Is your dog reverse sneezing?

Reverse Sneezing in Dogs (and some cats)

Do you know what reverse sneezing is?

Reverse Sneezing DogsAt times your dog might be reverse sneezing. It may sound like they are choking on something or having trouble breathing or even a seizure.

A reverse sneeze, in more medical terms, is called pharyngeal gag reflex or paroxysmal respiration.

This is a condition where a dog or cat will extend their neck and begin making gasping noises that sound like the pet is on their last legs. They may snort or even make honking noises all the while acting like they can’t catch their breath. As life threatening as a reverse sneeze sounds … a reverse sneeze is not a serious condition, and the pet will recover on its own without medical treatment.


Read this explanation from

Dogs have a condition we call a ‘reverse sneeze.’ It may also be known as a ‘pharyngeal gag reflex’. It is termed a reverse sneeze, because it sounds like the dog is rapidly pulling air into his nose, whereas in a ‘regular’ sneeze, the air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. During a reverse sneeze, the dog will make rapid and long inspirations, stand still, and extend his head. A loud snorting sound is produced, which may make you think the dog has something caught in his nose.

The most common cause of a reverse sneeze is irritation of the soft palate, which results in a spasm. This spasm narrows the airway and makes it temporarily more difficult for the dog to take in air. Factors that may be associated with reverse sneezing include excitement, eating or drinking, exercise, physical irritation of the throat such as from pulling on a leash, respiratory tract mites, allergies, irritating chemicals such as perfumes or household cleaners, viral infections, foreign bodies caught in the throat, and post-nasal drip.

If you witness a dog having a reverse sneeze it may seem alarming, but in most cases it is not a harmful condition, there are no ill effects, and treatment is unnecessary. Usually the dog is completely normal before and after the episode. However, in some dogs, especially brachycephalic breeds such as Boxers or King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, sounds similar to a reverse sneeze may be a sign of a respiratory problem, such as an elongated soft palate. In these cases, there are usually other respiratory symptoms as well, and these dogs should be examined by a veterinarian.

A reverse sneezing episode can last for several seconds to a minute. Some claim that an episode can be shortened by closing the dog’s nostrils for several seconds with your hand or massaging the throat.

How to help your pet during a Reverse Sneezing attack

Watch this video to how to easily stop your dog from reverse sneezing without any medications.

As always, check with your vet on all advice with your pets.