Is Reverse Sneezing In Dogs A Common Condition?

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Reverse conditions is something that causes pet-parents everywhere to worry. You should know that it is very common for a dog to start reverse sneezing. In fact, all dogs do it at least at one point in their lives. It affects all kinds of dogs but smaller ones especially like the terriers and brachycephalic breeds. It comes in spasms and all it is, is a respiratory response.

What is it?
Although it is a pretty common event in dogs, it has rarely been seen in cats. It can be caused by the inflammation or the irritation of the pharyngeal, sinus, or nasal passages. It’s a kind of coping mechanism that your dog uses in order to get rid of trapped dust particles, powder, allergens or irritants from his upper airways. It can also be experienced after episodes where your dog experiences over-excitement.

Reverse sneezing is mainly characterized by rapid, repeated, and sudden inhalations. It is then followed by a gagging or snorting sound. Although it is without a doubt alarming to you as his parent, for the dog, this is a normal thing that happens from time to time. There is no cause for concern unless he has an underlying medical condition like a heart disease of some sort that might be causing these spasms. Most dogs seem to be completely normal before and after the episodes.

The episodes shouldn’t last all their lives. Reverse sneezing usually lasts for one period of time before resolving itself. It is uncommon for it to continue throughout a dog’s life. If that is the case, you might want to get that checked out by a vet.

What exactly happens when your dog is having a reverse sneezing episode?
During one of these episodes, your dog will likely come to a sudden stand still, extend his neck and head, and then produce a snorting sound which is often loud. In some cases, this condition can be confused with a tracheal collapse which can be better recognized by a loud honking sound that the dog makes. It often impacts toy breeds more breeds than other dogs.

What Can I do When My Dog Reverse Sneezes?
A commonly used remedy that is often effective is to hold his nostrils closed for a moment and then lightly massage his throat. This usually calms him down. You can also try blowing air slightly in his face. This usually causes the dog to swallow a few times putting a stop to the spasms that accompany the reverse sneezes. You could also try verbally calming him down while getting him outside where he can get some fresh air.

While most dogs are fine without medication for this condition, some veterinarians recommend antihistamines if the problem is severe or allergy-related.