If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably experienced your dog having a reverse sneezing fit. It can be incredibly worrying for a first time dog owner, because it sounds so scary. You might mistake it for an asthma attack, or even worse - a choking fit.
You might think you need to rush out to the veterinarian and have your dog checked out. However, there’s no need to panic or break out the Heimlich maneuver, because reverse sneezing is completely harmless.
It will happen to puppies, adults, and senior dogs of all breeds. It is known to occur more often in smaller breeds and flat faced breeds, like Chihuahuas and Shi Tzus. Despite how horrible it sounds, reverse sneezing is a very simple thing.
Instead of expelling air out like a sneeze, they take air in very quickly. It’s caused by the same things that cause a sneeze, like dust, powders, and other outside particles. Dogs may also begin to reverse sneeze after getting too excited.
You’ll know your dog is reverse sneezing when you see them inhaling rapidly and snorting. A reverse sneeze is basically a spasm fit, and there are actually a few ways to help your dog get through it quickly.
When you notice that your dog is reverse sneezing, you can try moving them to an area with fresh air. This helps because there will be less particles in the air to disturb their respiratory system.
Then, you can try blowing on their face, and if that doesn’t work, try holding their nostrils shut for a split second and massaging their throat gently. This will make them calm down and swallow, which will most likely stop the fit.
You can decrease the chances of your dog getting in these fits to begin with by not using perfumes or carpet cleaners around them. Again, it’s completely understandable that owners would be worried by reverse sneezes.
They can occur in the middle of the night in any part of the house, out on walks, or in the car. These fits will probably scare any children around, as well. You just have to remind yourself that this is nothing to worry about unless your dog already has other major issues.
As long as you have a healthy, stable dog, reverse sneezes are nothing to worry about. Veterinarians may prescribe antihistamines if your dog experiences reverse sneezing episodes extremely frequently, especially if they’re brought on by allergies.