Reverse sneezing in Dogs.


Some dogs have a condition which is commonly known as reverse sneezing. It’s scientific term is paroxysmal respiration and while it can look worrying, it is not harmful to the dog. This Holidays4Dogs provides further information on reverse sneezing in dogs.

When a dog suddenly starts to suck in air, while at the same time making a snorting or choking noises, this is known as reverse sneezing. It can be quite worrying for owners if they have not witnessed it before, because the dog can appear to be choking. However, the condition is not generally something to be worried about.

What causes reverse sneezing in dogs?

Paroxysmal respiration can be caused by something irritating the nasal passages. This might be something in the air, or a foreign body, such as a grass seed. It is also associated with eating, or drinking, too quickly.

The condition is more common in smaller breeds of dog. Brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs with shortened nasal passages, are also prone to reverse sneezing.

What does it look like?

Typically, a dog will suddenly begin to suck in air noisily. This is often accompanied by a stiff, square stance, bent neck and bulging eyes. The dog may make choking sounds and the episode may include exaggerated swallowing movements. Bouts can last from a few seconds, to a couple of minutes. As soon as it passes, the dog starts to breath perfectly normally again.

It is thought that the condition is the result of a throat and soft palate spasm which is caused by some sort irritant. However, it can also be caused by pulling on the lead, or general over excitement.

There is usually nothing to worry about with occasional episodes of reverse sneezing. There is not much an owner can do at the time the dog is exhibiting the behaviour. However, some suggest rubbing the dog’s throat gently to help stop the spasm.

When to seek Veterinary Advice.

If your dog seems to have frequent bouts of reverse sneezing, make an appointment to see your vet who can rule out any serious underlying health issues, such as polyps or tumours in the throat. Thankfully, the vast majority of cases pose no long term health problems and therefore, owners need not be concerned about periodic bouts of reverse sneezing.