Q:

Why is my dog snorting?

A:

Snorting, which is distinguishable from both sneezing and reverse sneezing, is caused by either an obstruction or obesity, notes Vetstreet. Snorting is extremely common among short-nosed breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs that have brachycephalic syndrome. Other dogs with short muzzles and broad skulls like the Shih Tzu, Chow Chow and Boston Terrier commonly snort loudly and breathe through their mouths.

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Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome have a mild deformity that results in collapsed nostrils and excess tissue, causing them to snort in an effort to clear their air passageways of debris and fluid, according to Vetstreet. As they overheat, whether due to exercise or weather, the effect becomes more pronounced and the snorting grows in intensity. Overweight, obese or elderly dogs are also more prone to snorting, regardless of breed. Snorting in dogs is often accompanied by nasal discharge, gagging and drool. If a dog only recently started snorting, consult a veterinarian and inspect its nose for foreign objects or debris that may be interfering with its ability to breathe.

According to petMD, a veterinarian may recommend surgery to correct the deformity, eliminate symptoms and prevent long-term damage to the larynx. Dogs that snort are often more likely to snore, which can be a sign of sleep apnea.

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