What is reverse sneezing in dogs? A reverse sneeze really isn’t a sneeze at all. While air is exhaled and forced out of the nose and mouth during a normal sneeze, reverse sneezing is forceful inhalation with air being sucked in. When it happens, you’ll hear a kind of deep, snorting sound. The dog appears to be in respiratory distress…. as if struggling to breathe or gasping for air… as in some sort of asthma attack. Episodes of reverse sneezing are usually brief, lasting from a few seconds up to a minute or two.Reverse sneezing can be very alarming for dog owners because it may seem that your dog is in respiratory distress. It is best described as a series of vigorous intakes of breath through the nose, often accompanied by your dog’s head bobbing up and down.
most reverse sneezing is nothing to worry about. It is the result of irritation of the nasal passages, often with dust. It is not life-threatening, and usually does not indicate any underlying disease.
An episode can be stopped if the dog is stimulated to swallow by either massaging the throat or briefly pinching off the nasal openings. Some dogs have reverse sneezing episodes so frequently that various medications may be needed to reduce the number of episodes.
Allergies play a role in other individuals. Often this condition is seen during the spring months when there is a lot of pollen around. If your pet is having these episodes more and more frequently, your veterinarian may try an antihistamine, or even an antihistamine/corticosteroid combination to see if the symptoms diminish or disappear. Most dogs can live with these occasional spasm, especially if you learn how to dissipate an episode by calming your dog down with words or petting.
The exact reasons for these episodes are unknown. 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.
In a small number of cases, reverse sneezing may indicate a more serious condition such as nasal polyps.
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