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BT frHead tounge Tally 2011

Reverse sneezing, or “gasping in for air,”³ is a phenomenon commonly seen in dogs with brachycephalic skulls and is also known as inspiratory paroxysmal respiration. While its exact cause is unknown, it is thought to occur due to nasal irritation, over excitement, or the animal breathing air into the body to remove irritants from behind the nose.


It often occurs while the dog is asleep or immediately upon awakening.² What happens during a reverse sneeze? The dog may experience a backward head motion with rapid and forced inhalation followed by gagging sounds which may be distressing,not only to the animal, but also to the observer. The dog will also extend its neck and produce loud, snorting sounds during an episode.³

To assist an animal having a reverse sneezing episode, try calming the dog down by rubbing its back and sides, or try lightly blowing in his face. Another commonly used remedy is to rub the dog's throat causing him to swallow and break the cycle. A trip to the vet isn’t usually necessary unless the episodes are chronic or allergy related.²

Chronic dental disease, mites in the nasal cavities, and mucus irritation can lead to chronic reverse sneezing. Antihistamines or nasal decongestants can help reduce reverse sneezing episodes. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian if you feel ¹ your dogs reverse sneezing is problematic and chronic.¹


¹ VCA Hospitals

² Wikipedia

³ Pet MD