Is My Dog Reverse Sneezing?

Reverse sneezing, also known as paroxysmal respiration, is a spasmodic response in which a pooch gasps air heavily inward. During the event, a dog extends its neck as it gasps with a strong and loud grunting sound.

Witnessing the event for the first time can be scary and terrifying. But don’t hit the panic button yet_ reverse sneezing is harmless and normal in almost every instance.

Continue reading to know what actually happens during paroxysmal respiration and why.

What happens during a reverse sneeze\ pharyngeal gag reflex?

With a normal sneeze, the air is forced out of the mouth and nose in an effort to remove an irritant. When a pooch reverses sneezes, it is drawing air into its nose to expel an irritant.

The type of sneeze depends typically on the irritated body part. Normal sneezing might occur when something such as dust enters a dog’s nasal passage.

It tickles it until the body gets rid of it. But in the reverse sneeze, it is not the nose, which is affected but the nasopharynx.

During the episode, you would think your dog is choking, suffering from a seizure, or suffocating. A normal reverse sneeze only lasts for a couple of minutes or even less. The event ends on its own, and it doesn’t pose any threat to the dog’s health. Reverse sneezing rarely needs medical treatment.

What triggers a reverse sneeze?

Paroxysmal Respiration can be set off by a variety of irritants as well as some forms of pooch allergies. Some of the common triggering factors include:

  • Pollen
  • Household cleaners
  • Chemicals
  • Perfumes
  • Nasal inflammation
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Viruses
  • Mites
  • Dust

Other causes include excitement, exercise intolerance, pulling on leashes, and rapid eating or drinking. Respiratory problems such as sinusitis can also result in events of reverse sneezing.

Even though all dog breeds can experience reverse sneezing, it is more common in smaller dogs. Dogs with short faces like Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Boxers are usually at risk.

Possible treatments

Fortunately, the cure is very cheap and painless. You can shorten the duration of a reverse sneezing episode or even stop it easily in your dog. Below are small measures to stop or curtail an episode.

Massage your pooch’s throat gently

The primary cause of reverse sneezing is irritation in the breathing passages. And so, a gentle throat massage may help relieve irritation, bringing the event to a quick conclusion.

Just rub the backs of your fingers down and up your canine’s throat. Additionally, communicate lovingly and calmly at the same time.

Offer your fur baby a treat\a little food

Swallowing something can help the canine realign the back of its throat, putting an end to the episode. If the pooch begins reverse sneezing, try encouraging it to swallow a little food or a treat.

Blow puffs of air into its face

Blow air gently into your fur companion’s face to disrupt the cycle of inhalations, which happens during Pharyngeal Gag Reflex. Blow like you are attempting to snuff out many candles. Also, don’t respond in a panic.

Pinch your pooch’s nose shut for a second

The simple maneuver can cause your canine to swallow involuntarily. And in turn, curtail or end the event either by temporarily soothing or disrupting the throat irritation.

A gently and quick pinch with your forefinger and thumb over your dog’s nostrils is all you need to do.

If you squeeze hard, you may end up damaging your canine’s nose. Also, just hold the pinch for a second and not more to avoid causing the pooch to panic.

Use your fingers to press your canine’s tongue down in its mouth with the fingers

The possible treatment is for dog owners who are sure their dogs don’t bite. The pooch’s mouth should also be partially open during Pharyngeal Gag Reflex.

You need to stick your first two fingers onto the front of the dog’s tongue. Then, you press the tongue to the bottom of the dog’s month.

The treatment opens the breathing passage and shorten the duration or even ends the event. If you try the maneuver, consider doing so calmly and ensure the pooch remains calm.

Remain calm and carry your dog to fresh air

Some pooches are most likely to encounter reverse sneezing when there’re irritants in the air. For instance, if you’re in a dusty or smoky house when an event starts, moving your canine outdoors may help.

A dog will not move voluntarily during an episode, so you will have to carry it to fresh air. Consider picking it calmly and carefully. And also, speak soothingly to your pooch as you carry it.

When to worry

If it becomes a chronic condition, lasting longer or occurring frequently, visit your vet. There may be other issues, which can cause irritation and they include:

  • Respiratory tract infection
  • A kennel coughs
  • Nasal mites
  • Tumors
  • Collapsing trachea

At times, treating the common allergy is all is needed to curtail the incidence. However, you’ll never know unless you decide to see your vet.

Besides, record an event to show the vet. If you’ve your smartphone when an event of reverse sneezing starts, take a video for reference.

Ways to prevent reverse sneezing from occurring

The best way to prevent the issue is to try to remove irritants from the air. Below are some suggestions which might help.

  • Teach your fur baby not to pull or strain at the leash when you’re out-and-about.
  • Vacuum often and consider using a heap filter to trap air particles.
  • Replace air filters, use air conditioning, and close your windows on windy days.
  • Avoid products like cleaning chemicals and strong perfumes, which leave odors around your home.
  • Avoid smoking around your canine companion.

The final verdict

Reverse sneezing usually sounds worse and awful than it is. With all the snuffing, honking, and snorting is just your canine trying to clear tickles in the back of its throat.

Simply put, the reverse sneeze doesn’t need treatment and isn’t harmful. If in doubt, contact your vet to be sure.

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