What is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs? How to Stop it

on January 12, 2023

Have you ever heard your dog starting to make strange noise while breathing rapidly? You might be alarmed when it's the first time you see this phenomenon but it could be nothing more than a reflex commonly known as reverse sneezing.

A reverse sneeze, in medical terms, is called pharyngeal gag reflex or paroxysmal respiration. This is when a dog will elongate the neck and breathe in and out rapidly and loudly for a few seconds. Even if it seems scary, like the dog is hyperventilating, a reverse sneeze is usually harmless and often does not require any treatment.

What is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

See What is a Reverse Sneeze in the video below


Why a Dog is Reverse Sneezing?

Usually the sneezing are caused by anything that can irritate the throat. It could be caused by excitement, eating or drinking too fast, pulling on a leash, exercise, viruses, mites, foreign bodies, post-nasal drip, allergens (pollens...)...

Reverse sneezing affects all types of dogs, but more commonly dogs that are brachycephalic (short faced like the Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers...) tend to be prone to this because of their smaller throats.

The majority of the time the sneezing will resolve on their own, however, sometimes it can become a chronic problem. Then it is best to have your veterinarian examine your dog to try to determine a cause. Sometimes no cause is found. Reverse sneezing caused by allergies can benefit from antihistamines or those caused by mites can be treated with an antiparasitic medication. In severe cases, your veterinarian might recommend rhinoscopy (examining the nasal passages directly) or a biopsy.

How to Stop your Dog from Reverse Sneezing?

Here is how you can help a dog having a reverse sneezing episode without any medication...


  • Try to briefly hold one of the dog's nostrils closed with your hand.
  • Try calming the dog down by rubbing its back and sides.
  • Try lightly blowing in its face.
  • Try to lightly rub the dog's throat

Do you have any experience with reverse sneeze?

Share and leave your comments below!

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1 comment
by Phyllis Foster on January 13, 2023

I put a teaspoon half full of honey and offer it to my 9 year old Boston. He licks the honey off the spoon which forces him to swallow. I’ve tried every other method to help him but this seems the best!


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