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What is reverse sneezing


Have you ever noticed your dog having a brief fit of reverse sneezing? This is one of those strange things that most folk will recognise in their dogs once it’s explained, they probably didn’t realise beforehand that it was called reverse sneezing. And basically it literally looks as if your dog is inhaling a sneeze, and it’s very worrying, if you notice it for the first time. Basically the dog inhales sharply over and over extending their neck and expanding their chest, and it could be quiet loud, a lot of people panic and rush to the vet, thinking their dog is choking, but luckily, there’s usually nothing at all to worry about and in most cases it doesn’t need treatment, and it subsides after few minutes. So, why does it happen to dogs? First of all, what does it look like? I’ll show what it looks like. It’s kind of like this, it’s kind of (Dog reverse sneezing imitation) That’s what dogs do, and I remember my own dog used to do it. My first dog called Shiba she was a lovely Golden Retreiver, what she used to do, it was when she was excited and when we saw her so maybe first thing in the morning, she would walk
around the room, delighted to see us, wagging her tail and going (reverse sneezing) like that. So, you could see that, if it happened to your dog and you weren’t expecting it, you might get really quite concerned. So, what is the cause of it, is the question. Basically, it’s usually some sort of irritation of the dog’s soft palete or throat, the tissues in the back throat here, and this causes those areas to go into a little bit of a spasm,
and things that can cause it to get a little bit irritated would be excitement, as with my dog Shiba, overexertion, so sometimes after exercise, sometimes after eating and drinking, the particles of food or water irritate the back of the throat. other direct irritants like household chemicals, maybe pollens, or even just pulling on the leash too hard… All of these things can stimulate a little irritation and then getting the reverse sneeze reaction And it is much more common in some breeds, for example those with flat faces, known as Brachycephalic breeds. Dogs like pugs and boxers because all the tissues in the back of their throat are a little bit scrunched up so they’re a little more prone to be irritated. It’s also common in just generally smaller dogs. So, what should you do if it happens? Because I have to say sometimes, dogs don’t seem bothered at all, like my dog Shiba, it’s just part of her personality to us. But other times dogs
can seem quite distressed by it. so if your dog seems distressed by it, and if it’s carrying on repeatedly, what can you do about it? Well, sometimes just gently massaging
the dog’s throat, can help a little bit, literally rubbing them like this and talking to them to calm them down. Other times what you can do is you can just gently pinch their nostrils just to close the nose, so instead of breathing through their nose, they have to open their mouth and breath through their mouth and the act of breathing through their mouth just realignes the tissues at the back of the throat and stops reverse sneezing. Another thing you might do is just take your dog outside and sometimes the change of atmosphere, the change of air is enough to help get brings back to normal. Basically in most cases, it just does get better by itself and that’s the end of it. Now, there are those very rare occasions where reverse sneezing can happen so much that it actually starts to bother the dog’s quality of life and that’s because, you know, there are sometimes more
complex causes of this, for example, if you have a dog like a Pug perhaps where the breathing paths at the back of throat are anatomtically so constricted, that it just keeps happening all the time or another dog might inhale something like a grass seed that could get stuck at the back of throat and cause continued irritation. So if your dog is reverses sneezing to a much increased extent, to the level where you think it’s really bothering your dog, then you should definitely take them to the vet, and the vet will check them out and, you know, very rarely, there might be some other procedures necessary, like an anasthetic to inspect the area or, in radical cases possibly even sort of surgery. But those situations are really really rare and in most cases, reverse sneezing is just, like my dog Shiba, an idiosyncrasy of your dog, and the funny thing is that I actually used to like it. To me it was a sign that my dog Shiba was relaxed and happy to see us.

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Comments
  • Thank you so much for this video, i will be showing my mam, because our princess shitzu have had a few episodes like this in her 18months of life but last night it was really scrry and even though she was back to normal quite quickly my poor mam was in a terrible state and it broke my heart.as poppy is her little fur baby.
    I found with our dog i pick her up and over my shoulder like a baby and it seem to stop nearly stright away.. we went outside with her to give her some fresh air, trouble was it was So cold and wind it took all of our breath away so that wasn't a good idea for us. But thank you once again, i know this will put my mam's mind at rest Sooo much 🙂

  • I'm so glad I've seen this as my 20mth old Jack Russell has been doing this most of today he seems much better now i was going to take him to the vets totally put my mind at rest thanks .

  • my dog has been on antibiotics 3 times now and bn under anaesthetic but they can't find out anything wrong she has lost 6 kilos now she won't go out and nosebleeds are getting more frequent I'm scared what should I do?

  • Good video. Freaked me out first time it happened, but I learned about the nostril bit and that sorts her. Though it's rare anyhow.

