Sinonasal Mycosis in dogs
This a debilitating fungal infection of the frontal sinuses and nasal chambers. This disease is most commonly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus in dogs and causes a wide range of symptoms including nasal discharge, sneezing, epistaxis, depigmentation of the nasal planum, sinonasal pain and inappetance.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Sinonasal Mycosis in dogs
Diagnosis can be challenging as simple culture or cytology of the nasal secretions is usually unrewarding. Cases usually need either radiography (or ideally CT) to determine the extent of turbinate loss which is a feature of this disease and then rhinoscopy to identify, localise and biopsy the fungal plaques themselves which are often readily visible in affected cases.
Treatment involves instilling antifungal agents (e.g. clotrimazole) directly into the sinuses and nasal chambers and there are several "protocols" describing how to do this. The picture shows a dog having the sinuses and nasal chambers vigorously flushed through using Foley catheters placed directly into each frontal sinus (a major advantage of this particular protocol) before clotrimazole solution is instilled into the sinonasal space.
A dog having the sinuses and nasal chambers vigorously flushed
Although most dogs do go on to make full recoveries, many dogs do need multiple treatments and some dogs will have persistent serous nasal discharge due to the extensive turbinate loss caused by the dog's immune reaction to the fungal infection.
We are happy to see any dog with unexplained nasal discharge for work-up and treatment as required. Major differential diagnoses for this condition include intranasal neoplasia, nasal foreign body and severe dental disease.