Reverse Sneezing cause, duration and how to stop it naturally

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  • Post last modified:July 9, 2020
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Originally published Jan. 2009, reposted Nov. 2012

If you’re wondering what reverse sneezing is, what causes reverse sneezing or how to stop your dog from reverse sneezing 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 many of these same principles may help reduce your dog’s 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, the 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. Some possibilities are allergies, pulling on the leash, nasal irritants such as pollen, 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.

I have personally witnessed dogs I was pet sitting all do it the same day. Some had been sitting still while others were outside on a walk with me. All of the dogs were different breeds, ate different food, and lived in different homes in Carlsbad and San Marcos CA. So the only common factor was me 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 vets 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 dog’s throat. If that does not work, trying closing off the nasal openings for a few seconds.

Is a reverse sneeze dangerous?

While reverse sneezing 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 as calm as possible! I can’t stress this enough. Your pet may become stressed during this episode and your stress will only exacerbate your pet’s 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 the dog.

What behavior is displayed during a reverse sneeze?

Your dog will inhale rapidly while standing fairly stiff, their head might move as if he/she might vomit, and their eyes may bulge. The sound would be best described as if someone is trying to clear their throat or snorting.

What a Reverse sneeze sounds and looks like

10 tips I used to naturally reduce reverse sneezing

My dog only reverse sneezes now maybe once a year and it lasts for a few seconds. This is what I did to stop my dog from reverse sneezing.

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!

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