Rhinosporidiosis in Dogs: A Detailed Overview Treating and Preventing Rhinosporidiosis In Dogs

Rhinosporidiosis in Dogs: A Detailed Overview https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2021/01/26/17/18/cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-5952324_1280.jpg

Thumbnail of Fluconazole


{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart

Rhinosporidiosis is an uncommon, chronic, and crippling fungal illness that mainly affects the mucous membranes of the dog's nasal chamber. Here, we break down this disease and how you can save your dog from its consequences.

Rhinosporidiosis is a rare, chronic, and debilitating fungal infection that primarily affects the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity in both humans and animals. While this condition has been well-documented in humans, it is less well-known in dogs. Rhinosporidiosis in dogs is a complex and potentially fatal disease that can lead to serious respiratory distress as well as other issues. 

The causes, signs, diagnosis, and management of canine rhinosporidiosis, as well as any possible effects on the health and welfare of dogs, are all covered in this article.


Rhinosporidiosis in dogs is caused by a parasitic fungal organism called Rhinosporidium seeberi. This microorganism can infiltrate a dog's nasal cavity through inhalation or direct touch with contaminated surfaces. It is found in contaminated soil, water, and vegetation. Once inside the nasal cavity, the organism can multiply and create growths that resemble polyps, which can block the nasal passages and cause bleeding and discharge.

Although Rhinosporidium seeberi is the main source of rhinosporidiosis in dogs, the precise method of transmission and the variables that affect disease susceptibility are still not well understood. The risk of this illness in dogs is thought to be greater in those with weakened immune systems, chronic inflammation, or exposure to contaminated environments.


Rhinosporidiosis symptoms in dogs can include:

  • Nasal discharge: The most prevalent symptom of rhinosporidiosis in dogs. The secretion could be clear or purulent and could smell bad.

  • Nasal obstruction: The fungus can enlarge and obstruct the nasal passageways, making breathing challenging.

  • Sneezing: Rhinosporidiosis-infected dogs may snort frequently.

  • Nosebleeds: The fungus can harm the blood vessels in the nostrils, which can result in nosebleeds.

  • Ulceration: In severe instances, the fungus can cause nasal mucosa ulceration.

  • Eye problems: The fungus can occasionally travel to the eyes, where it can lead to conjunctivitis, discharge, and swelling.


Rhinosporidiosis diagnosis in dogs can be challenging, as the symptoms can be similar to those of other respiratory conditions. Here are the common diagnostic methods used by veterinarians to diagnose rhinosporidiosis in dogs:

  • Physical examination: The veterinarian will check for swelling, lesions in the nasal chamber, and indications of nasal discharge while performing a physical inspection.

  • Cytology: A sample of the nasal discharge or affected tissue may be examined under a microscope to look for the characteristic round, thick-walled spores of Rhinosporidium seeberi.

  • Biopsy: A biopsy of the affected tissue may be taken and examined under a microscope to confirm the presence of Rhinosporidium seeberi and rule out other conditions.

  • Histopathology: A histopathology examination of the biopsy tissue can confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the infection.

  • Molecular diagnostic techniques: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be used to identify DNA sequences unique to Rhinosporidium seeberi in biopsy tissue samples and can be used to confirm the diagnosis in cases where the characteristic spores are not present.

Treatment Options

The treatment of rhinosporidiosis in dogs is multifaceted and requires a combination of surgical intervention, antifungal medications, environmental management, and supportive care. Supportive care may include your vet prescribing pain relief medications like Deramaxx or Carprofen.

However, the ultimate goal is to control the infection, manage the dog's symptoms, and prevent the disease from recurring.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent rhinosporidiosis in dogs is to minimize their exposure to the fungus Rhinosporidium seeberi, which is found in stagnant or slow-moving water sources. Here are some rhinosporidiosis prevention tips:

  • Avoid stagnant water: Dogs should avoid swimming or playing in stagnant or slow-moving water, such as ponds, marshes, or swamps, where the fungus may be present.

  • Keep living areas clean and dry: Owners should keep their dogs' living areas clean and dry, as the fungus thrives in damp environments.

  • Monitor your dog's symptoms: Be aware of the symptoms of rhinosporidiosis, such as nasal discharge, sneezing, and difficulty breathing, and seek prompt veterinary attention if you suspect your dog may be affected.

  • Maintain good hygiene: Regular grooming and bathing can help remove fungal spores from your dog's skin and coat. Be sure to dry your dog thoroughly after bathing.

  • Keep your dog's immune system healthy: A healthy immune system can help your dog fight off infections. Be sure to provide your dog with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, access to toys, and prompt veterinary care for any health issues.

  • Talk to your veterinarian: If you live in an area where rhinosporidiosis is common or if your dog is at high risk due to breed or lifestyle, talk to your veterinarian about ways to reduce their risk of infection.

By following these prevention tips, you can help reduce your dog's risk of contracting rhinosporidiosis and keep them healthy and happy.

Was this article helpful?