Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Reverse sneezing is a common phenomenon in dogs. In a regular sneeze, your dog pushes air out through the nose; however, in a reverse sneeze, air is pulled rapidly into the nose. During a reverse sneeze, your dog will take long or rapid breathes, stand still with elbows spread apart, extend the head, and the eyes may bulge. He’ll make a loud snorting sound, which might make you think he has something caught in his throat. Each reverse sneezing episode generally lasts for one to two minutes. The exact reasons for these episodes are unknown but may be related to anatomic defects, allergies, nasal irritants or inflammation. They tend to occur more often when the dog is excited or agitated. They are far worse in dogs that are overweight.  A reverse sneeze may look disturbing – many people fear that their dog is not breathing during these episodes – but it is not a harmful condition and there are no ill effects. Reverse sneezing attacks are generally quite brief and not life threatening.  An episode can sometimes be stopped if the dog is stimulated to swallow by massaging the throat. Sometimes, patting the chest may help. Stay calm and speak in a soothing voice.  If you get upset, the dog becomes upset, and the reverse sneezing may get worse.  Loosing excess weight will help significantly.

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