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My gundog has a dry, bleeding nose!

Our vet suggest doing a biopsy, but a friend of mine who is a vet said it would be a waste of money. I have given the dog oil and fish as a supplement, but it doesn’t seem to change anything.

The biopsy is extremely expensive and while I want my dog to have a long and healthy life, we can currently ill afford the bill.

As he is also a picture of health and a really happy dog I am wondering if it is just the breed and the fact he always has his nose to the ground. Or is there something more sinister brewing?

Neil McIntosh
I am not sure that your vets actually disagree, they are just doing different things.

The first is trying to get a diagnosis of your dog’s condition and the other is giving you friendly advice – a common problem for vets, believe me!

My involvement here is different again because I cannot diagnose for you but can offer my opinion as to what you should do next!

Aside from all that, you have a difficult problem! There are a number of conditions that can cause nasal crusting and inflammation and lead to bleeding.

This bleeding, however, does not actually come from the nose but from the tissue around the nostril.

These include some infections and a number of auto-immune diseases, such as pemphigous erythematosus and pemphigous folliaceus.

The former will respond to antibiotics and the latter to fairly high dose steroids.

Since your dog also seems to blow, sneeze and sniff, it is likely that his problem is actually within the nose itself.

Again this could be due to infection (aspergillosis is the worst) but other possibilities are chronic rhinitis, foreign body (usually but not always vomited into the nose rather than being sniffed up), poly or tumour (although this would be very rare for your dog’s breed and age).

If you cannot afford diagnostic tests, such as the biopsy suggested, then I would see if your vet would actually try and treat for some of these conditions.

He might, for example, decide that a decent course of antibiotics is a good start and, if these fail, test treating with steroid might be worthwhile.

Unfortunately, your dog’s disease cannot be diagnosed by sight alone but I do think you should do something as it will probably only get worse if you don’t.