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Fiah’s owner became concerned when she noticed that her normally bouncy, healthy 8-year-old Boxer dog started to develop a nasal discharge. Runny noses are relatively common for dogs with allergies, and can also be caused by viral or bacterial infection. Nasal discharge in dogs usually settles on its own. However, in this case, the discharge only came from one of Fiah’s nostrils.

Veterinary surgeon Debbie Hutton, who examined Fiah at Animal Trust’s Ellesmere Port surgery, explained: “The fact that the discharge only came from one nostril was more concerning, as it could indicate a more serious condition such as fungal infection, inflammatory rhinitis, or even tumours.”

Following her examination, Fiah was prescribed a course of anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, but there was no improvement.

Fiah the Dog

Her owner was understandably worried and keen to get to the bottom of the problem. Vet Debbie, therefore, recommended a Computed Tomography (CT) scan to see what was going on inside Fiah’s nose. 

A CT scan produces a three-dimensional image of the area scanned, allowing vets to effectively assess the internal structures. On the day that Fiah came into our Ellesmere Port surgery for her CT scan, her owner had started to notice some blood in the discharge from her nose. 

Fiah’s scan was sent to a specialist for interpretation. The scan showed evidence of destructive rhinitis. Fortunately, there was no evidence of a tumour. 

Rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose, which in Fiah’s case had started to invade the bony structures inside her nasal cavity. The specialist advised a canine endoscopy to look for evidence of fungal invasion and take samples of the tissue lining Fiah’s nose.

CT Scan Dog Face
CT Scan Dog Head
Some images from Fiah’s scan, showing fluid and swelling in her right nostril.
CT Scan Dog Side

Fiah attended Animal Trust’s Failsworth branch for canine rhinoscopy at the beginning of August. The examination revealed an inflamed nasal cavity, but fortunately, no evidence of fungal infection. Biopsy samples of the inflamed tissue were taken for analysis at the laboratory.

The sample results came back as lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis, an inflammatory condition most likely caused by a foreign body (e.g. a seed or piece of grass), an allergy or a local irritation. This condition is responsive to a high dose of steroid medication (prednisolone) which is being reduced gradually over the coming weeks.

Vet Debbie said: “Fiah is currently doing well and her nasal discharge has cleared up completely since being on medication. Her owner did the right thing by bringing her to see us as soon as the discharge started – meaning we were able to treat Fiah’s condition promptly.”

Image from inside Fiah’s nose, taken during rhinoscopy

If your pet develops a runny nose or nasal discharge and you have concerns, contact your nearest Animal Trust surgery to book an appointment to investigate further.

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