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Sneeze/snort Attacks When Eating


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Tracker gets The Honest Kitchen dehydrated food as well as kibble. Yesterday, for the first time, Tracker would have a sneeze/snort attack while he ate his kibble, then again a while later while he ate the wet food, and again this morning, while he ate both at the same time. I'm baffled. He's not sneezing/snorting otherwise. He did have a major sneeze/snort attack last Saturday when he accidentally inhaled a bunch of cat hair; that attack lasted a good 15 minutes, on and off, while he was trying to clear his nose, and then subsided, and he hadn't sneezed again at all until yesterday when eating. What could this possibly be? Allergy? But it's so sudden, WHILE eating, so could that be? He's been on the wet food for years; the kibble he's eating right now he's only been on for maybe a week, but up till yesterday he's not had a problem. And he showed the same sneeze reaction to the wet food. Is there stills some cat hair stuck in his nose? But why would food trigger a tickle?

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I don't think it's that because he's had reverse sneeze before in various situations and this looks and sounds different. What he's doing now sounds like a serious (temporary) irritation. He pulls his lips way up and shows all his teeth, and his nose is all wrinkled. Can't hurt trying to hand feed, though.

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If it only occurs when he's eating, I'd be interested to see if it's a laryngeal/pharyngeal muscular issue. Is he middle-aged? Could be muscular issues leading to incomplete closure of the airways during swalling = mild food aspiration = coughing.

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He's going on 7. He isn't coughing, though. He looks like I would look like if my nose itched like crazy--I would pull mine up, too, and try to snort out the offending tickle. He never coughs. He was doing it less today, so I'm hoping it's on its way out. I think there's some connection to his inhaling a wad of cat hair last week. Maybe there's still some in there?Is it possible that food aspiration could cause him to snort?

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I'd be less inclined to think that it's related to a foreign object because your observations suggest that it primarily occurs with eating. That's not to say stuff can't linger around in the nasal cavity (I can certainly see how something can get "caught" in the nasal conchae), but I'd lean towards trying to understand why it occurs with eating and not during normal breathing. Does it occur after exercise? The nasal passages and oral passages are intrinsically connected, though, so it could still be some kind of muscular problem that leads to irritation = sneezing and/or coughing when eating. At any rate, check how long and how frequent they last. If it's staying the same or getting worse, I'd make a visit to the vet. If it gets better and subsides, well, that's life isn't it? :) Edit: Yes, food aspiration can lead to a forceful expulsion of air, which can manifest as coughing or sneezing.

Edited by Giselle
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Is he sensitive to the feel and texture of the hard kibble mixed into the other food? I know exactly what you mean with the facials Teague sometimes does it when he gets something he doesn't like, or with a weird texture. Is your Honest Kitchen food re-hydrated or a dry powder when you feed it?

 

I would try feeding something all soft/moist just to see if that is the problem (soak the kibble with HK mix)

 

Edited to add: I see you said that he did it with just the wet food too...

Edited by RedHead
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Yeah, he does it with rehydrated (wet) food as well as kibble, so I can't imagine it's dust. I'm getting more and more convinced there's some residual cat hair in his nasal passages from a week ago and the mechanics of eating trigger the hair into tickling. However, I just got back from my walk with him, and he snorted a whole bunch then, apropos of nothing (well, to my eye). I'm thinking of taking him to the vet. What might they do, though? Put a gadget up his nose to see whether there's anything in there that shouldn't be? I imagine they'd have to sedate him for that? We're in a rural area and the local vet doesn't see endless amounts of Greys, so I'm not confident she'd sedate him properly for a Greyhound. There are vet specialists 35 minutes away, who see their fair share of Greys. Should I just go straight to them w/o bothering with the local vet?

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Most recently-graduated veterinarians are well aware of different breeds' susceptibilities, especially concerning sighthounds and anesthesia. Where in the Bay Area are you? I'm not there anymore and I lived in the urban areas, but my experience is that most Bay Area veterinarians are extremely progressive and up-to-date on the newest medical science. Your veterinarian, if s/he has strong clinical skills, should be able to palpate any changes in the musculature of the larynx during a basic physical exam. It is a really common problem (esp. in horses, so a rural vet may actually be better at this!). If the vet suspects something in the nasal passageway, though, s/he'll probably recommend radiographs and, if necessary, scoping the animal under anesthesia. It's up to you whether you want to visit the specialists, but I would usually trust a modern, up-to-date vet for something like this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the mystery was solved. The vet figured since he had inhaled that cat hair and since cat hair is covered with bacteria, that Tracker got an infection/inflammation in his nostril. She put him on antibiotics and anti inflammatory and lo and behold, he's fine now. It seems that when he chewed his food, the change in sinus/palate anatomy while chewing aggravated the infection spot, and that's why he snorted. I'm posting this in case anybody else ever has this happen.

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And, I forgot to mention, my fabulous dog didn't need sedation for having this pointy thing stuck in his nose with which the vet can look up his nasal passages! He just stood there motionless for the first nostril, and got a bit fidgety for the second, but he was calm long enough to give the vet the info she needed. I've been so blessed with Tracker--when he's at the vet, he mostly just goes to sleep on the floor.

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