Do dogs get scared when they reverse sneeze? Here’s the Answer

What Does Reverse Dog Sneezing Sound Like?

Reverse sneezing sounds like the dog is actually inhaling their sneezes, hence how the name “reverse sneezing” came about. It’s a loud snorting sound that can sometimes sound like a goose honking.

The first few episodes of reverse sneezing that a dog has can be scary if you have never heard it before. That’s why it’s best to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian to determine if it’s simply a reverse sneeze or something more concerning such as coughing or choking.

If possible, take a video of the episode to show your veterinarian, and if you have any concern that your dog may be choking, call your vet immediately.

What Is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs?

Reverse sneezing is a fairly common respiratory event in dogs, but is rarely seen in cats. It is suspected to be caused by irritation or inflammation of the nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus passages. It may be a way for the dog to attempt to remove foreign particles such as dust, powder or other irritants or allergens from its upper airways. It is also seen after periods of over-excitement.

Reverse sneezing is characterized by sudden, rapid and repeated inhalations through the nose, followed by snorting or gagging sounds. It can be alarming to an owner, but is not known to be harmful to dogs without any underlying conditions (such as heart disease), and most dogs are completely normal before and after a reverse sneezing episode. In dogs that exhibit reverse sneezing, it is not uncommon for them to have repeat episodes of reverse sneezing throughout their lives.

What Is the Treatment for Reverse Dog Sneezing?

Reverse sneezing does not require medication or treatment and is typically a fairly benign process in your dog—as long as it is infrequent.

If a dog has never had an episode before, they should see a veterinarian to ensure that it is actually reverse sneezing and not something else, such as coughing or choking.

If the episodes become more frequent or severe, consult a veterinarian to evaluate the underlying cause. They will likely perform chest x-rays and possibly rhinoscopy (where a camera is inserted in the nasal cavity and throat) to look for any abnormalities.

What is a canine reverse sneeze?