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Hunter's_owner January 17th, 2007 02:43 PM

Reverse sneezing in dogs
Reverse sneezing in dogs is often described as a cross between a cough and gasping for breath. It seems like the dog is breathing in and out really fast. They may drool after the episode, and they usually stand still while it is happening. Getting the dog to swallow by gently massaging their neck often helps in getting it to stop.

It is more common in some breeds than others. Beagles and dachshunds are two breeds that are often associated with reverse sneezing.

The actual cause is unknown, but many think it is caused by an irritation, or slight swelling of the soft palate, and may be the result of an allergic reaction due to something in the environment. In these cases, a vet may prescribe an antihistamine.
Other times when it may be more likely to occur are when the dog is excited or on leash.

While reverse sneezing is not a serious condition, a vet should always be consulted first, especially if the attack lasts longer than 1 minute or causes any distress at all.

gomez January 17th, 2007 03:07 PM

We have ben told Gomez has a reverse sneeze, but it's not like you describe - he sounds like he's hacking, trying to get something out of his throat, there is no inhaling involved... and no drooling...

To him it happens mostly when he is resting and relaxed, not on the leash - and sometimes it's 8-9hacks and sometimes just 1... sometimes he stands and sometimes he is lying down on his pillows...

I find it's such an undefined thing that I never really know if he has a reverse sneeze or not... Everyhing I read about it is different...

Hunter's_owner January 17th, 2007 05:30 PM

I think it may be different in some dogs, but when Cassie does it, there is no mistaking that it is a reverse sneeze.

gomez January 17th, 2007 05:39 PM

Yeah, I wish I knew for sure...

He has always checked out perfectly though, so who knows...

BusterBoo January 17th, 2007 07:45 PM

I have been told that the reverse sneeze happens more often with the "smushed" face dogs.....tzus, boxers, pekes, poms etc.

Both my boys do the reverse sneeze and I can usually calm them down by either rubbing their chest/throat or cupping my hand over their nose. It is almost like a mini-seizure for my Harley....he is very quiet after his sneeze and will rest.

Both my dogs have been checked by my Vet and everything is's a little unsettling for them and me, but they are doing ok.

nikki4 January 19th, 2007 04:20 AM

my girl
My girl (boxer) does that. only it's kinda a muffled-snort inhaled a few times then she's done. It doesn't last long though.

Dukieboy January 19th, 2007 09:57 AM

My boston does it. It doesn't usually distress him. I just talk to him and rub his chest a bit. It usually happens after serious running around.

Rottielover January 19th, 2007 10:16 AM

Harley gets them when he gets too excited, or drinks too fast, all I do is rub his tranchea, and it goes away in 30 secs or less

gomez January 19th, 2007 10:49 AM

So, do any of these other pooches sound like they're hacking up a hairball??

Or like they're hacking up before spitting?

we3beagles January 19th, 2007 10:14 PM

No. It kind of sounds like hyperventalating, but through the nose. It doesn't sound like a hack at all.

Hunter's_owner January 20th, 2007 10:15 AM

Yeah we3beagles is right. There is no hacking sound at all, just breathing really fast in and out through their nose. When I talked to my vet about it, I actually did refer to it as though she sounded like she was hyperventilating.

Mahealani770 January 24th, 2007 10:38 AM


My Pom, Nicky, does the hacking thing and it is NOT the same thing as the reverse sneezing because he reverse sneezes as well. I posted this problem months ago but no one knew what to tell me. Nicky has very long hair and it gets EVERYWHERE so all I can do is assume that he's hacking up a hairball. He does it over and over but nothing ever comes up.

[U]Reverse Sneezing[/U]
Nicky doesn't reverse sneeze often but when he does, I rub his throat from top to bottom to try and help him swallow. Its kind of scary to witness but you have to remain calm and help your pooch through it. My pug, my Lhasa, and my Shih-Pooh used to do it ALL the time.


gomez January 25th, 2007 03:53 PM

Right, well I guess the hacking remains a mystery then eh?

brandynva January 25th, 2007 04:34 PM

Roscoe, not a smoosh nosed dog, does this a lot. He does the rapid breathing, almost like an asthma attack sound. Very loud gasping. He doesn't look distressed, just mildly irritated. I tried rubbing his throat, but that doesn't help him at all. I did read to pinch their nostrils and force mouth breathing. He's checked out fine at the vets too. It's very scary and like Mahealani said, remaining calm is key. It's not easy to do though! Oh, and also fresh air sometimes helps.

normag February 2nd, 2007 06:12 PM

my female shiba does that, I thought she had asthma, but the vet said it was
reverse sneezing.

tigger5 March 3rd, 2007 06:23 PM

My Golden/Cocker mix does this (reverse sneezing)...was told by the vet to hold his snout & blow a short burst into his works.

