We can help dogs with...

Reverse sneezing


Hi there! We are sorry you are here but happy to help. What is THAT noise? A reverse sneeze is startling and can cause you to wonder if your pet is going to be ok. The exact cause of a reverse sneeze is often unknown. The good news is that they typically are going to be totally fine. There are a few things to watch for and do at home

What’s going on with your dog?

A reverse sneeze is when your dog is rapidly and forcefully breathing in through the nose. They will usually have their neck extended, nostrils flared, mouth closed, and lips pulled back. It’s normal for the episodes to last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.


Here’s what you can do at home...

Remove irritants - did you start burning a candle today? Has it been dusty? Open window with flowers blooming near your pet? Episodes can be triggered by any irritation to the nose, sinuses or back of the throat. It’s always a good idea to look around and see if there is anything you can change in the environment.

Does it happen when they are pulling on the leash?

Try replacing a collar with a chest harness.

Did it happen right after eating or drinking?

Try to slow down their pace.

To stop an episode, many pat parents find it helpful to gently massage the throat, hold the nostrils closed for a few seconds or gently blow into their face to encourage swallowing. That can stop the reflex from occurring.

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Does your pet need Urgent Care?

If it doesn’t resolve in several minutes, yes! There could be something stuck in the mouth and/or causing persistent irritation. Otherwise, no, save yourself the trip!

What can you expect from your visit?

Your Scout veterinarian may recommend:

Examination: In addition to a general exam, your Scout veterinarian will do an oral exam. In order to do this safely and ensure they can see the whole mouth; they may recommend some sedation. 

Treatment: Your Scout veterinarian will do their best, but many cases of reverse sneezing will remain a mystery. The goal of the visit is to ensure this is just a reverse sneeze and there is no overt evidence of something stuck in the back of the throat. There are occasions that medications are prescribed and others where nothing needs to be done.

Remember that you are the best advocate for your pet. If you think it’s a problem, it probably is! We are here for you in your time of need.

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