Understanding the Reverse Sneeze in Dogs

Have you ever heard of a reverse sneeze in dogs? It might sound silly, but it’s a very real thing for many of our canine companions. And it can be quite frightening for owners the first time they see it. Your dog will snort air through the nose, and it usually makes a kind of honking sound. But the good news is this: a reverse sneeze is almost always nothing to worry about! Your veterinarian Metairie, LA is here to fill in the blanks and tell you more about this unique phenomenon.

What’s a reverse sneeze?

A reverse sneeze is a nasopharyngeal reaction to an irritant of some kind of the nose or throat area. Most of the time, you’ll see your dog extend its neck and head forward and snort air through their nose. It’s an attempt to get air into the lungs. But strange as it may look and sound, it’s a normal occurrence. Talk to your vet Metairie, LA to learn more about what a reverse sneeze looks and sounds like.

Small dog breeds, and brachycephalic dogs in particular, exhibit reverse sneezing more than other dogs. Brachycephalic breeds are those with short, squashed faces and bulging eyes, like the Boston terrier, Pug, and Pekingese. You can ask your veterinary clinic Metairie, LA if your dog is likely to exhibit this behavior.

Reverse Sneeze in Dogs
Why does this happen?

The most common cause of the reverse sneeze is an inhaled irritant entering the nose and throat area, like smoke, pollen, or pollution. Also, a dog might experience an episode of reverse sneezing after they’ve exercised, or after they’ve gotten excited. Ask your vet clinic Metairie, LA if you might be able to help avoid these triggers.

Some dogs are susceptible to experiencing reverse sneezes when their leash is pulled on sharply. And dogs that have recently undergone anesthesia are at a higher risk, especially if an endotracheal tube was put down their airway. Learn more by calling your animal hospital Metairie, LA.

Will it last for my dog’s entire life?

It simply depends on the dog. Some dogs will experience reverse sneezing all their lives, while other dogs might reverse sneeze less as they age. Either way, it’s not something you have to be overly worried about. Reverse sneezing is almost never a medical cause for concern. Still, it’s wise to keep the phone number of your pet clinic Metairie, LA on hand just in case.

Can I help my dog when he reverse sneezes?

Try to have your dog avoid irritants in the air whenever you can. If your dog is prone to reverse sneezing, use a harness instead of a collar to avoid pulling on the throat. Talk to your veterinarians Metairie, LA for more advice.

During an episode of reverse sneezing, you might be able to help by gently blowing into your dog’s nose and massaging their throat. This usually causes a dog to swallow, thereby correcting the gag reflex. (Ask your vet clinic Metairie, LA for a more detailed set of instructions.) But this isn’t usually necessary. An episode of reverse sneezing will almost always resolve itself. Learn more about reverse sneezing in dogs by contacting your animal clinic Metairie, LA. We’re here for you and your dog!