Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneeze syndrome is characterized by a series of rapid, loud, forced inhalations through the nostrils, lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes. Attacks occur on a sporadic, unpredictable basis. Dogs usually have the head extended forward and stand still during the episode. Affected dogs appear completely normal before and after the attack. There is no loss of consciousness or collapse, though sometimes the appearance of the dog is upsetting to owners. Many dogs have these attacks throughout their lives. The exact cause of reverse sneezing is unknown, but it may be associated with sinusitis and other upper respiratory disorders. Many believe affected dogs are consciously removing mucus from the nasal passages. In fact, many dogs swallow at the end of the attack. Whatever the cause, the condition is usually not serious. If the condition appears suddenly in an older dog or if episodes become more severe or frequent, the nasal passages and throat should be examined.

Important Points in Treatment

  1. Treatment is not necessary when the episodes occur infrequently on a random basis.
  2. Home treatments that have been reported to be successful include massaging the throat, blowing in the nose, and rapidly and lightly compressing the chest.

Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur:

  • The Severity or frequency of your pet's attacks changes.
  • Your pet develops a nasal discharge or a cough.
  • Your pet's general health changes.