Originally published Jan. 2009, reposted Nov. 2012
If you’re wondering what reverse sneezing is, what causes it or how to stop it, you have come to the right place.
I will also share below how I reduced my dog’s reverse sneezing down to 1x per year and how theses same principles have reduced his cancer risk!
What is Reverse Sneezing?
It sounds like someone trying to clear their throat. In a regular sneeze, your dog pushes air out through his or her nose. During a reverse sneeze, air is pulled in through the nose producing a distinctive noise. I will include a video below so you can see what it sounds like and the posture your dog holds while reverse sneezing.
What causes a reverse sneeze?
There could be a few reasons although the exact reason is unknown. Some possibilities are allergies, pulling on the leash, nasal irritants such as pollen, or nasal inflammation or infection. If reverse sneezing continues with your dog on a regular basis, please consult a veterinarian to rule out kennel cough, respiratory infection, nasal mites, collapsed trachea and cancer.
Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails has personally witnessed pet sitting dogs all do it the same day. Some had been sitting still while others are outside ready for me to take them on their walk. All different breeds, food, and homes in Carlsbad & San Marcos CA. So the only common factor was myself and the environment. I purposely did everything the same the next day as far as perfume, hair products and lotion. The result was none of the dogs reverse sneezed.
After further research, I found that some vet’s believe that vaccines may be causing reverse sneezing as well as other behavior or health changes**.
How long does a reverse sneeze last?
It can last from a few seconds to a few minutes, once or several times a day. After the “episode” has stopped, your dog should resume normal behavior.
How to stop or shorten a reverse sneeze?
Try massaging your dogs throat. If that does not work, trying pinching- closing off the nasal openings for a few seconds.
Is a reverse sneeze dangerous?
While this can be quite scary for dog owners because they think their dog might not be able to breathe, I personally wouldn’t run my dog to the vet.
First remain calm as possible!!! I can’t stress this enough. Your pet may become stressed during this episode and your stress will only exacerbate your pets current state.
Reverse sneezing is a common phenomenon in dogs although, rarely seen in cats. This can occur in any age, breed or sex of dog.
What behavior is displayed during a reverse sneeze?
Your dog will inhale rapidly while standing fairly stiff, their head might move like he/she might vomit, and their eyes may bulge. The sound would be best described as if someone is trying to cleared their throat or snorting.
Reverse sneeze video
How I naturally reduced reverse sneezing
My dog only reverse sneezes now maybe twice a year and it lasts for a few seconds.
I will share things I have done, the things I have hardly ever do or do not do at all. I feel all of these have contributed to a drastic reduction in the amount of times he reverse sneezed and shortened the duration.
- I feed him a wheat & grain free diet such as this or this
- I give him a liver detoxsupplement 2-3 times a year
- reduce vaccines
- Use natural flea treatments
- I only use unscented eco-friendly cleaning and laundry supplies
- He drinks purified water
- NO air fresheners or candles
- Give him various supplements such as multi-vitamin and probiotics
Update Oct 2016: I’m happy to say a holistic vet I follow has given some of the same recommendations as above. I hope this makes you feel more confident about naturally treating reverse sneezing!
Caring is sharing!
1. If you found this article helpful, send a link to at least two friends.
2. Leave a comment below to let me what you learned or found most helpful.
In good health!
Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails