Do you know what “reverse sneezing” is? Although both dogs and cats can have this illness, dogs are more frequently affected. You should have further information if your dog makes an odd noise you can’t quite identify or if its diagnosis is reverse sneezing.

You can learn what causes reverse sneezing and remedies in this article. Keep reading to learn more.

Reverse Sneezing in dogs
A brown dog reverse sneezing – image credit by Doggo Health

What Does Reverse Sneezing Mean in Dogs

Paroxysmal respiration, also known as reverse sneezing, is a medical disorder. Dogs inhale air instead of exhaling it when they have this disease, making it the opposite of sneezing.

However, some dog owners only detect this issue because of the honking sound. Others believe their dog has problems breathing when sneezing, but they are likely to reverse sneeze.

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In either case, the first time you notice your dog is acting this way, it becomes unsettling and leads you to believe they are having trouble breathing.

When A Canine Reverse Sneezes, What Happens?

The dog suddenly stops, extends its head and neck, and snorts when it reverse sneezes.

It is important to differentiate between this disease and tracheal collapse, frequently found in toy breeds and indicated by a loud “honking” sound. Furthermore, the harshness of a tracheal collapse is greater than that of a reverse sneeze.

How Does A Dog Reverse Sneeze Sound?

Reverse sneezing makes it sound like the dog is inhaling their sneezes, which is how it got its name. Occasionally, the loud snorting noise resembles goose-honking.

When a dog reverse sneezes for the first time, it’s frightful if you’ve never heard it. A veterinarian needs to examine your dog to identify whether it is having a reverse sneeze or something more serious, such as coughing or choking.

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What Causes Canines to Reverse Sneeze?

In dogs, this disease has no particular cause. But even when they aren’t the root of the problem, reverse sneezing can worsen many illnesses.

Although some of the most typical causes of reverse sneezing episodes are allergies to pollen and plants, dogs experience this illness as a reaction to certain environmental stimuli instead of sneezing.

Sometimes, nasal mites can also cause it. You should visit your veterinarian for the best treatment if you suspect your dog has nasal mites.

Also, dogs like Bulldogs and Bull Mastiffs are more likely to experience this disease than other breeds. But some dogs can experience this issue as a chronic reverse sneezing syndrome symptom.

Furthermore, your veterinarian needs to check your dog to ensure that a severe underlying condition like a collapsing trachea, nasal tumours, or other similar issues doesn’t cause the reverse sneezing.

How Is It Treated?

As long as it does not happen regularly, reverse sneezing does not require treatment and is not a harmful process for your dog.

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You don’t need to do anything if your dog is experiencing reverse sneezing. Mostly, these episodes come and go without any problems, just like a typical case of sneezing.

Also, you can calm your dog down if he appears upset by these episodes. A gentle pet will suffice. Your dog must get through the sneezing episode, so avoid petting his face or nose.

But if everything else you’ve tried fails, soft caressing is an excellent way to ensure your pup doesn’t freak out during reverse sneezing.

Then, you wait out the incident while caressing your dog. Most dogs will experience this disease for a minute or two.

Therefore, you should take your dog to the vet if this is the first time they have experienced an attack. The main reason is that you must rule out other conditions, not because the vet can help.

Furthermore, you don’t have to return your dog to the clinic after every diagnosis. Just know that this is a part of your future with your dog.

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Your veterinarian could recommend antihistamines to help if your dog experiences it frequently. However, medicine is not always prescribed for dogs, so don’t be concerned if your vet doesn’t.

Reverse sneezing is uncommon, so it isn’t severe enough for your pet to require treatment. Antihistamines are prescribed if allergies significantly cause your dog’s reverse sneezing.


As you can see, reverse sneezing is not particularly harmful. It’s necessary to have your dog’s veterinarian examine them to determine the cause. You can occasionally link them to other ailments.

In addition, your veterinarian will educate you on how to care for your dog and inform you of any issues that may arise.

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