Reverse Sneezing in Dogs: A Quirk of Pet OwnershipPublished July 19, 2012
Does your dog suffer from frightening wheezing fits like this?
I checked in with Dr. Eleanor Hawkins DVM from the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine for more details about reverse sneezing in dogs, a strange but harmless canine phenomenon.
The attacks are “reverse sneezes,” even though they sound more like coughing. Reverse sneezing is a fit of noisy, labored inhalation of air through the nose, during which the dog usually stands with his neck extended as he snorts in and out. Reverse sneezes can last from a few seconds to a minute or so, and do not significantly interfere with breathing. (Even though it sounds like your dog is about to keel over, rest assured, he won’t.) The exact cause of reverse sneezes is unknown, though they typically occur in smaller dogs, and can be associated with excitement or drinking.
There is no treatment necessary for reverse sneezing in dogs. Further evaluation is required if the dog faints, demonstrates exercise intolerance or has accompanying nasal discharge. When Millie has an attack, I massage her gently on the chest until it passes. Reverse sneezing sounds like a medical emergency, but it’s just another normal quirk of dogdom.