That Was a Sneeze?

Daisy face post-sneeze

The first time I heard Dallas reverse sneeze I went into complete emergency mom mode (a.k.a. fully freak out and panic). It sounded horrible and nothing, nothing like a sneeze! It sounded more like a honking angry goose but way louder. If you have never seen a dog reverse sneezing, I suggest you google it. It’s pretty crazy.

Reverse sneezing is pretty common in our home and as I said, it is alarming to hear, but it is normal and nothing to be concerned about. It occurs when the dog’s soft palate is irritated. The soft palate can become irritated by many things such as:

  • allergies
  • household products
  • scents
  • having their collar pulled
  • excessive exercise
  • nasal mites
  • viral infections

These irritants can cause a spasm that triggers the trachea to narrow and in turn , the dog will try to get extra air into its lungs by stretching his neck and opening his chest. When he fails to get the air through his trachea, he will then forcefully pull air through his nose which causes the backwards sneeze.

Now I know I said that it is nothing to be concerned about but it may be a good idea to take a video of your pet in action and have your vet take a look at it to make sure that it is in fact just a reverse sneeze and not some other condition. Also, if it is something that is happening chronically then you may want to bring that up to your vet as well.

Reverse sneezing, also known as Paroxysmal Respiration, doesn’t require any medical attention. I’ve read that you can cover their nostrils which forces them to swallow which could help eliminate whatever is irritating their throat but I like to give “mom attention” instead. I try and soothe her by speaking softly and trying to calm her while gently rubbing her throat. It usually passes within 30 seconds although it does feel much longer.

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