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Cariboo2 February 1st, 2014 08:03 PM

Older dog not giving up so why should I?
I just came back from a visit to the local vet. I took Frenchy in because he's had nasal discharge for over a month and I was hoping the vet would at least try an antibiotic to see if it would help. She looked at his past records (we just moved here so they were from his previous vet) and gave him a quick examination and pretty much said he's a hopeless case. Frenchy is part Australian heeler, part border collie and part wolf. At his heaviest he was 97 lbs (we had to put him on a diet!), his ideal weight is about 85 lbs., and he's currently 77 lbs. He's 11 years and 7 months old.

Frenchy has discharge from his right nostril, which I suspect is from an infection due to something lodged in there because he's always thrusting his nose into the horses' hay. It started with a few drops of blood one day in December, then there was clear discharge, then it became more snotty. He usually sneezes several times when he first goes outside. We used to try wiping his nose, but it became rather tender so he doesn't want us to touch it. He'll put it in the snow to clean it now and then.

But he has other issues. He seems skinny (you can feel his backbone) and the left side of his head is kind of caved in (trigeminal nerve damage?), plus his third eyelid is showing on that side, Three years ago the previous vet did a geriatric blood panel and his liver enzymes were through the roof (today's vet said she'd never seen them so high), but that was three years ago, he's been on milk thistle ever since, and he's still with us and not in any noticeable discomfort except for a snotty right nostril.

So ... he still enjoys his meals and trots around the barnyard with his tail wagging, so I'm trying to keep him as comfortable and happy as possible until I sense that he would rather be set free. We're trying him on a week of antibiotics to see if that will clear up the infection. Has anyone had luck with homeopathic remedies for a nasal/sinus infection?

Or has anyone had a dog with discharge from a single nostril that cleared up on its own? I can't figure out why grass or hay up the nose wouldn't disintegrate over time with all those white cells working away at it and eventually be expelled from the nose. We don't want him under a general anesthetic, so there aren't any options for a better diagnosis, plus the nearest clinic with a scope is over 2 hours drive away.

marko February 2nd, 2014 12:34 PM

[QUOTE]I can't figure out why grass or hay up the nose wouldn't disintegrate over time with all those white cells working away at it and eventually be expelled from the nose. We don't want him under a general anesthetic, so there aren't any options for a better diagnosis, plus the nearest clinic with a scope is over 2 hours drive away.[/QUOTE]

Sounds to me like the dog requires a scope in the nose to see what's wrong. But if the dog has an infection, the antibiotics may temporarily help.

Although you think it may be grass or hay, it could be some other foreign body. OR it could indeed be a small piece of hay, that is still there. As far as I know The nose is not like the stomach which would likely have digested/disintegrated the hay.

In terms of this dog's quality of my ear this dog is happy and so ending his life at this time would never be an option for me. A snotty nostril is nothing when a dog is happy.

Hope that may help and good luck!

sweetheart1 February 2nd, 2014 03:02 PM

nasal discharge on dog
Hello caribou- I live in nyc,ny usa and we have a state of the art place called amc. its considered to better than cornell,tding tests which can sometimes run tuft clinics. It also costs just fo a consult 175.00, not including tests which can run in $$$$$$. I just lost my Lhasa apso 15/16 yrs old ,IVDD, (paralyzed legs) heart mumur 5/6,heavy panting, CCD-dementia. scarpenia (muscle loss) I felt his back bones. blind-cornel ulcer. On the day he died he was laying on my bed and he did not want to eat or drink. I knew in my heart that it was going downhill very,very ffast. I saw a neuro on 12/20/13 and he was able to walk very slowly inside the clinic. he got a pescrption o a steroid which was suppose to take away edma from the brain and back spinal cord-degenerated discs. what you should try to do is find a teaching animal hospital in canada and get a x-ray/mri to see if there is a tumor in the frontal lobe. most glomas start out in the nose area. it may not be visable on the outside which a lot of mcts are on the skin. my boys mct was on his chest.they go by grades. his was gade2 so he had a chance of survival.if u want to get back to me im here as sweethert1. I do not want to worry u but if you catch it early his chances are good. Im sad. I lost him and I do not think he was in great pain I had him on rhymdlyy daily but I think I needed tamdol in the end.Its banned in nyc.nj. its a opiate. good luck. sweetheart1

MaxaLisa February 3rd, 2014 01:54 AM

It would be nice to have a diagnosis to know just what was going on, then you could make decisions on treating it. We have a couple of dogs with nasal issues on the forum, treated with supplements, but those dogs have growths. Dogs can also have persistent fungal infections, as well as bacterial issues. Thus, if you can scope and get something to biopsy, that's the best of all possibilities - a scope is usually less expensive than something like an MRI.

