Reverse Dog Sneezing: Do you know what it is & what to do?
Reverse sneezing is a common condition that sounds a lot worse than it actually is.
You may not know what itís called, but you do know that it scares the heck out of you when you hear and see it happening to your dog. Reverse sneezing, also known as Pharyngeal Gag Reflex or Paroxysmal Respiration, is quite common in dogsóespecially breeds that have a flat face (Shih Tzus, Pugs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs). Your first instinct may be to grab your dog and run to the vetís office. But before you freak out, you should know that a reverse sneeze will pass and can last anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or two. Once itís over, your dog will return to his normal, happy self.
What is a Reverse Sneeze?
When we sneeze, air is pushed rapidly out of our noses. Thatís where you get the quick ďAchoo!Ē sound (often followed by a vigorous nose blowing). But with a dog, that sneeze happens in reverseóair is pulled into his nose, resulting in a loud honking or snorting noise. Here are a few other signs that your dog is in the middle of a reverse sneezing fit:
Standing still with elbows spread apart
Backwards head motion
What Causes Reverse Sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is caused by a spasm of the throat and soft palate, set off by an irritation in the throat, pharynx, or larynx. Itís hard to pinpoint what can set it off, but a few of the most common causes include environmental odors (smoke, household cleaners, perfume, room sprays, dust, and pollen), exercise, weather changes, tight collars and sudden movement from a leash.
Thanks for the informative post. I remember, years ago, the first time I witnessed a reverse sneeze - frightening! I thought Wonka was having a seizure of something. Now I know what it is and I usually just sit and calmly rub his chest until it stops and he feels better.
Mom to Miss Jelly Bean "Beanie" Licorice Pug
Forever in our hearts: Miss Nilla Sassafras Pug August 17, 2002 to April 19, 2018
And my Heart-Dog... Wonka the Dancing Pug, CGC, W-FD, W-TFD.
Februrary 11, 2005 to May 10, 2020. Miss you, sweet boy!