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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17939
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi have noticed that my cairn terrier appears to have streaming

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Hi have noticed that my cairn terrier appears to have streaming eyes and nose.
He is 5 years old in good health otherwise, eating and drinking as normal. Mood wise he is slightly quieter than normal but not by much. Managing walks etc with enjoyment.
Any advice gratefully received, should I be overly concerned?
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that Max has a runny nose and eyes.

I suspect that he has picked up a contagious upper respiratory infection. The most common one in dogs is kennel cough so you may notice a dry hacking cough develop if this is the case. Some dogs get sicker than others and young, healthy adult dogs seem to tolerate them and fight them off better than very young puppies or older dogs. An upper respiratory infection in cats is just like a cold in you and I. These are easily caught by breathing in virus particles in the air from a sneeze or nasal or eye discharge.

You can help him feel better by adding warm water to his food to make it smell more (they don't eat well if they cannot smell) as well as making it easier to swallow.
Also the more fluids he gets the better. Offer low salt chicken or beef broth, or offer ice cubes to lick.

Take him into the bathroom with you if you run a hot bath or shower as the steam will soothe his sore throat and airways and thin the mucous making it easier to breathe.

If his nose become very congested you can use sterile saline to loosen the thick mucous and remove it. He won't like it but it will help him breathe and be able to smell his food better. You can also use sterile saline to remove eye mucous if it accumulates.

Some lethargy is understandable, let him rest as he needs rest to get better.

If you want to try Benedryl (diphenhydramine) to dry up his nose a normal dose is 1mg per pound every 8 to 12 hours. So a dog that weighs 12 kilograms could take one 25mg tablet every 8 to 12 hours. OR you could try another antihistamine, chlorpheniramine at 4mg per cat orally every 12 to 24 hours.

If he runs a high fever (more than 104F), has a green or yellow nasal or eye discharge, stops eating even with coaxing and clearing his nose and eyes, or starts coughing such that he cannot rest, or having difficulty breathing then he needs a veterinary exam. Not an emergency as long as he is eating but soon if he isn't eating or has a green or yellow nasal or eye discharge.

Sometimes these upper airway infections turn into pneumonia so that's what we need to guard against. In most cases antibiotics aren't needed and can contribute to a decrease in appetite so I don't tend to prescribe them unless I feel there is evidence of a secondary bacterial component. These include a green or yellow eye or nasal discharge, evidence of pneumonia upon listening to their lungs or an infection that lingers beyond the normal 10 days or so.

Other reasons for sneezing and nasal congestion are an infected tooth root, a foreign body inhaled into the nose or a nasal polyp, or a fungal infection. If he isn't much better in 7 to 10 days he needs a veterinary visit.
Let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX not much sneezing, no sign of coughing and the discharge is clear at present. He's just eaten his tea with gusto! Many thanks for your help

I'm glad to hear that he seems well otherwise.
I would give an antihistamine a try and see if he improves. If he is worsening, rubbing his eyes or his discharge changes character then it is time for a hands on veterinary examination.
Best of luck with your fellow, take care, Dr. Kara.
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