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Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

reverse sneezing in dogs

Have you ever noticed your dog sneezes when he is excited? Perhaps he sneezes a few times in quick succession. Reverse sneezing in dogs is quite a common condition and is rarely anything to worry about. It can affect any breed of dog but is more likely to affect smaller dogs the most. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at reverse sneezing in dogs and when you should arrange an appointment with your vet.


What is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs?

It is suspected that reverse sneezing is caused by inflammation or irritation of the nasal, sinus or pharyngeal passages. The reason your dog sneezes may be to remove any foreign particles that have made their way into these passages, such as pollen, dust, powder or other mild irritants. Your dog may also reverse sneeze after periods of over-excitement, such as when you return home from work or when he plays with another dog.


What Exactly is a Reverse Sneeze?

When your dog reverse sneezes, he will usually stand still and produce a loud, snorting sound. He may also extend his head and neck during an episode. If your dog makes a honking sound instead of a snort, it could be that he is suffering from a tracheal collapse which is a more serious condition that a reverse sneeze.

Reverse sneezing in dogs can be alarming to the owner experiencing it for the first time. The good news is that this condition is not harmful to your dog as long as he doesn’t have any other underlying conditions, such as heart disease. Most dogs have an episode of reverse sneezing and are back to their usual self within seconds.


Can I Do Anything When My Dog Reverse Sneezes?

If your dog experiences reverse sneezing often or has prolonged bouts of sneezing, it may be distressing to him. One remedy you can try the next time your dog has a sneezing episode is to hold his nostrils closed for a second and lightly massage his throat. This will help to calm him. Blow lightly on his face as this will cause him to swallow and interrupt the spasms caused by reverse sneezing.

Most dogs go through their life reverse sneezing without any problems or the need for medication. However, if your dog’s reverse sneezing is caused by allergies, your vet may recommend an antihistamine to relieve the problem. An evaluation of your dog’s environment may help to determine and potentially eliminate any causes for these events. Carpet cleaners, perfumes and dust are all common culprits.


Health Problems That Can Cause Reverse Sneezing

If you are concerned about your dog’s reverse sneezing, a trip to the vet will certainly not do any harm. This will also help to rule out any underlying issues. At the evaluation, your vet will perform a complete physical examination and go through your dog’s health history. If your vet feels it necessary, they will order X-rays or carry out a rhinoscopy to examine the nasal passages. This will help to ensure that there are no foreign bodies trapped in your dog’s nasal cavities.

One such foreign body is the nasal mite. These small parasites can get in the tightest of places and your dog’s nasal passages can be the perfect living and breeding ground for them. Mites are usually transmitted from dog to dog but are usually fairly easy to treat.


Treatment For Reverse Sneezing

When reverse sneezing in dogs is mild and infrequent, it rarely requires any form of treatment. It is the underlying cause that is usually treated. For example, if your dog has nasal mites, your vet may prescribe ivermectin, selamectin or milbemycin to be given over a few weeks. If foreign material is found in your dog’s nasal passages, this can usually be removed by hand without any need for surgery. If your dog is sneezing due to an infection, this can be treated using antibiotics.


Get the Best Care Possible For Your Pet

It can be distressing for both pet and owner when health problems strike. Don’t let veterinary costs cause you even more distress. A pet insurance plan from will ensure your pet is protected and your vet’s bills are covered.


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