Cariboo2 February 3rd, 2014 06:08 PM

Diagnosis unlikely
Thanks to everyone who responded. I've done a lot of research on the internet and even according to the two vets I've talked to, there's a really good chance that even after travelling out of town and spending $$$$ on a scope (which will require an anesthetic - my guess is $1500 or so), there'll be no definitive diagnosis. Also, even if there's a diagnosis, it's unlikely that we'll want to go ahead and treat him given his age and other health issues.

I guess I was just venting, because the vet gave me the impression that she thought I was irresponsible for letting him suffer and I don't feel that being skinny and having a snotty nose is suffering. How he looks doesn't matter to me, or him. As I always say to people who ask me how old he is (grey muzzle, etc.), HE doesn't know he's old yet. I'm sure he'll let me know when the time comes.

He's tolerating the antibiotics well (no side effects, appetite still great) so we'll see how he is at the end of the week. Even though I'm not a real believer in homeopathics, I've ordered something called Sinu-Rite on the off chance that it will help, as it looks like antibiotics are only a temporary solution at best.

SuperWanda February 5th, 2014 01:53 PM

Our dog who has nasal cancer (which I must add, is very rare) had a scope and it was about $800. They put our dog under to do it. Our dog had a stuffy nose with clear discharge and they did a scope to see if it was a foreign body or cyst that could be removed. If it is a cyst it will have a stalk that they can usually remove it during the endoscope. If it is a foreign body, they can also remove it at the time of the scope. It is apparently common for dogs to breathe things in and they get caught at the back of the sinus area because there is a little lip there. The dog's body then produces a bunch of junk around the foreign body and that is why it wouldn't naturally be easy for it to be expelled from the nose on it's own.

We had a biopsy through the roof of the mouth to determine that our lump was cancer. I should say that biopsies can be wrong. Our dog is doing very well with this nasal cancer so sometimes question if they have made a proper diagnosis. The only way you can really be 100% sure is to have the growth removed and sent to pathology. But, a scope can give you answers and even a solution if it is something they can just snip out.

Whatever the reason for your guy's discharge, I think antibiotics can help because if there is some type of mass, there is sure to be extra mucous and this can be a breeding ground for bacteria. I use antibiotics if my dog sounds really stuffy and it seems to help.

I think the fact that you have a large sized dog that is soon to turn 12 shows that you have given him proper care. I have 2 seniors myself. Senior dogs can look skinny as they lose muscle mass. My 15 year old looks that way but interestingly, she has not lost weight so if you see a rapid loss of weight by the scale, that may indicate something else is going on.

Good luck with everything.

Cariboo2 February 17th, 2014 04:04 PM

Making the difficult decision
Well, our big guy has been getting worse, and we've decided not to let it get to the point where he is in distress. It's a hard decision, wondering if maybe - just maybe - he might still make a miraculous recovery, but it seems to be affecting his eating. Although he still has a good appetite, he seems to have trouble chewing and swallowing now.

You sometimes wonder if you are postponing the decision for the pet's sake, or for your own, because it's so very hard to say goodbye. I just know I would feel terrible if he began to suffer badly and I could have prevented it by letting him go with dignity a few days earlier.

marko February 18th, 2014 09:02 AM

Deciding when the right time is, is extremely personal and emotional. We really need to make sure we are doing it for the right reason and that reason, imo should be for the benefit of the pet, normally to ease the pet's suffering. Please keep in mind that dogs can still be 'happy' even if they have an 'accident' in the house or don't eat as well as they used to.

Because of this, I really like this (fairly objective) article on when the right time is. I hope it can help you. :goodvibes: [url][/url]

hazelrunpack February 18th, 2014 11:20 AM

I'm so sorry you're going through this Cariboo2 :grouphug:

Cariboo2 February 18th, 2014 05:23 PM

Ending suffering vs. preventing it
Thank you, Marko. I checked out the link you shared, and can see that in many cases it would make sense to use that scale.

What we've been hoping to do is prevent his suffering rather than ending it after it starts, as we've been told by two vets now that sooner would be better than later in our boy's situation. The infection will destroy the bone between the sinus and brain and can result in sudden behavior changes (aggression mostly), confusion, seizures, paralysis and other symptoms.

Already he often has trouble breathing. I can only imagine how it would feel if he were in extreme distress in the middle of the night and we were unable to help him. We are already struggling with enough guilt and grief.

SuperWanda February 18th, 2014 06:14 PM

I'm sorry Cariboo2. It's hard to see them having troubles.

My oldest dog has trouble with dry food or chunks of food so I grind everything up until it is mushy - add broth to make a slurry type meal. Don't know if that would help with his swallowing or maybe you already give him soft food.

Barkingdog February 21st, 2014 10:31 PM


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