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Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Reverse Sneezing

While sneezing is a process of driving out air through the nasal cavity to remove matter, reverse sneezing is quite opposite to this. Reverse sneezing refers to the process of rapid inhalation of air inside the body. Also known as “pharyngeal gag reflex”, reverse sneezing is more common in rachycephalic and small breeds of dogs. Even though, reverse sneezing is harmful in itself, it can be an alarming sign of some serious disease, sometimes.

Common causes of reverse sneezing:

While the exact reason behind reverse sneezing is unknown, it is usually caused by irritation in the laryngeal area which causes a spasm in the pharynx muscle. Allergies and environmental factors such as perfume, smoke, pollen, dust and potpourri are also considered among the common causes of reverse sneezing. Reverse sneezing is more common in the dogs with long nose. Respiratory problem such as sinusitis can also cause reverse sneezing.

My dog reverses sneezes. Should I be worried?

Reverse Sneezing1

Reverse sneezing is a common phenomenon and usually doesn’t require medical attention. But it can be time for an appointment with your vet if the problem is importunate. Veterinarian can examine the reason behind the irritation which is causing the reverse sneezing. In some cases, the vet can’t find the reason behind reverse sneezing even after extensive tests such as biopsies.

Possible treatment for reverse sneezing:

Treatment of reverse sneezing largely depends on the cause of the reverse sneezing. Massaging the throat of the dog can help in stopping the spasm. If your dog is reverse sneezing continuously, gently massage his throat to get rid of reverse sneezing. However, if reverse sneezing is due to allergies, you can administer antihistamines. If reverse sneezing is due to presence of mites in laryngeal area, your vet will prescribe decongestant medicines. You can also try to cover the nose of your dog to help him swallow. Also, make a video of your dog while reverse sneezing and show it your vet so that he or she can understand the situation.

But in most of the cases, reverse sneezing is not something which you should worry about and doesn’t require treatment. Your dog is completely normal before and after the reverse sneez.


Hailing from Delhi, Prateek Tiwari is an avid animal lover who believes in Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” A graduate in Biotechnology, he has vast knowledge about different breeds of pets and pet food that are both nutritious and promote healthy growth. In order to make people aware about pets and pet care, he shares his expertise through his blog posts.

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