What is a Reverse Sneeze?

 When a dog has a reverse sneezing episode, it can sound like they are dying!  This article will give you some more information so that you better understand what is happening with your dog.

 Reverse sneezing is usually due to an irritation of the soft palate and throat that results in a spasm.  The dog’s neck extends and the chest expands as the dog tries to inhale.

 Anything that irritates the throat can cause this spasm, including excitement, eating or drinking, pulling on a leash, mites, pollen, foreign bodies caught in the throat, perfumes, viruses, household chemicals, allergies, and post-nasal drip.  Dogs with flat faces, such as bulldogs and pugs occasionally suck their elongated palate into the throat while inhaling, causing reverse sneezing.

Reverse sneezing itself rarely requires treatment. If the sneezing stops, the spasm is over. Sometimes, you can gently rub the throat area to stop the spasm; sometimes you can cover the nostrils, which makes the dog swallow and helps stops the sneezing.  If the underlying cause is known, it should be treated. 

If reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem rather than an occasional self-limiting occurrence, a further work up can be initiated including referral for rhinoscopy.  However, a definitive cause cannot always be found. 

You can have a look at the following video to see and hear how reverse sneeze presents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UyBrb0Hhpk

Cats are less likely to reverse sneeze than dogs are.  However, owners should always have the veterinarian examine the cat in case it’s feline asthma, and not a reverse sneeze. Feline asthma requires more treatment than reverse sneezing does.

If you have any questions about this article, or any aspect of pet care, please don’t hesitate to call Golf Glen Veterinary Clinic at (905) 727-3003.




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