Information to help with symptoms of sinus infections in cats and dogs such as bleeding and congestion.
Select a Topic
- What is a Sinus Infection?
- What Causes Sinus Infections?
- Diagnosing Sinus Infections
- Help for Sinus Infections
What is a Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection occurs when the lining of the sinus passages in the nasal cavity become inflamed. This can be caused by inhaled bacteria, fungi and sometimes tooth abscesses. Normally, mucous cleans the bacteria and other particles that collect in the sinuses. With the help of tiny hairs called cilia, mucous is moved out of sinuses so that it can drain into the nasal passages.
What Causes Sinus Infections?
When an animal has a cold or allergy attack, his or her sinuses become inflamed or infected and drainage cannot occur. Pets that suffer from allergies, asthma or have a weak immune system are more prone to sinus problems. Bacterial or viral infection, allergies, changes in temperature, pollution and chemical fumes can worsen blocked sinuses. An animal with a sinus infection may experience pain or pressure in the forehead and around the eyes, stuffy or runny nose and even fever.
Diagnosing Sinus Infections
As a pet owner, you may notice that your pet is sneezing - he or she may also have discharge from the eyes and nose. Animals may cough or gag due to a postnasal drip. Cats with a sinus infection may stop eating due to a decrease in their sense of smell – this is a serious consequence of sinus infection, as they can quickly become dehydrated and will need prompt veterinary attention.
Help for Sinus Infections
If your pet has not had sinus issues before, you may want to take him or her to a vet for a check-up. Sinus infections are usually treated by veterinarians with prescribed antibiotic and/or anti-inflammatory drugs. Pets that are prone to recurrent sinus infections may be prescribed chronic medication for prevention. Although antibiotics and anti-inflammatories may be useful in clearing the symptoms, long-term usage is not always the best for your pet's overall health profile. Long-term use of anti-inflammatories may also lead to further complications, including stomach ulcers and other digestive problems.With regard to the animal body – a strong immune system is key. If the immune system is working at optimum level, the less likely a sinus infection is to occur.
Tips for Treating and Preventing Sinus Infections
- Feed your pet a healthy, well balanced diet that contains plenty of vegetables to boost the immune system
- Try to increase the moisture and humidity in the air. This will help to promote drainage of the nasal passages.
- Keep your pet’s nose clean. Use a warm soft washcloth to GENTLY wipe away dried mucous crusts from the nasal area – helping them to breathe easier.You may also want to add a small amount of un-scented petroleum jelly – just make sure not to block the nostrils!
- Encourage your pet to drink lots of water which prevents congestion, drains the mucous and increases moisture in the body. Practice good hygiene habits by washing your pets bowls thoroughly with hot water and natural soap
- Products such as Sinu-Rite™ may also provide help with symptoms of allergy-related congestion & acute sinusitis in dogs & cats.