breathing
  • The dog has bad breath
  • Runny and dripping nose
  • Dog breathes weird
  • Touch sensitivity
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constant coughing

The treatment here depends on the cause. If allergies are responsible for the infection, then it is important to remove the allergens from the household.

For this purpose, an allergy test is usually carried out. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also help with bacteria and fungi.

If the paranasal sinuses or nasal mucosa become inflamed in dogs, this can lead to increased formation of nasal mucus, among other things. In addition to a runny nose, coughing, and unusual breathing are also common.

8. Nose Mites

Nose mites are among the most unpleasant but harmless parasites. These are parasites around 1 mm in size that can be seen with the naked eye.

As a rule, white animals are transmitted by the dog coming into contact with infected dogs. They are rarely caught in nature.

You can sometimes recognize them by the small white dots at the entrance to the nasal canal. They also cause severe itching. Other symptoms of this are:

  • Physical restlessness
  • Dog sneezes all the time
  • Runny and dripping nose
  • Frequent snorting
  • Nosebleeds
  • Labored breathing
  • Constant shaking of the head

Luckily, while nose mites are annoying, they are usually harmless. In rare cases, this can also inflame the nose.

Since mites can be transmitted to other dogs and pets, you should isolate your four-legged friend here. However, transmission to humans is not possible.

For diagnosis, the veterinarian usually looks inside the nose with the endoscope. In most cases, simple nose drops are completely sufficient for treatment. 

If the dog’s nose is infested with mites, this can manifest itself in severe itching, constant sneezing, and a runny nose. It is also noticeable that affected dogs often shake their heads and snort.

9. Nose Cancer

While cancer is the leading cause of death among dogs, nasal cancer is relatively rare. Only around 2% of all tumor diseases are said to occur in the nose.

Unfortunately, such tumors are predominantly malignant and also spread relatively quickly through the nasal mucus. Classic signs of this are:

  • Swelling at the snout
  • Nosebleeds
  • Louder breathing
  • Occasional cough
  • The dog runs in circles
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Lack of motivation

What is striking here is that usually, only a single nostril begins to drip. The cause of this type of cancer is unclear. Passive smoking is said to be a major risk factor.

Breeds with a long snout are said to be more affected. In addition, the tumor occurs more frequently in older dogs than in young quadrupeds.

If the tumor is still small and has not spread, it is usually surgically removed. In the advanced stage, however, radiation therapy may also be necessary.

In rare cases, nasal cancer is also responsible for the runny and dripping nose. Here it usually shows itself in a bump on the snout. In addition, breathing often becomes louder, the dog starts to cough or behaves rather unusually in general.

Rarer causes
  • Brachycephalic breeds: Dogs with flat faces often have a narrowed nasal passage, causing nasal mucus to come out when you exhale.
  • Aspergillosis: This disease is caused by a fungus and can lead to infection of the nasal passages. Affected dogs also often sneeze here.
  • Fistula: If a hole forms between the mouth and nose due to injury, infection, or tooth decay, this can liquefy the nasal mucus.
  • Cleft palate: This birth defect results in the palate not closing properly. A runny nose is more of a late symptom.
  • Nasal polyps: These are soft and benign growths in the nasal mucosa. Medication is usually sufficient for treatment.
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