  • my dog was sleeping when this happened, and it sounded more like she was trying to blow something out of her nose.

  • good video, my pug gets very panicked when it happens, and i do see a pattern of excitement triggering it, unfortunately when i plug his nose he is so stubborn i worry he will pass out before breathing through his mouth.

  • Thank you for the great explanation! I had no idea how to explain this to my very and Charlie doesn't do it very often. Mind you I seem to be the only one bothered by it. She goes on as if nothing unusual happened!

  • Thank you Dr. Wedderburn! Between your explanation of the reverse sneeze and Dr. Karen Becker's explanation, I got a ton of information that petmd just doesn't cut it. I've got to say that I love both of your examples/mimics of the reverse sneeze (although Dr. Becker's was a little better than yours). I have always dreamed of being in veterinary care and you made learning a lot easier and fun. Thank you again. From, Shelton, Washington, USA

  • My 13 y o lab does this thing where she makes loud exhalations through her nose. It lasts for around one min and does make her anxious. There is no jerking like in a sneeze or reverse sneeze. We had a choc lab that had an obvious nasal tumor, and he never did this. It's pretty obvious that there is something irritating the nasal passages.

  • Can they do it on purpose? My Chorkie does it softly in the morning when she wants her hugs; more loudly when she wants out; really loud when she is headed to the park. I thought it was talking. Should I buy a harness rather than her collar? Thanks for the explanation.

  • Both of my dogs do this especially when they're playing or sniffing excessively. We refer it to "overheating their sniffer" lol I usually try to calm them down to let the episodes pass.

  • is it disease or normal thing in dogs. my beagle having reverse sneezing and i feel very sad during that sneezing time.

  • Glad to learn this, my puppy has done it a couple times and I was getting concerned, happy it's a common thing and she's fine

  • What about that video on Facebook where that dog is crying on someones grave stone.
    Can someone please tell me if the dog was actually feeling emotion or was it reverse sneezing?

  • Hi Dr. Wedderburn – could you talk a bit about when dogs gulp, lick their lips and (mine at least) wants to go out every 2 minutes? My black lab does it maybe once or twice a year for as little as 1/2 hour up to 3-4 hours. She responds to me saying her name, will drink water, will go for a walk – in other words, it's not a seizure of any type nor acid reflux (although I'm not a vet so I can only say it isn't from what I've read). I asked my vet today when I took Emmer in for her wellness check and lyme vaccine – she wasn't sure either. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

  • my 1 yr old male chihuahua does that.. i was so worried that it might be asthma or something. i also rub his neck and back without research i just thought it was the right thing to do is to calm him down i so glad i saw this video before i started panicking after all the videos i saw on youtube bt im still getting a vet to make sure its not anything worse.

  • everytime my dog does that me n my partner panics. in the middle of the night she does it. we will jump up and calm her down.

  • I thought my dog was having an Asthma attack. She will do it when she is laying down only so is even more scary. Thank you for the explanation.

  • Omg!!!! I thought something was wrong with my dog!!!! You just relieved my mind!!!!I love you for this!!!!!thank you!

  • Okay I'm glad you explained this. My jack russell did this yesterday and I thought he was choking, but thankfully it's stopped after a few second. But I'm glad I found this video also because I was honestly getting very worried.

  • Wow! Thanks for the info. The gently pinching of the nose to force him to breathe out of his mouth worked perfectly.

  • My dogs doing it several times aday looks so serious but I’ve read it’s nothing to be concerned about it still concerns me tho

  • Thank you, HouseMyDog! My Shih Tzu puppy was doing this yesterday and I was worried. Glad to know there’s nothing to worry about

  • thanks for the explanation, my dog does it when he elevates his head to high to eat a biscuit, i would try to distract him or lower the biscuit so he won't elevate his head to high. Now i can calm down knowing now that its nothing to worry about and also knowing what to do.

  • My Jack Russell always reverse sneezes when she's sleeping, so she will wake up from it.
    She always gets very scared and I try to calm her down, after a few minutes it usually goes away.

  • Thank you for this. My dog did it numerous times early this morning. I just calmed her like she was having a panic attack and she was fine, each time. Now I know it’s nothing serious.

  • I took my yorkie to the vet this week with this problem .They never told me exactly what the problem was, been googling away to get info. My dog got an injection and is on antibiotic for five days at the cost of 70 euro!!!!!!!

  • Talk to my dog so he’ll come down you say. He just gets more excited 🤣🤣
    It’s part of his charm now

  • Thank you! I was so worried and was about to rush my dog to the vet emergency room but then she stopped. So scary! Can food allergies cause extra mucus etc?

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