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Have you ever been startled by your dog exhibiting snorting, honking and gasping noises? Have you felt helpless while you watched your canine friend appear to be struggling to breathe?

What you probably witnessed is the condition in dogs known as reverse sneezing. It actually has nothing to do with sneezing, but is a spasm caused by an irritation of the soft palate. The soft palate is a soft, fleshy tissue extension off the hard palate, or roof of the mouth. Small dogs in particular can exhibit this behavior and certain breeds may be predisposed to it. It has sent many a distraught owner to the vet in panic.

Some animals can have this condition for their entire lives, or it may develop as the dog ages. During the spasm, the dog will usually turn her elbows outward and extend her neck while gasping inwards with a distinctive snorting sound. Gently massaging the throat area or pinching the dog's nostrils shut so she must breath through her mouth can help shorten the episode. Sometimes taking the dog outside in the fresh air stops the spasm. Once the attack ceases, all goes back to normal.

(Another technique sometimes used to stop a bout of canine reverse sneezing: behavior specialist Sarah Wilson suggests trying to get the dog to swallow, touching the back of the tongue if that is safe.)

It is thought that the pharyngeal spasm can be caused by a number of irritants, including dust and pollen, or household chemicals. Moreover, some dogs can launch an episode after eating, drinking or running around, or while pulling on the leash.

If your dog experiences this behavior fairly frequently and the episodes are severe, a trip to the vet is in order to determine other possible causes, which can include viral infections, polyps, excessive soft palate tissue, and nasal mites. However, many cases of reverse sneezing appear to have no identifiable cause.

There lives a small Chihuahua Beagle mix, Cynthia Louise, who possesses a certain PAW volunteer. Cindy was extremely prone to severe middle-of-the-night reverse sneezing episodes when she first came into the PAW program, sending her terrified then-foster mom (now devoted adopter) to the vet in alarm. The vet anesthetized her (Cindy, not her mom) and explored the little dog's sinus cavities as best she could to see if anything was embedded in her sinus passages. Nothing was found, and after a short course of anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics, Cindy recovered completely.

In hindsight, it seems quite likely that the time of year, autumn, with its accompanying proliferation of allergens, combined with the stress of being in a new household, may have contributed to Cindy's pronounced reverse sneezing. Since the initial episodes subsided, the little dog has had only one or two minor incidences.

Reverse sneezing appears a lot worse than it is, generally posing no health threats whatsoever. Typically, an episode of reverse sneezing will end soon on its own. Nevertheless, understanding and recognizing the syndrome can go a long way toward helping dog owners and their dogs cope with it.

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anyone else want to add to this article post away :)
 

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Thanks Mandy, Seiah has these episodes after he runs around really hard, sometimes after his zoomies. I will definitely try that nose plugging idea. I always feel so bad for him when I see him go through that and Ash almost flipped out when he heard it the first time. Ash just stared at me :shock: asking me what was going on and why was he doing this. I'll definitely relay this message to him. Thanks again!!!
 

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Thats a great article...chico had reverse sneezing really bad, but it seems ever since i got my air purifier it's calmed down a lot. i still keep a bottle of childrens benadryl close just incase.
 

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some times reverse sneezing or cough can happen when a pup or dog have allergies sympotoms like scratching,itching,watery eyes.my older dog who is going to be two years in sept. had it as if she was having asthma attack.in other words they would last long for maybe 2 to 5 min.I had to keep taking her to the vet alot first for antiobiotics and cough suppresants.Than when she developed the other sympotoms benadrl and predensone.since she was so young the vet recommended me to look for something natural whcich i did find and works. At first i had to give to her as the instruction rec. 3 times a day now its as needed.she only needed a shot since she badly reactee to the booster shot.Now she will be getting her shots every three years. :D
 

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good post, when i first got vixie i noticed this condition, however its always after she has a drink...so after watching her drink i notice she drinks so fast she actually inhales a little (vet says its just her and isnt gonna do her any damage as its just water up her nose rather than going in her lungs)
and the water up the nose seems to set her off, ive found covering her nose and making her breath through her mouth stops it straight away.
she sometimes does it when shes gotten into something dusty, very pollen filled flowers or today when the spaniel got his hair cut...

it can be terrifying to new owners...
 

