When to Consult a Veterinarian about Reverse Sneezing?

When to Consult a Veterinarian about Reverse Sneezing?

Reverse sneezing, or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, is a curious respiratory phenomenon observed in dogs. Unlike regular sneezing, which involves forcefully expelling air through the nose, reverse sneezing entails a sudden and rapid inhalation of air. This process often creates a distinctive snorting or honking sound that can be alarming to dog owners. Despite its startling nature, reverse sneezing is typically harmless and usually resolves on its own within a short period.

Why Do Dogs Reverse Sneeze?

The causes of reverse sneezing in dogs can vary, ranging from environmental factors to anatomical predispositions. One common trigger is irritation or inflammation of the nasal passages, throat, or sinuses. This irritation can be caused by allergens such as pollen, dust, or mold, or by foreign objects lodged in the nasal passage. Additionally, certain breeds with brachycephalic features or elongated soft palates may be more prone to reverse sneezing due to structural abnormalities.


✔️Need emergency pet services in Toronto? We’re here for you. Search for ‘emergency pet near me‘ and choose us.

Causes of Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Let’s delve into the various causes of reverse sneezing in dogs:

  1. Allergies: Allergies are a common trigger for reverse sneezing in dogs. Environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, and certain foods can irritate the respiratory tract, leading to episodes of reverse sneezing. Dogs may also be allergic to household chemicals, perfumes, or grooming products, which can exacerbate respiratory symptoms.
  2. Anatomical Abnormalities: Structural abnormalities in the respiratory tract can predispose dogs to reverse sneezing. Breeds with brachycephalic (short-nosed) features, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers, often have elongated soft palates or narrow nasal passages, making them more susceptible to respiratory issues like reverse sneezing. Similarly, dogs with collapsing tracheas or abnormalities in their nasal anatomy may experience more frequent episodes.
  3. Respiratory Infections: Viral or bacterial infections can cause inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract, leading to episodes of reverse sneezing. Common respiratory infections in dogs include kennel cough, canine influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus. These infections are often accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, and lethargy.
  4. Irritants and Environmental Factors: Dogs may experience reverse sneezing as a result of exposure to irritants or environmental factors. Strong odors, cigarette smoke, household cleaners, perfumes, and airborne pollutants can all trigger episodes of reverse sneezing in sensitive individuals. Additionally, sudden changes in temperature or humidity levels can irritate the respiratory tract and lead to sneezing episodes.
  5. Excitement or Stress: Some dogs may experience reverse sneezing in response to excitement or stress. Emotional arousal can lead to changes in breathing patterns, including rapid inhalation through the nose. Dogs may exhibit reverse sneezing during exciting activities such as playtime, walks, or visits from guests, as well as stressful situations such as vet visits or fireworks displays.
  6. Foreign Objects: Ingestion or inhalation of foreign objects can cause irritation and obstruction in the nasal passages, leading to episodes of reverse sneezing. Common foreign objects include grass seeds, foxtails, dust particles, and insects. Dogs may also develop nasal polyps or tumors that contribute to respiratory symptoms like reverse sneezing.


Treatment for a Reverse Sneezing Episode in Dogs

For treating a reverse sneezing episode in dogs, there are several approaches you can take to help alleviate your furry friend’s discomfort. Here’s a breakdown of the various treatment options:

  1. Remain Calm and Reassure Your Dog: During a reverse sneezing episode, it’s essential to stay calm and provide reassurance to your dog. Your demeanor can influence your pet’s anxiety levels, so maintaining a composed presence can help your dog feel more at ease.
  2. Gently Massage the Throat: Massaging your dog’s throat in a downward motion can help stimulate swallowing and alleviate the episode. Use gentle pressure and circular motions to soothe any irritation in the throat area.
  3. Encourage Swallowing: Covering your dog’s nostrils for a brief moment or offering them a small amount of water can help encourage swallowing, which may help stop the reverse sneezing episode. Be careful not to obstruct their airflow for too long, and always monitor your dog’s response.
  4. Address Underlying Triggers: If you suspect that allergies or environmental factors are triggering reverse sneezing episodes in your dog, take steps to minimize their exposure to these triggers. Keep your home environment clean and free of allergens, and avoid known irritants whenever possible.
  5. Consult Your Veterinarian: If your dog experiences frequent or prolonged episodes of reverse sneezing, or if you’re unsure about how to manage their symptoms, it’s essential to seek guidance from your veterinarian. They can provide personalized advice and may recommend further evaluation or treatment options based on your dog’s specific needs.

By employing these treatment strategies, you can help your dog navigate reverse sneezing episodes more comfortably and minimize their impact on their overall well-being.

Symptoms of Canine Reverse Sneezing

Recognizing the symptoms of reverse sneezing in dogs is crucial for pet owners to provide appropriate care and support. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

  1. Loud Snorting or Honking Sounds: One of the most noticeable symptoms of reverse sneezing is the distinctive snorting or honking sound that dogs make during an episode. This sound is caused by the rapid inhalation of air through the nose and can be alarming to pet owners.
  2. Extended Neck and Head Posture: During a reverse sneezing episode, dogs may adopt a posture with their neck and head extended in an exaggerated manner. This position allows for better airflow and may help alleviate discomfort.
  3. Rapid or Shallow Breathing: Dogs experiencing a reverse sneezing episode may exhibit rapid or shallow breathing as they try to inhale air quickly through their noses. This can be accompanied by visible signs of respiratory distress.
  4. Signs of Distress or Anxiety: Some dogs may display signs of distress or anxiety during a reverse sneezing episode, such as pacing, pawing at their face, or seeking comfort from their owners. These behaviors may indicate that your dog is experiencing discomfort and may benefit from reassurance and support.


How to Stop Dogs From Reverse Sneezing

Preventing reverse sneezing in dogs involves proactive measures to minimize exposure to triggers and support overall respiratory health. Maintaining a clean environment free of allergens, avoiding known triggers, and providing a balanced diet and regular exercise are essential. Additionally, considering dietary supplements or natural remedies to support respiratory health may be beneficial. Managing stress and anxiety is also crucial, as it can contribute to the frequency and severity of reverse sneezing episodes. Consulting a veterinarian for guidance and advice tailored to your dog’s specific needs is always advisable.

Sum Up

Reverse sneezing in dogs is a common and usually benign respiratory phenomenon that can be managed with proper understanding and care. By recognizing the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for reverse sneezing, dog owners can ensure the well-being of their furry companions. Taking proactive measures to minimize triggers and support respiratory health can help reduce the frequency and severity of episodes. However, if concerns arise or symptoms persist, consulting a veterinarian is recommended for personalized guidance and assistance. With attentive care and timely intervention, reverse sneezing can be effectively managed, allowing dogs to enjoy a happy and healthy life.

Call Us Now