Health Topics  >  Respiratory  > Discharge from Nose

What does nasal discharge look like in dogs?

When humans have a runny nose, the cause is usually clear: allergies, a cold, or just a simple nose bleed. But a runny, snotty, or bleeding nose in dogs tends to occur for different reasons.

In general, nasal discharge (or a runny nose) is not a common finding in dogs and, depending on the nature of the discharge, can sometimes be a sign of  a serious underlying issue.

The least concerning nasal discharge is the clear runny kind; dog’s noses are typically wet, and being a bit more wet than usual is no cause for alarm. This kind of discharge is watery and may just leave clear drops on the floor. Occasionally, this comes along with excessive sneezing or reverse sneezing.

‘Snotty’ discharge may appear like clear mucus or yellow/green-colored pus. This kind of discharge tends to be thicker and can interfere with normal breathing, leading to your dog snuffling or snorting. It is often associated with excessive sneezing, and sometimes lethargy or decreased appetite.

Bloody discharge or bright red ‘nose bleed’ type blood is the least common, and as you might expect, is usually a marker of a more serious illness.

Clear, runny nasal discharge in dogs is usually not a cause for concern.