Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Also called backwards sneezing, inspiratory paroxysmal or pharyngeal gag reflex. Phenomenon observed in dogs, particularly in those with brachycephalic skulls. Its exact cause is unknown but may be due to nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus irritation (such as an allergy), the dog’s attempt to remove mucus, or from over excitement due to present activity.

It is characterized by rapid and repeated forced inhalation through the nose, accompanied by snorting or gagging sounds. Though it may be distressing to the animal, it is not known to be harmful. Most dogs are completely normal before and after episodes. In addition, most dogs will have repeat episodes of reverse sneezing throughout their lives.

Reverse sneezing may not be life threatening or expensive to treat but many dog health conditions can cost thousands of dollars to treat.

Pet insurance can help you pay for expensive veterinary bills if your dog or puppy gets sick or injured.


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