What You Need to Know About Reverse Sneezing in Dogs in St. Paul, MN

reverse sneezing dogs st paul mnAs spring rolls around in St. Paul, MN, the usual spring blooms, while beautiful to see and a respite from the monotone of winter, bring with them pollen and other allergy inducing factors.

Just like us, for our pets this can cause sniffles, runny eyes, itching and other similar clinical signs. One possibility for our pups is “reverse sneezing”. What is a reverse sneeze you ask? I know that sounds strange, but we will discuss it more in this blog!

What Exactly is a Reverse Sneeze?

A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: in our dogs, instead of forcefully pushing air out when they sneeze, sometimes they can forcefully pull air in. This can look like your dog is snorting while trying to sneeze at the same time. Typically, it starts with your dog being completely normal and the reverse sneeze episode coming on suddenly just as a regular sneeze would. Then your dog will start to gasp suddenly, breathe rapidly, and make deep guttural noises. This is the reverse sneeze! The episode is usually quite brief and lasts for a few seconds, after which your dog will return to normal.

There are usually no long-lasting side effects of a reverse sneeze, as quickly as it comes on is as quickly as it goes! The true cause of reverse sneezing is unknown, but they seem to occur when there is an irritant (pollen, dust, smoke, odors, seeds, grasses etc.) to your dog’s airways. It also seems to happen more frequently in brachycephalic breeds (short snouted breeds) which might indicate a correlation to the airway changes that can be present in those breeds and an increased probability of having reverse sneeze episodes.

The characteristic sound of a reverse sneeze makes it easy to diagnose by your veterinarian if you can mimic the sound or happen to get a recording of it. Usually there is no treatment required as the episodes are benign, but if you feel that they have been occurring more frequently in a short period then antihistamines or decongestants can be prescribed to help. Call us at (651) 789-6275 if you have any concerns!