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Canine Nasal Congestion and Dog Ear Problems

by Jane
(Connecticut)

I have an 8 year old toy poodle, Maxwell, who over the last year or so has started having what sounds like canine nasal congestion and noisy breathing especially when laying down. There is no discharge from his nose.


What he started to have was in his ears, which I work at trying to keep clean, but his is constantly scratching at them and it is heartbreaking because you can tell his is very uncomfortable.

He has also gained weight, but doesn't eat excessively. We have had his teeth cleaned and the vet has done thorough blood work, checked his thyroid, his sugar/diabetes on a couple of occasions. He seems tired and doesn't want to play and run like he use to.

When he goes to doggie day care he frequently takes breaks in the corner with his sister guarding him so he can rest. I give him baby Benadryl as instructed and it seems to help somewhat but not totally. Any ideas on how I can help him to feel better?

Thank you!

Dog Health Handbook editor comment on canine nasal congestion and dog ear problems

The dog ear, nose and throat are associated anatomically; any condition in the ear or nose surely affects the entire anatomical makeup, leading to health issues, which are most commonly characterized by canine nasal congestion and lethargy. The group of conditions related to the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) is termed “Allergic Pbeumonitis”, which can occur as the result of any underlying cause.

Specific treatment can only be started if the underlying cause of the conditions described are definitely diagnosed, which is a relatively hard target to accomplish.

Therefore, glucocorticoids are usually highly recommended in such cases, although it's better to discuss the best treatment approach with your veterinarian regarding use of “Prednisolone”. Since, the exact cause is not known; you may be required to use this medication for 3 weeks to 3 months in order to complete treatment.

In addition to a specific mode of treatment, you should use natural remedies as well. These will help to reduce the symptoms you are seeing. Two products to consider are FCV Protect for the canine nanal congestion (ok to use on dogs although marketed for cat owners) and Ear Dr. to improve ear physiology (condition).

You can use these remedies along with Benadryl and glucocorticoids. Benadryl is an anti-allergy drug, which helps to reduce the severity of symptoms. Natural remedies, if used along with Benadryl will help to keep the dog nasal passage clear.

In addition, you can also use a supportive remedy which can help to improve your dogs immunity and liver physiology such as Immunity and Liver Support.

Please keep us up to date on the canine nasal congestion and ear problems.

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Mar 15, 2011
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same symptoms
by: Gloria

Hi---my dog exhibited the same symptoms. He is a 7 year old terrier and every year we battled some form of allergies where he would chew his hips/back side until it was raw. We gave the vet recommended meds every year. Then one year the congestion with troubles breathing at night it seemed, tiredness...we tried benedryl and it made him so dry. Then the vet said 10mg zyrtec at night. It was like a magic wand! I've since reduced it to 5 mg at night and watch for dry nose. He doesn't scratch himself raw, sneeze, cough, and he plays like a puppy now. I wish she had said that sooner..my mom's dog also had allergies to some unknown thing and was pink in the underbelly and she had tried everything. Zyrtec is on board and the expensive trips to the vet have decreased a lot! Cats can have it, too at 5 mg dose. My dog is about 50 pounds. Hope that helps. I'm not a vet and of course, you should run it by the vet first.

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