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Why do Dogs Reverse Sneeze? Causes-Treatment

Reverse sneeze in dogs, also known as the pharyngeal gag reflex, is a paroxysmal respiratory response in dogs. Almost every dog can suffer from the condition, but smaller breeds dogs are more exposed to reverse sneeze. So why do dogs reverse sneeze?

As a dog owner, you may have experience reverse sneezing in your canine. Reverse sneeze generally looks like your canine is in some shock, cocking, or period of epilepsy or seizures. This uncomfortable situation puts a dog owner into a panic situation.

Getting knowledge about Reverse sneezing is essential to identifying the condition’s actual cause and treating accordingly because Reverse sneezing in dogs looks similar to the situations mentioned above.

What is reverse sneezing in dogs?

Reverse sneezing is a common respiratory condition in dogs usually caused by the irritation or inflammation of the pharyngeal, nasal, or sinus passages. A normal sneeze is the forceful removal of foreign bodies such as dust particles, pollens, powder, and other irritants out of the nose.

Why do dogs reverse sneeze?

In contrast, A reverse sneeze is a sudden, rapid, and repeated inhalation to remove the irritants from the airways followed by snorting or gagging sounds. The reverse sneeze is usually caused by the irritation or inflammation of the pharyngeal, nasal, or sinus passages. A dog can experience reverse sneezing episodes for seconds to minutes. The condition is considered normal and not known to be harmful, and your puppy will be completely normal after the condition episodes.

What Does a Reverse Sneeze in Dogs Look Like?

Dogs suffering from a pharyngeal gag Reverse sneeze will make reflex, rapid and sudden repeated inhalations followed by snorting or gagging sounds and often stand with their elbows spread apart. A dog may also experience Choking behavior with head extended and eyes bulging.   

Sudden onset of Reverse sneezing in Dogs:

  • Loud snorting or gagging sounds.
  • Sudden, rapid, and repeated inhalations.
  • Extension of the head and neck.
  • Eyes Bulging (Exophthalmos).
  • Choking effects 
Sudden onset of Reverse sneezing in Dogs

Causes of Reverse Sneezing in Dogs?

Normal and Reverse Sneezing aim is a natural behavior for expelling irritating particles in the air passageways. The difference between a normal and reverse sneeze is that the irritating particles can be removed quickly from the air passageways with normal sneezing. But, when the irritants go such deep in the passageways, then a reverse sneeze can occur to remove the irritants.

Common causes of Reverse sneeze in Dogs:

  • Irritation of the pharyngeal, nasal, or sinus passages.
  • Inflammation of the pharyngeal, nasal, or sinus passages.
  • Foreign Particle such as dust, powder, pollens.
  • Perfume, Cleaning products, Air fresheners.
  • Cleft palate or nasal mites.
  • Elongated soft palate.
  • Allergies (pollen or perfume).
  • Viral Infections.
  • Overexcitement.
  • Extreme Exercise.
  • Food Reaction.
  • Eating or drinking so quickly.
  • Encouraging the Behavior.
  • The leash is pulling so strong.
  • Change in temperature

How to stop reverse sneezing in dogs?

Mild episodes of reverse sneezing are harmless and will not hurt your dogs until there are suffering from any underlying health issues such as heart problems and other respiratory diseases. However, the episodes can make your canine uncomfortable for some time, and you will need to help your pet in this awkward situation.

Use the below-mentioned techniques to stop your puppy’s rapid sneezing.

Tips to stops Reverse Sneezing in Dogs:

  • First of all your need to relax and calm. Don not Pick up and shake your dog.
  • You can Grab your pooch gently and blow it on his face. This will help your canine swallow the air a couple of times and will help to stop the spasm of the reverse sneeze.
  • You can hold the dog’s nostrils closed for 2 or 3 seconds and lightly massage its throat to calm him.
  • You can also massage your dogs’ throat gently to give some relief. This can help to dislodge the potential irritant.
  • Take your canine to an open area for inhaling fresh air.
  • If you observe repeated behavior episodes, contact your vet to diagnose if your canine is suffering from any other health issue.
  • Take a video of your pooch while sneezing and show it to your vet it will help your vet diagnose the issue. 

How long should reverse sneezing last in dogs?

Reverse sneeze is normal, and your dog will recover from it in about 30 to 60 seconds, while some episodes make take up to 2 minutes. Please remember if your canine is not recovered from the condition after 3 minutes or developing the repeated attack, contact your vet to diagnose if your puppy is suffering from any other health issue.

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Can a Dog die from Reverse sneezing?

Generally, No reverse sneezing is not fatal. However, rarely a dog suffering from underlying health issues such as heart and lungs diseases can die when the conditions last for an extended period. Reverse sneezing in dogs is a naturally occurring phenomenon commonly caused when any foreign particle is stuck deep in the air passageways such as pharyngeal, nasal, or sinus passages.

A pup can recover from the condition within a few seconds to 2 minutes. However, if the particles don’t expel from the airways for a long time, contact your vet to help your canine in this uncomfortable situation and prevent your canine from the problematic situation.

Can a Dog die from Reverse sneezing

Should I be worried if my Dog is Reverse sneezing?

Every dog owner needs proper knowledge about reverse sneezing in dogs to know where to concern about the condition. Reverse sneezing in dogs is regular, and you don’t need to worry about it. However, if the situation becomes worse, then you must take immediate veterinary help.

Can stress cause reverse sneezing in Dogs?

Yes, stress, Anxiety, and over excitement are considered the causes of reverse sneezing in dogs. Canine develops much strange behavior in excitement and tense situations such as moving in circles, moving in your feet, and chasing the tail.

stress reverse sneeze in dogs