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my babies do it i havent seen ruby do it yet but jacob and tyke do apparently if you put your hand over there nose for couple of seconds that stops it a shih tzu breeder told me that i havent tried it didnt wanna scare my babies
 

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chihuahua-lady said:
my babies do it i havent seen ruby do it yet but jacob and tyke do apparently if you put your hand over there nose for couple of seconds that stops it a shih tzu breeder told me that i havent tried it didnt wanna scare my babies
they say to do that, rub their throat or get them to lick and it stops. usually i just let it run it's course.
 

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chihuahua-lady said:
thats exactly what i do just let it be i dont want to scare them by trying to stop it
yeah and sometimes my daughter goes and makes the noise along with chiwi. it's embarrassing lol so it's either me go around rubbing both of their throats or just let them honk hehehe.
 

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chiscrochetcrazy said:
Poco does this quite often Bella only does it when she's really really excited and happy.I do the rubbing thing but if they do it when they're excited they have to settle down before they can stop.My hubby had chis before and told me it was a chi thing.
any dog with a short snout does it. and some with long snouts too.... pugs, boston terriers, dachshunds, chows, pit bull terriers, even shephards. it's a dog thing but the smaller snouted are more prone.
 

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my dog does this and i've taken her to the vet and he hasnt mentioned anything about it - maybe he does not know the chihuahuha breed well!

My dog doesnt do it at set times like whilst drinkin or out in the garden amoungst flowers, it jst happens randomly even if she's jst lying in bed.

Could it be this reverse sneezing? It does stop by itself and only lasts seconds?

My vet gave me antiobiotics but she has done it since. Plz help!
 

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LovelyChiPupz said:
my dog does this and i've taken her to the vet and he hasnt mentioned anything about it - maybe he does not know the chihuahuha breed well!

My dog doesnt do it at set times like whilst drinkin or out in the garden amoungst flowers, it jst happens randomly even if she's jst lying in bed.

Could it be this reverse sneezing? It does stop by itself and only lasts seconds?

My vet gave me antiobiotics but she has done it since. Plz help!
does it sound like the description. most likely it is reverse sneezing and nothing to be worried about :wave: chiwi's most common time to do it is in bed....
 

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Thank you for posting that article on here... my little one has been doing it since I can remember and it has scared me. Took him to the vet and he has been on one medication after another and none of it helped, so the vet told me he has a collasped trachea. I tried the nose holding and once he breathes in through his mouth the goose noises stop immediately. Thank you again... worried mom - NO MORE! :)
 

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yeah covering their nose forces them to take a breath through the mouth wich imediatly wets the palet and helps clear whatever has irritated it...some chis do it when there running around because their mouths are dry and they 'forget' how to fix the problme lol.
for some reason laying in bed is a pretty commong time, im wondering if mabe the fibers from blankets or somfortors irritate the palet.

belive me youll know a colapsing treachea very quickly, and it wont be from the honking sounds...colapsing treachia has an extreem hacking sound followed by labourd breathing ect...the honking is a reverse sneeze.

vixie knows now whenever it happens, if she has enough pwer to get her legs moving shell come over to me so i can cover her nose and looks at me as if to say, ok ma time to do that thing you do...lol

unfortunatly most vets arnt familiar with the condition because it isnt a medical condition and so they dont learn about it in veterinary school...

im lucky my vet has 3 chis of his own so hes very familiar with the reverse sneezing and told me not to worry...sometimes episodes can last as long at 1/2 hr, but usually stop soon after covering theri nose or as soon as they relax (if it occurs after running round crazy.)
 

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My pup does it all the time after running around...I've tried everything and nothing seems to stop it, but it never lasts too long. I just hate when it happens though, it always seems like it's painful or something. It's either the honking noise or sometimes he hacks, like he's coughing up a hairball. Is this the same thing?
 

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The goose noise is reverse sneezing. Cooper does the hacking thing too, but I think it's different. He does it when he drinks a lot of water or runs around a bit... I think it's just a cough. I call it his "smoker's cough" :lol:
 
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