Nothing to sneeze at

By Connie Orcutt • Published: July 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Since our pets can’t talk, we rely on other clues to tell us if there’s a problem. Take sneezing, for example. While a sneeze can simply be a response to irritation of the nose or throat, it might signal an infection, like kennel cough in a dog or herpesvirus in a cat. Sneezing or snorting can also clue you in to partial blockage of the nasal cavity or the back of the throat by an object, a growth or a long soft palate in short-nosed dogs or cats.

Another startling sound, made only by dogs, is a reverse sneeze caused by a rapid rush of air into the nose. You might think your pooch is choking, but it’s usually just another response to irritation.

If odd noises continue or if your four-legged friend has a discharge, fever, or breathing problems, this may be nothing to sneeze at. Plan to visit your veterinarian to check things out.