What causes reverse sneezing in dogs?

  • Kelly,
  • March 13, 2022,
  • 3549

A reverse sneeze looks and sounds like a combination between snorting and sneezing. It's a noisy occurrence, which may happen several times in a row. Other symptoms of reverse sneezing in dogs may include gagging or retching.

Can excitement cause reverse sneezing in dogs?

For some dogs, especially smaller dogs, over-excitement can also lead to reverse sneezing. For example, your pooch may have a reverse sneezing episode right after you get home from work because they're excited you're home.

Can stress cause reverse sneezing in dogs?

The exact reason that dogs reverse sneeze is unknown, but it's likely that your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction to something. Sometimes stress and excitement can bring on a bout as well. Anecdotally, dog trainers have noticed that dog shows can bring on reverse sneezing.

What is a reverse sneeze in a dog?

What is reverse sneezing? Some dogs have a condition known as paroxysmal respiration or, as it is more commonly called, reverse sneezing. "With this condition, the dog rapidly pulls air into the nose, whereas in a regular sneeze, the air is rapidly pushed out through the nose."

Is reverse sneezing normal?

Although it can be alarming to witness a dog having a reverse sneezing episode, it is not a harmful condition and there are no ill effects. The dog is completely normal before and after the episode. During a reverse sneeze, the dog will make rapid and long inspirations, stand still, and extend his head and neck.

Is reverse sneezing asthma?

Reverse sneezing is usually a harmless, common reaction – much like a regular sneeze – that is not an asthma attack. All sizes and breeds of dog can reverse sneeze; the behavior is not unusual and is typically triggered by a specific irritant or allergen.

Is reverse sneezing bad for dogs?

There really isn't anything you need to do if your dog is dealing with reverse sneezing. These episodes, just like a bout of regular sneezing, will come and go without any issues for the most part. If your dog seems to be distressed by these episodes, you can gently pet him to help soothe him.

Is there a cure for reverse sneezing in dogs?

How is reverse sneeze treated? Most cases of reverse sneezing require no medical treatment. If your dog experiences a reverse sneezing episode, you may gently stroke the neck and try to calm him. Once the dog exhales through the nose, the attack is usually over.

Is reverse sneezing painful for dogs?

While a reverse sneezing episode may be cause for concern for some pet owners, Teller wants owners to know that it is not painful or harmful for your pet. If pet owners find their dogs experiencing reverse sneezes, Teller says there are several techniques owners can use to calm their dog and get the episode to stop.

Is reverse sneezing in dogs serious?

As you can see, reverse sneezing itself isn't too serious. However, since it can sometimes be associated with other conditions, it's important to have your dog checked out by their vet to figure out what's going on.

Is kennel cough a reverse sneeze?

Signs of kennel cough include a dry cough or a “reverse sneeze.” A reverse sneeze sounds like a sniffling cough through the nose and signifies post-nasal drip or a tickle in the throat. Your dog may seem lethargic and have low energy or he may otherwise appear normal.

What does reverse sneezing in dogs mean?

Formally called paroxysmal respiration, reverse sneezing occurs when the dog rapidly inhales air, rather than rapidly exhaling air as they do with a normal sneeze. "This normally occurs in response to an irritation in the nose or throat that causes a spasm.


Hi, I'm Kelly. I've been a dog trainer for 12 years, working at all levels of competition, from basic obedience to competition obedience, and in a variety of venues. I've also been an instructor at the National Dog Trainer's Association (NDTA) and have given seminars on basic dog training to several local pet store chains. My articles have appeared in a variety of magazines including Pets Magazine, Action Dog and Puppy Love.

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