For those that may have difficulty with the concept...DO NOT BLOW TO CAUSE PAIN !!!!!!!....quick & kissing him on the nose....

clm March 3rd, 2007 10:27 PM

Both my keeshonds used to do this periodically. No smushed up noses there, but they did it none the less. Scared me the first time, I had no idea what it was. Anyway, used to pry the dogs mouth open very slightly and then rub his throat lightly and it'd stop. Never lasted long in either dog and they were never doing anything in particular when it would happen either.


jenkajoe February 27th, 2009 10:30 AM

Re: Gomez' Hacking
My dog has been diagnosed (last night at the 24 hr emerg vet) as a reverse sneeze.

At firs when I was reading this forum, i thought - hey - maybe she does have it. but then when I saw that hacking is not a characteristic of it...i thought - oh - maybe she doesn't.

My dog looks like she's hiccuping, sounds like she's dry heaving, and her throat/trachea is expanding when she does it. She looks like she's in pain, sounds painful, and sometimes gag's when "its over". Last night she actually threw up. This is the 3rd time she's done this, and the worst.

Vet gave us Hycodan to soothe her throat, but I read that this med is for Kennel Cough...

She does subside with throat rubs and soothing voices - but it goes on for a long time. Over night she was even snoring louder than any human I've ever heard before!!

started at 930 last night -- reapetedly for about 20 mins, then was about every 10-20, now it's approx hourly... 3-5 "heaves"...

Anyone heard of this before?!

She still has an appetite, still active if she's approached with a ball or "play time stance".

hazelrunpack February 27th, 2009 10:38 AM

How long has it been going on, jenkajoe?

If this is just a recent development, your dog [I]may[/I] be coming down with kennel cough. We've had a couple of bouts of it and some of the dogs had onset sort of like what you're describing. :shrug:

We also get reverse sneezing, though. Someone on the board (though I can't remember who) suggested that raising the dog into a standing position on their high logs with their front legs held up off the ground will stop a reverse sneeze. I tried it on Grace last time she had an episode and it seemed to work.

jenkajoe February 27th, 2009 11:30 AM

reply to hazelrunpack
This bout just started last night. she's only been "hiccuping" every hour or so this morning, but last night was scary sounding/looking.

Kennel Cough to me seems unlikely as there are 4 dogs she socializes with, and are not sick, none of them get borded or kennel...

Lise February 27th, 2009 07:02 PM

I've seen it quite a bit lately with dogs that have recently been given the kennel cough intra nasal vacc.It goes away and nobody in contact with them starts coughing or doing it.

hazelrunpack February 27th, 2009 09:46 PM

I wonder if she just got into something that irritated her nasal passages...mold or something :shrug: We have one dog that tends to have sneezing fits when she gets into dust. When she starts up it's my reminder to get my lazy patooti in gear and start dusting, swapping out the loveseat cover, and changing the bedspread. :o [size=1]I'm not much of a housekeeper :laughing:[/size]

How is your girl doing tonight, jenkajoe? Is she better? :goodvibes:

jenkajoe March 1st, 2009 07:35 PM

Hi there,
It started Thursday night... straight through until about noon on Friday...been great. nothing... now...tonight again she's started. same ordeal. but since we left, she has not "gagged" once. strange! (scary and upsetting for my husband and I. we don't know what to do. Our vet said:
1) bring her in, they'll sedate her and look down her throat see if there's a blockage -- $500 -- but IMO shes okay until she has an 'attack' playing and everyhting like normal...
2) wait it out.
3) bring her in we'll get her a rhinoscopy and see what comes out of that -- $1000+

We were at my parents house thursday when it started, and again tonight. We're going to keep her away from there for the next few days or week and see if there's any re-occurance. If not, maybe its something there. they just started some renovation so could be a dust thing? but it's scary!

hazelrunpack March 1st, 2009 09:10 PM

It could be triggered by dust... So both times she had just been at your folks' house?

:fingerscr that that's what it's all about and it won't recur!

jenkajoe March 1st, 2009 10:56 PM

We were just in bed for a few hours... nothing was happening...until now, she just woke up and threw up.

I hope this stops. This can't be a reverse sneeze. no one has commented about throwing up from a reverse sneeze. gotta be something else!

Regardless I hope this stops again like last time and subsides -- another trip to the vets ca-ching! ca-ching! but gotta be done

CClover March 2nd, 2009 12:00 PM

The poor baby:grouphug:
Here's a video of reverse sneezing (more example on Youtube)


Smiley14 March 5th, 2009 01:09 AM

I have two Bostons that are very prone to reverse sneezing. What I was told on a Boston Forum and what has worked for me every time is to gently plug their nose so they are forced to take a breath through their mouth and self correct. I just cover their nostrils until they open their mouth to breathe. It usually triggers them to lick their nose as well and for whatever reason, that helps them to self correct and recover. It works every time for mine at least! :shrug:` Although mine aren't nearly as severe as the ones you describe. Mine have never needed medication for it. They know to come to me to get their nose plugged and it's over within a minute or two.

hazelrunpack March 5th, 2009 10:45 AM

How's she doing, jenkajoe?

For what it's worth, our Grace had a bout of reverse sneezing last night that ended in vomiting. She threw up some bile and sticks. First time I'd ever seen the two events connected, but evidentally it isn't so out of the ordinary. I hope your girl is doing okay! :fingerscr

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