Reverse Sneezing in Dogs – What Causes It and What You Can Do About It

Reverse Sneeze in Dogs: What Causes it?

The reason behind reverse sneezing in dogs is not completely known yet. There are several theories about the cause of reverse sneezing in dogs. Some say that there could be a genetic predisposition or some other factors may play a role. However, most experts believe that the main factor responsible for reverse sneezing is stress. Stress causes the body to release adrenaline which then affects the nervous system. The result is a sneeze.

There are various types of stressors that can trigger reverse sneezing in dogs. These include loud noises, bright lights, smells, sounds and even certain foods. However, it is not just food that triggers reverse sneezing in dogs; any type of shock such as being shocked with electricity or having your nose rubbed against something will also trigger the phenomenon.

Some experts have suggested that reverse sneezing in dogs might be due to an allergic reaction. While allergies are common among humans, they are rare in animals. However, if reverse sneezing is caused by an allergy then it would mean that reverse sneezing is also found in cats and ferrets too! (That’s right, ferret reverse sneeze!) Other experts suggest that reverse sneezing in dogs could be related to a medical condition called nasal polyps.

These are growths that affect the membranes in your dog’s nose. This might be the case if your dog only sneezes a few times and they don’t experience any other symptoms, such as breathing problems or discharge from their nose. If you believe your dog has nasal polyps then you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.

What Does It Feel Like?

Many pet owners who experience their dogs reverse sneezing are often confused about what is happening. The truth is that dogs who experience reverse sneezing do not display any obvious symptoms other than sneezing. At the moment your dog’s throat closes up, it forces air out of their nose and this causes the strange sneezing sound. Of course this isn’t always necessarily going to alert you to the fact that something is wrong. If you do notice your dog sneezing more than usual then you may want to take them to the vet.

What Are The Possible Health Risks?

While reverse sneezing in dogs does not pose any major health risks if it happens only once in a while, it can lead to other problems if it becomes more frequent. For this reason, you need to be aware of the signs and take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

When dogs face a serious health risk, the sneezing can become uncontrollable. It is not unusual for the dog to continue sneezing even after they have left the stressful situation. The sneezing can also lead to a runny nose or watery eyes. In some cases it can even cause slight breathing problems, an issue that could lead to more severe respiratory conditions.

How Is It Treated?

Fortunately, the treatment for reverse sneezing in dogs is quite simple. This is because there are no underlying health issues causing the problem; it is simply a reaction to stress. If your dog is experiencing reverse sneezing, you need to find a way to calm them down. This might mean moving them to a quieter place or turning off the bright lights that they may be distracted by. Giving them something with a strong smell, like coffee, could also help. If none of these options work, you may have to take your dog to the vet to get something to calm them down.

It’s important to remember that it is impossible to predict when your dog will experience reverse sneezing. There is no way of knowing what may cause it or how frequently it might happen. However, if your dog is experiencing it a lot more than usual then you need to take them to the vet.

Does My Dog Need To See A Vet?

The signs of reverse sneezing in dogs are fairly easy to recognize. If you notice that your dog is sneezing a lot more than usual then it may be time to take them to the vet. At the very least you should monitor their behavior and condition to see if they are acting differently from usual. If your dog is experiencing any other symptoms such as discharge from the nose, changes in breathing or eye issues, seek medical attention immediately.

While it is fairly rare for reverse sneezing to be dangerous, it can cause your dog a lot of discomfort and lead to other more serious health problems if left untreated. It is important that you are aware of the warning signs and take your dog to the vet if necessary.

Sources & references used in this article:

Canine chronic inflammatory rhinitis by RC Windsor, LR Johnson – Clinical techniques in small animal practice, 2006 – Elsevier

Nasal eucoleosis in a symptomatic dog from Italy by F Veronesi, E Lepri, G Morganti, S Di Palma… – Veterinary …, 2013 – Elsevier

First report of Eucoleus boehmi infection in a dog from Portugal by AM Alho, S Mouro, H Pissarra, A Murta, M Lemos… – Parasitology …, 2016 – Springer

Caval foramen hernia in a dog: preoperative diagnosis and surgical treatment by J Park, HB Lee, SM Jeong – Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 2020 –

Snuffles (Pasteurellosis) in Rabbits-Causes, Symptoms And Treatment by AD Maqueda –