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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Dog wakes up then starts sniffing excessively

Resolved Question:

Dog wakes up then starts sniffing excessively
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.


Is Max an American or English bulldog?
How long has he had the sniffing signs?
Any nasal discharge? What color? From one or both nostrils?
Any coughing, sneezing, snoring, or voice change?
Any changes to his breathing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He is a English bulldog. Snores a lot but nothing unusual there, sounds the same etc.clear discharge from both nostrils from time to time no coughingl sneezing. Started last night woke up got off his bed and would not stop walking around the room sniffing everything. Stopped after 10 mins or so. Done it again this morning when he woke up for about 5 Mims. He is responsive to me calling him, will take food etc. Looks a little nervous though when sniffing

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry breathing is also fine.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Lee,

Does he currently have any nasal discharge or congestion?
Has he any history of health issues or seizures?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No congestion no nasel discharge this morning that I've seen. He has been out for a walk. Never had a seizure in his life. He has some digestive issues from time to time but other than that he is a fit dog

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you again,

I am glad he has no seizure history, as we can see odd behaviors preceding them. Anyway, he is being less then straight forward here. This is because excessive sniffing usually is most commonly a sign of nasal inflammation, irritation, and/or congestion. It can appear to be worse when pets first wake since nasal edema/swelling tends to be highest when the blood pressure is lowest (since there is reduced fluid resorption in the tissues). As well, and nasal discharge present would pool in the nares overnight. So, it is possible this is why we are seeing out currently signs.
As well, I cannot rule out any changes in airborne allergens in your home. If there has been use of any airborne product (ie sprays, air fresheners, etc), then these can also trigger these kinds of signs in dogs.

In any case, since he is well at the moment, you can consider monitoring +/- trialling him on a low dose of an antihistamine. Most often we will use OTC Piriton (Chlorphenamine) at a dose of 4-8mg every 12 hours. So, you could try this to see if settles. Otherwise, if we have irritation, it can be beneficial use saline nasal drops (2-3 per nostril) to flush out any irritation lurking in the nares.

Overall, he is being very subtle with his signs but most often this will be related to nasal irritation or inflammation. So, I would suggest trialling the above at this stage to see if we can soothe that airway and get him settled.
All the best,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your detailed answer, funny enough I had a water leak yesterday and had to remove a ceiling as it was wet, the house smells a bit different. I have prition will give him some and get some saline. I will keep a eye on it and take him to my vet if it continues. Many thanks.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome,

Well, that could certainly have stirred up both airborne irritants but also interesting smells. So, that could be our culprit and ventilating the area may reduce his signs too. Otherwise, if this lingers, the above are safe options to try and soothe this for him.
All the best,
Dr. B.
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